The Print to Protect Coalition achieved a milestone.
After 2 ½ months, the non-profit group led by Manteca dentist Nabeel Cajee and others in the Central Valley produced 10,000 face shields to go to frontline healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're hoping to have (face shields) out to them by the end of this week," said Cajee at his downtown dental office on Tuesday.
The initial plan for the Print to Protect Coalition was to produce N95 respirator masks to help fill the shortage.
But that changed thanks to Representative Josh Harder's office — via the Central Valley Personal Protective Equipment initiative, a centralized relief effort to collect and deliver much-needed medical supplies to first responders and frontline healthcare workers — following a request to make face shields for the frontline workers.
Cajee, during the stay-at-home closure of his practice, volunteered for the cause the same 3D printer used for dental prosthetics and implant surgical guides.
Others such as Scott Myers, who is Be.Next Game Design Academy instructor of the Manteca Unified School District, used his laser-cutter to further help out the Print to Protect Coalition cause.
"Our goal is to organize and locally produce, using our resources to meet the needs of the Central Valley PPE," Cajee said.
The Print to Protect Coalition is a concerted effort involving the University of the Pacific's HATCH Workshop, a non-profit offering community access to tools, machinery, equipment and communal workplaces, and the aforementioned BE.tech Charter High School program under Myers at Lathrop High.
As for the next move?
"We'll do another needs assessment at the county level," added Cajee.
Updates on Print to Protect Coalition can be found on Facebook.