COACHELLA  — Desert Healthcare District & Foundation CEO Conrado Bárzaga on Friday morning distributed 2,000 3D-printed protective face shields to Borrego Health professionals conducting coronavirus testing. It was the District’s first such delivery.

Face shieldsMarisela Escoto, Borrego’s director of the nursing mobile unit, received them and planned to sanitize them for use.

“Healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line every day during this crisis and we must ensure they have the equipment they need to protect themselves and the community and continue the critical work they do,” Bárzaga said in a prepared statement.

Desert Healthcare District & Foundation will issue the face shields to its healthcare partners: Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs; Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage; JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio; Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine free clinic in Indio; Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs; and Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo and Borrego Health clinics across the valley.

Face shieldsThe plastic face shields were created and donated by Carbon, a Silicon Valley-based 3D printer maker, and made possible by a grant from Adidas.

The face shields provide a physical barrier to the virus, which is spread through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Carbon said the shields can be reused numerous times after being sterilized to reduce waste.

Desert Healthcare District & Foundation has developed a Coachella Valley COVID-19 Resource Center at to disseminate information about resources to help people cope with the impacts of COVID-19. Information on the site is in English, Spanish and Purépecha, the language of indigenous people originally from the Mexican state of Michoacan who make up a large part of the farm-working community in the eastern Coachella Valley.

Since March 24, the Desert Healthcare District & Foundation District Board has approved $1.2 million in funding for community programs to help Coachella Valley residents in response to COVID-19.

Image Sources

  • Face shields: Desert Healthcare District
  • Face-shields-clinicas_2403: Desert Healthcare District & Foundation
  • 2400_edited: Desert Healthcare District