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OSU-CHS student co-founds organization making face shields for health care workers
May 1, 2020
TULSA— Rebecca Gaglia, a second-year medical student and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student at OSU Center for Health Sciences, was on spring break when the COVID-19 pandemic reached Oklahoma in March. Watching the news and seeing what was happening in the state and across the country, she wondered if she would be able to go back to school when spring break was over.
Looking for ways to relieve her stress in a constructive way, she scrolled through Facebook and found there were people making face shields for health care workers, two of them were fellow Tulsa residents Josh and Cherylyn Painter. The couple were using multiple 3D printers to print and construct face shields.
“The three of us created a Facebook Group — Makers4Medicine — so we could gather all these volunteers who were making face shields together and it just blew up,” said Gaglia, who serves as the volunteer coordinator. “I just thought ‘I have to do this. I have to help.’ The opportunity was there, and [the Painters] were so motivated.”
Since March 21, the Painters and a core group of about 30 volunteers — many of them OSU-CHS students — have made nearly 7,500 face shields that have been donated to health care workers across the country working in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, dental offices, medical laboratories and even fire departments.
"It relieved a lot of my anxiety that I could do something. It gives people an outlet and to feel less frustrated. It does feel good."