Fidelity Bank has donated $15,000 to the Via Christi Foundation that will help fund local production of 6,000 plastic face shields for frontline caregivers at Ascension Via Christi.
The face shields are one of the much-needed personal protective equipment items for which there is a national shortage because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are extremely grateful to Fidelity Bank for its donation and to the consortium of community members helping provide a local alternative for face shields during a national shortage," says David Alexander, Via Christi Foundation president.
The local manufacture of plastic face shields is being led by Teddy Wisely, a Wichita Police Department sergeant who assembled a group of area labs with 3-D printers. That group, which initially included Wichita State University's Innovation and Go Create labs, Groover Labs, McConnell Air Force Base, Pittsburg State University, Gregory Inc. in Hutchinson, Kansas, and a handful of private individuals, continues to grow.
"Our original goal was to create and donate 1,000 high quality face shields for first responders and medical staff, but after working with staff we learned that would barely scratch the surface," says Wisely, who has since upped the group's goal to 7,000.
Helping make that possible was a $30,000 commitment by the Via Christi Foundation, made possible by the generosity of Fidelity Bank and other donors.
Via Christi Foundation continues to seek donations to support other locally manufactured PPE items. For more information about how you can help, go to viachristi.org/coviddonations or call 316-281-5157.