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Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 9:45am

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Mercy College Libraries has transformed one of the College’s high-impact educational technologies, a 3D printer, into a tool to help health care professionals fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19). When Dr. Stephen Erosa put out a request for 3D-printed medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) through the Westchester Library Association, Moddie Breland Ed.D., interim director of libraries for Mercy, and Robert McKenna ’06, ’12, associate director of library technology, answered his call.

Mercy’s printer will be used by Erosa at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers to print backup medical supplies and PPE headbands for face shields, in case of future shortages. The headbands are used to build face shields — essential PPE that safeguard against the dangers of health care-associated infections.

Before offering Mercy’s 3D printer’s services, Breland and McKenna first verified its ability to print the requested PPE by testing a computer-aided-design (CAD) provided by Erosa. Fortunately, the printer successfully outputted Erosa’s suggested PPE print model and Mercy possessed the raw materials necessary, including spools of plastic, to complete the project.

On March 31, Breland and McKenna donated Mercy’s 3D printer to St. John’s Riverside Hospital indefinitely so that staff can securely and promptly print any emergency medical items that may be needed as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves. “They can use it for as long as it’s needed,” assured Breland and McKenna.

Erosa is working collaboratively with other hospitals in New York City to stockpile 3D printers. “Being able to have access to printers that are not being used around Westchester County and New York City is very valuable,” said Erosa. Breland and McKenna are proud to contribute to this greater effort and share similar reasonings for donating the printer. “It’s important to protect the nurses and doctors who are on the front lines helping patients. Once we realized we could be part of the effort to fight against COVID-19, we wanted to contribute,” said Breland.

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