LA Face Shields
Team of volunteers from the entertainment industry
fabricating and donating face shields to healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic
Join donors, local businesses, and celebrities in support
As the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers continues to rise, Los Angeles-based LA Face Shields—a group of volunteers made up of out-of-work entertainment industry freelancers—is doing their part to protect those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by producing hundreds of face shields a day and distributing them to over 40 hospitals around Southern California.
A month ago, prop maker Rob West answered a call on an art department Facebook group from an ER doctor requesting face shields — simple transparent barriers that cover health care workers’ faces and prevent infectious droplets from entering their mouths, eyes, and noses. Within 20 hours, West created a prototype and sent photos and videos to the doctor, who approved the design and paid for the first order of 600 to be used at the hospitals where he works.
West tapped friends, neighbors, and colleagues to form a team of around 25, who are working around the clock (while maintaining social distancing as much as possible) from his Hollywood home as they build, sterilize, and distribute around 400 face shields per day (over 4,000 total), along with negotiate deals or donations from suppliers for the vinyl, elastic bands, and foam needed to create the face shields (which cost $2.50 per shield to fabricate).
Most recently, as hospitals are requesting more advanced equipment, LA Face Shields was tasked with making other emergency medical equipment. In response, the innovative team recently introduced their newest design, the Respiratory Shield (pictured below), featuring a collapsible, reusable, and lightweight tent that can be placed over a patient during procedures that require intubation or CPAP. This new shield provides an optically clear barrier (limiting droplet exposure), much better protection, and can be deployed in seconds (a fraction of the time and effort that other options require). The Respiratory Shield has received two thumbs up from ICU doctors and is now being deployed across Southern California.
LA Face Shields’ newest innovation, the Respiratory Shield, which is cleanable and reusable
The funding for LA Face Shields is 100% donation driven and all the protective equipment they’re providing to Southern California’s medical community is free. As of the first week of April, West and his team have raised over $20,000 in donations through word-of-mouth, minimal press, and support on Twitter from celebrities such as Jason Alexander, Michael McKean, Eric McCormack, Richard Kind, and Steven Weber. Local companies (Quixote Studios and Tailwaggers) and restaurants (La Abeja and Palette Food And Juice) have also chipped in, providing the LA Face Shields team with supplies and meals.
Some of the hospitals LA Face Shields is currently supporting include: San Gabriel Valley Medical Center (San Gabriel, CA), Garfield Medical Center (Monterey Park, CA), Alhambra Hospital Medical Center (Alhambra, CA), White Memorial Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA), Adventist Health Glendale (Glendale, CA), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA), Emanate Health Inter Community Hospital (Covina, CA), Dignity Health-California Hospital Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA), LAC+USC Medical Center (Los Angeles), Keck School of Medicine of USC (Los Angeles), and Good Samaritan Hospital (Los Angeles, CA).
For more info and to donate to the project or to the out-of-work volunteers dedicating their time, visit LAFaceShields.org and follow @lafaceshields on Instagram and Twitter.
Local healthcare workers showing their appreciation for LA Face Shields
(original face shield design is seen on the left and the new Respiratory Shield is seen on the right)