ATLANTIC CITY — AtlantiCare received its second batch of face shields Thursday from a local manufacturing company that switched gears to produce personal protective equipment for frontline workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mahogany Company, a family-owned manufacturer in Mays Landing, distributed 2,000 face shields to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus, after George Aaron, vice president of sales for the company, reached out to a friend who is an AtlantiCare nurse.
Aaron told his friend that his business could make face shields if needed. That same day, Aaron was put in contact with the hospital’s Incident Command Team to discuss how Mahogany could help by manufacturing and donating PPE.
“Once the material came in, we just started,” he said. “I picked up a sample, a face shield, then we scanned it at Mahogany and our design department just uploaded it to the router and started putting it through.”
On Thursday, the manufacturer delivered 1,000 face shields. The first 1,000 were delivered in early May.
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Even though the company has never made shields before, he said it only took a few hours to make 2,000 of them.
“And we would love to help,” he said. “If the community needs more, we will do more.”
Mahogany manufactures fiberglass parts for the boating industry, Aaron said. It also manufactures products for the wind energy, corrosion and transportation industries.
“This is something new for us, and we’re happy to have the opportunity to help during this crisis,” he said.
Mary Law, assistant vice president of quality at AtlantiCare, said the face shields will be distributed throughout all the hospital’s locations, wherever the need is greatest.
While the hospital is not experiencing a face shield shortage at the moment, she said it is always trying to remain one step ahead.
“We are trying to make sure that we are prepared for whatever comes our way,” she said. “And the partnerships with the community … we have been blessed by partners such as the Mahogany Company to help us keep our staff safe during this.”
The shields Mahogany donated are made with a more durable plastic, reducing the risk of wear and tear.
“For whatever reason, if they are compromised, we replace them, and that’s what we’ve been doing,” said John Hunt, director of security and emergency management at AtlantiCare. “But now we have a far superior quality, and they’ll last even longer.”
The shields made by Aaron’s company followed Centers for Disease Control guidelines and were inspected and verified by AtlantiCare’s Infection Prevention team prior to the donation, according to Jennifer Tornetta, director of media relations and public affairs for the hospital.
The donations don’t stop there. From PPE to food donations, Law said, the whole community has been “extremely generous in stepping forward and volunteering to bring products like these to help our staff.”
“It feels great,” Aaron said of donating. “It makes you feel good inside.”