Blue Hen connection helps downstate hospitals

University of Delaware staff, students gear up to fabricate face shields and masks
May 6, 2020

Story Location:
1407 Savannah Road
Lewes  Delaware  19958
United States

The University of Delaware has ramped up to do its part to provide personal protective equipment for healthcare and other frontline workers battling COVID-19.

A team of staff and students working in 10 remote labs is fabricating protective face shields using 3D printers, and a team from the university's professional theater company is hand-sewing face masks.

On April 22, university operations manager Brooks Twilley delivered 800 face shields to Beebe Healthcare in Lewes and another 400 to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford.

Twilley said the Maker Network will continue to produce face shields because of the high demand, and some labs are online 24 hours a day. He said they made about 3,000 shields for distribution throughout the state during the first two weeks.

He said in addition to the 1,200 shields donated downstate, they have distributed 1,000 shields to nursing homes, 600 to Wilmington VA Medical Center, 400 to Saint Francis Hospital in Wilmington, 200 to dentists for emergency procedures, 250 to ChristianaCare and 50 to eye surgeons.

Crew and actors from the Resident Ensemble Players made 1,000 masks during the first three weeks of production. They are sharing their design at

Population Health collects donations

\Beebe's Population Health Office on Savannah Road, Lewes, is serving as a clearinghouse, and collection and storage point for PPE donations.

Guidelines for PPE and food donations can be found at

Anyone making a PPE donation should call 302-645-3337 in advance to check on guidelines and inventory.

Donations have been pouring in to Beebe from businesses, organizations and individuals. “Beebe Healthcare has experienced a surge of generosity from our community,” said Tom Protack, president of Beebe Medical Foundation. “From in-kind material donations like gloves, shields and masks to financial contributions to help us purchase our own in-house lab testing for COVID-19 and PPE for team members. Our Sussex County neighbors and friends are inspiring in so many ways, making it easy for everyone to help make a difference.”

For more information on the university's project, go to:

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