Coming together in time of crisis

Courtesy photo

In a recent social media post, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris shared an example of how the novel coronavirus pandemic is bringing together people and organizations to help during this troubled time.

“With the impact of COVID-19 evolving every day, it became increasingly important to partner together to meet the needs of our community during this challenging time,” Parris said.

Early into the pandemic, the Antelope Valley Hospital realized a need for additional small parts and connectors. What started as an idea to 3D print those items, expanded into a valley wide partnership between Virgin Galactic, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Spaceship Company, Antelope Valley Hospital, Antelope Valley College, private engineers, community members, and the City of Lancaster.

Together, the dedicated tactical team has been working closely with local medical teams, fabricators, and commercial suppliers to provide help where it is needed the most.

The team has been working together on ways to help tackle this crisis. Whether it be procurement, facilities, safety, supply chain, engineering, medical teams — people are offering up their expertise, time, technology, and ideas to help relieve the pressure on communities and medical institutions at this time.

“The team has donated multiple medical supplies across our community including masks, suits, gloves, and pulse oximeters,” Parris said.

On April 3, the intubation box prototype was delivered and is working on the floor of the hospital. These machines offer additional protection for the frontline workers who are in physical proximity to those patients suffering from the virus.

“The Antelope Valley has changed the world so often it is almost expected, and this time of crisis is no exception,” Parris said. “Eleven days ago George Whitesides, the CEO of VirginGalactic, called and asked, ‘How can we help?’ In that time the team came together and created several game changing devices.

“The first one is the intubation box. Later, we’ll introduce other game changing medical devices the team has created.”

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