April 28, 2020 – Richmond University Medical Center was presented with a donation of face shields made by the New York City Department of Education, using 3D printers located at P25R South Richmond High School.
Located on the grounds of Mt. Loretto in Pleasant Plains, South Richmond High School is a special education school currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty and administration wanted to find a way to give back during this time, especially to health care workers on the front line. Utilizing the school’s 3D printers they set about designing and creating face shields which protect against droplets, the mode of transmission for the COVID-19 virus. Droplets are emitted when a person talks, coughs or sneezes. These droplets can then infect another person, such as through contact with an unprotected person’s eyes, nose or mouth. The school donated 100 face shields to Richmond University Medical Center.
“Face shields are essential PPE for our medical staff, providing protection and allowing them to safely provide direct care for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are suspected of exposure to the virus,” president and chief executive officer, Dr. Daniel J. Messina, said. “That includes our staff working inside the hospital and our outpatient sites in the community.”
The donated face shields will be distributed to RUMC’s outpatient clinics and off-site behavioral health sites. Richmond University Medical Center is Staten Island’s leading provider of behavioral health services for children, adolescents and adults. RUMC operates the Center for Integrative Behavioral Medicine at 1130 South Avenue, a comprehensive outpatient facility that provides a variety of behavioral and substance use treatment programs. In 2019, the hospital also merged with Staten Island Mental Health Society bringing all of their robust behavioral health services under RUMC’s administration.
The face shields were delivered to the hospital’s outpatient clinic, located at 800 Castleton Avenue by Anthony Cassella, principal of P25R South Richmond High School and the school’s art instructor, Sergio Vastano. In addition to the face shields, Casella and Vastano delivered letters of encouragement written by their students and addressed to the RUMC staff. The letters thanked the staff for their dedication to helping others and for being community heroes.