Campus News

UK College of Design Assists in PPE Production for UK HealthCare

UK College of Design has been able to offer its skill set to help produce face shields.
UK College of Design has been able to offer its skill set to help produce face shields.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2020) — In response to the high demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the health care industry due to COVID-19, the University of Kentucky College of Design has been able to offer its skill set to help produce face shields.

The College of Design has become the hub and point of contact for the design and production of face shields — the ones that cover the forehead down as well as the ones that go from the neck to the top of the head, each one serving a different purpose to prevent the spread of germs.

Joe Brewer, director of facilities in the college, has spearheaded the effort to synchronize members of campus to help with this production. With input from Chief Technology Officer/Associate CIO Jason McReynolds and Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Inpatient Service Ashley Montgomery-Yates at UK HealthCare, the College of Design developed a prototype and is now working on the final iteration.

The College of Design will produce as many face shields as possible until the demand is met or until mass production is possible. Afterward, the college will pivot to the next PPE device that UK HealthCare deems essential.

“The global magnitude of the coronavirus has been daunting, but the silver lining is that we have been able to put product design into practice to offer some much-needed relief, even before our new program launches,” said Dean of the College of Design Mitzi Vernon. "Designers are nimble and can change on the fly to respond to crisis.”

A new Product Design program is proposed to start in Fall 2020 in the College of Design.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.