Startup provides face shields for Bay Area first responders

Precision Patient Outcome/Courtesy

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Precision Patient Outcomes, or PPO, is a startup in the Bay Area helping the fight against the coronavirus pandemic by producing reusable 3D face shields for health care workers and first responders.

The startup was originally founded to create face shields to help burn victims, but it has adapted to fill needs during the pandemic, according to a PPO press release. Alameda County firefighters have partnered with PPO, volunteering their time to produce face shields for first responders.

PPO CEO Margrett Lewis created the startup with burn surgeon Dr. Leigh Ann Price and mechanical engineer Glen Stevick. Price, who is aware of the risks and needs of health care professionals, suggested making face shields for first responders.

“We have created PPO, with the ultimate goal to become leaders in Precision Medicine – getting to the same outcome, in fewer steps,” Lewis said in an email. “Most recently, we pivoted to produce face shields for first responders.”

Lewis added that the startup was inspired to increase its production of face shields after discussing the need for them for first responders. PPO’s face shields are similar to those used in trauma units. Additionally, they are reusable and are able to be disinfected, according to Lewis.

The initiative to provide face shields in response to the pandemic began March 22. Lewis noted that with help from the Alameda County Fire Department, the startup has made nearly 1,000 face shields, and it has 400 available to be donated to other organizations, as of press time.

Though PPO is currently distributing face shields only within the Bay Area community, the startup is open to expanding to other counties if they express demand, according to Lewis.

“Our main goal was to meet the immediate needs and provide a solution for the health and safety of first responders and healthcare providers in the local Bay Area community,” Lewis said in the email.

Contact Shylie Ati at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @shylieati.

A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Dr. Glen Stevick’s name.