Written by Lynn Miller.
It’s (February) 2020 and essential care workers across the United States begin to experience the wrath of COVID-19. Dima Elissa, award-winning leader, sought-after speaker and parallel entrepreneur on the forefront of healthcare, technology and 3D printing, recognizes a critical need to protect essential workers against COVID-19.
As Tech and Innovation Lead for AMWA (American Medical Women’s Association), Dima consults with Docpreneurs to help them with their innovations. Together they work on creative approaches for people in underserved zip codes who need better access to healthcare and treatment.
Dima was moved to take action after several doctors privately shared concerns for their own welfare while treating COVID positive patients without the proper protection.
Concerned for the health and well-being of her colleagues, the first question Dima asks herself is:
“How can trusted caregivers possibly treat and protect their patients properly while continuing to feel distraught and anxious about the lack of protection available?”
While brainstorming potential options to protect the healthcare community, the entrepreneur in Dima kicked into gear. That’s when she began reaching out to her network.
Numerous connections and long-standing relationships with trusted, talented friends and colleagues led to Dima assembling an amazing team. She brought the challenge to VisMed-3D CTO, Daniel James. The co-creators envisioned a scalable, affordable solution in the area of PPE, Personal Protective Equipment.
When you face a crisis, the strength of your network and relationships can make the difference between complacency and courage. -Dima Elissa
Instead of a face mask, the team focused on a FaceShield. This is a more viable, quick production product that doesn’t need FDA approval. They discovered a scalable way to manufacture and distribute FaceShields quickly in high volumes (a critical requirement).
Dima was invited to join Mass General Brigham Center for Innovation (see covidinnovation.partners.org) a slack working group with the brain trust from MIT, Harvard and other institutions focused on designing the best PPE in various categories. Dima was able to learn from doctors in the field, their requirements for a perfect FaceShield.
As Dima and the team worked through multiple options, they asked themselves a question that starting with the end in mind:
“How quickly can we produce and distribute hundreds of thousands or millions of FaceShields to places where outbreaks were taking place?”
This question helped everyone focus on creating a solution–every essential worker knows they are protected against this virus every day they come to work. They are able to do their job with confidence, comfort and peace of mind.
Their next step was imagining what the experience would be like in the workplace and for customers. Also, designing an affordable, scalable solution made it possible to place into the hands of more vulnerable at-risk populations often excluded from resources to improve their education, health and welfare.
Dima and her team began designing different types of FaceShields to protect the health of every essential worker while on the job. Their list of essential workers covered nearly every job type imaginable.
#NoOther Option -Dima Elissa
The team’s impassioned vision led them to design and develop the VisMed3D DEFENDER FaceShield.
This FaceShield eco-friendly economical face shield protects the eyes and face from splashes, the FaceShield can be produced in quantity, quickly, using relatively readily available materials. It is easy to assemble, and protects any essential worker who works as an on-site and would benefit from more coverage than a mask may provide.
Any facility, delivery employee, or anyone who wants more coverage than just a face mask provides, would benefit by wearing this face shield.
In keeping with her and her team’s “pay it forward” persona, a portion of sales is being used to donate shields to communities or institutions in need.
Partnerships and Relationships are Key to finding a way forward out of this pandemic.
Dima Elissa always championed equity and equality across all communities:
“We believe we have done our part, creating the VisMed-3D Defender FaceShield. It can meet the needs of large populations, creates a bond of trust and confidence in the workforce, and in disadvantaged communities. We turned to partners like Jim Wicklander of DePaul Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Board, Dorri McWhorter, CEO MetroChicago YWCA, Garry Cooper PhD, CEO and Founder at Rheaply, Jacob Drucker, CEO at Supply Clinic, Abigail Ingram, Director of the Depaul Women in Entrepreneurship Institute, Kristi Dula, Deputy Director Director at DCEO IL to help us spread the word and get the #DefenderFaceShield Out.
Help us help you and your circles gain peace of mind as we climb out of this crisis together. “
To learn more about VisMed-3D DEFENDER visit one of their online retailers to place an order. https://bit.ly/2ztrYzJ.