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New program launches to support 3D printed supplies for healthcare workers

Tamarack Summer
COVID-19 Idaho

A State of Idaho program designed to boost STEM education in the state is helping serve as a connector to get personal protective equipment into the hands of healthcare workers.

The Idaho STEM Action Center launched #IdahoMakers Unite to help the program.

We first told you about Boise State’s efforts to galvanize makers across the area to provide face shields to local health systems last week. Now, this program hopes to bring even more resources to the effort.

Nationwide, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose a shortage of personal protective equipment. Using 3D printers and other technologies, makers are stepping up to help fill some of the gaps.

“Frontline workers throughout Idaho ranging from first responders and physicians and staff at hospitals and doctor’s offices to pharmacists, lab techs, and nursing and retirement home employees desperately need help sourcing increasingly scarce personal protective equipment,” STEM Action Center Executive Director Dr. Angela Hemingway said. “People who want to help stop the spread of COVID-19 can join a growing army of Idaho makers who are providing solutions to keep members of their community safe and healthy.”

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Tamarack: Thrill, Grill, Chill
Regence Blue Shield of Idaho

The Idaho STEM Action Center program launched the #IdahoMakersUnite program earlier this week. Several new partners stepped up to help, including the Burley Junior High 3D print clip, the Salmon Public Library and more. The initiative may start helping build crowdsourced ventilator parts in the future as well, according to Hemmingway.

The center is also accepting donations that will go toward resources. It also has launched a COVID-19 grant program to help fund the work.

A landing page for the program includes instructions, resources, health and safety guidelines and more.

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