Texas Tech University

In West Texas, volunteers manufacture medical supplies and amateur pilots deliver to remote hospitals

KRPC - Houston

April 30, 2020

KRPC - Houston - As health care workers across the country combat the new coronavirus, it has been particularly difficult for small, rural hospitals to compete for the protective equipment they need to safely treat patients. A group of West Texas businesses and Texas Tech University employees have come together to design and manufacture medical equipment like face shields that they can deliver for free to the most remote pockets of the state.

Simon Williams, an associate dean at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said there is little modeling to help rural hospitals anticipate increases in COVID-19 patients — making it all the more important that his group can transport medical supplies quickly when hotspots do appear.

“What we really need is the capability to provide a flexible response,” Williams said. “If we had an outbreak anywhere in West Texas, we have a supply of materials we could get to them in a few hours.”

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