How various members of the Fung Institute community take initiative to support COVID-19 responseAs the COVID-19 has grown to become a pandemic affecting different parts of the community, Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership students, staff, and faculty have taken action to support local businesses, residents, healthcare practitioners, and hospitals. These initiatives have mobilized students, faculty, and professionals, exemplifying human resilience and solidarity in these times. Here, we highlight these members of our community, and what actions they’ve taken to make an impact.
Highlighting: Honors Fung Fellows Shirley Jiang, Yoyo Ko, Romina Mazooji, and Josie LeeOriginally, this team of Honors Fellows partnered with Elder Care Alliance (ECA) to ideate adaptive clothing for older adults. However, their project partner recognized more pressing concerns in senior care with the growing COVID-19 circumstances. On March 12, the team’s industry advisor, Rosemary Jordan, Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at ECA reached out with a new call to action initiative:
“How might we construct enough in-house supply to care for 600 residents across six locations?”Tasked to support emergency supply needs for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), they quickly transitioned to develop design documents for various PPE, including masks, shields, and clothing covers. Considering growing resource insecurity from high demands in health equipment, the team compiled a guide with different design methods using more accessible resources. Their mask design utilizes High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters typically found in vacuums, while their shield pattern is available to fabricate on 3D printers. They offer instructional guides to create gown and shoe covers using cotton and polyester fabrics along with supplemental videos on sanitization and proper wear. These efforts will go towards better supplying ECA’s personal care workers to continue their work amidst stricter health protocols.
Shield the Bay
Highlighting: Jaspal Sandhu, Fung Fellowship Faculty LeadIn collaboration with Bay Area designers, additive manufacturers (3D printers), researchers, and health care providers, Jaspal Sandhu, Faculty Lead of the Fung Fellowship, has been fabricating and distributing PPE to partners in health care. Distinct from other PPE efforts, Shield the Bay prioritizes resource distribution to public and under-served institutions. Additionally to focusing on distribution equity, this project has developed face shields with reusable visors and easily replaceable, cost-effective plastic shields, at roughly $2 per unit. Working closely with the heads of infection control, system logistics, and first-line responders at emergency response systems and Bay Area county hospitals such as Alameda Health System, their PPE incorporates feedback from healthcare providers to meet necessary standards. Currently, they have donated to Highland Hospital in Oakland and are moving towards scaling their efforts to other confirmed partners in need.
SF Food Friends
Highlighting: MEng and MTM students Nitasha Goyal (MTM ’20) and Marcel Schaack, MEng ’20 (BIOE)Back in March, during the uncertainty of school proceedings, Marcel, a Bioengineering MEng student, and Nitasha, a Master in Translational Medicine (MTM) student, along with two other Master’s students, Marie and Oluwatoni, launched a platform called SF Food Friends. Recognizing a need to support grocery errands for symptomatic or at-risk individuals, the four developed an accessible platform that matches vulnerable people with low-risk individuals to fulfill grocery errands, prescription needs, and meal deliveries.
“What further motivated me, more than just I want to help people right now, is just in general like that’s kind of what I chose to study engineering for. To help people using my skill set and solve challenges that communities are facing.” — Oluwatoni Adetayo to the Daily CalUnderstanding a need for communal support and compassion, they seek to empower impacted communities while reducing the spread of transmission. Their platform has grown to mobilize different members of the community from volunteers to grocery markets to social good organizations. Since starting their project, they’ve partnered with Grocery Outlet, Oakland at Risk, Berkeley Mutual Aid, and SF Meals on Wheels. More recently, they’ve joined forces with SF Community Support in an effort to elevate existing support efforts.
Highlighting: Wayne Delker, former Fung Institute Executive DirectorFormer Executive Director of the Fung Institute, Wayne Delker, is currently working in organizing the efforts of VentilatorSOS. The project is dedicated to supporting health care providers with modified consumer sleep apnea machines, reserving the limited count of ventilators to the most serious cases. This would open up the available capacity of hospital’s ventilators by 30–50%, as there are currently about 10 million Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAPs) and Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAPs) machines from consumer homes that can be quickly repurposed. With a projected worldwide shortage of 500,000 to 1 million ventilators, this project would massively reduce human tragedy. The initial idea of VentilatorSOS came from Bryan Martel, a sleep apnea device owner. After watching Governor Cuomo discuss ventilator shortages in New York, he wondered if donated sleep apnea machines could act as ventilators. After contacting Dr. Tsu-Jae King Liu, Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, for support, a team was formed to bring Bryan’s idea into fruition. So far, the team has procured over 2,500 donated machines, and with the new design plan from Grace O’Connell’s lab , each unit can be repurposed with under $150, a significant price drop from the $10,000 to $15,000 for a comparable hospital unit. Moreover, the team has partnered with Salesforce and Apogee to bring in more donated machines and to deliver the refurbished units, as far reaching as Ecuador, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Navajo Nation. Continuing to grow project efforts, the team works towards scaling their initiative even further. Recognizing the challenge of long-distance transportation and insufficient medical parts in some areas of the world, the team ambitiously hopes to secure a major partner like USAID or WHO to extend the scope of the project to possibly Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
“This has been an incredibly rewarding partnership between the University, business, government and non-profit organizations. We are all volunteers, and everyone we talk to wants to help solve this problem. It has been gratifying to see in these tough times people unite around a common objective of saving lives around the world.” — Wayne DelkerLearn more and support: Project Adapt at tinyurl.com/adaptgowns SF Food Friends at www.sfcommunitysupport.org Shield the Bay at www.gofundme.com/f/shield-the-bay VentilatorSOS at www.ventilatorsos.com // Written by Lyndsay Song // Edited by Lauren Leung and Ashley Villanueva
Fung Institute responds to COVID-19 was originally published in Berkeley Master of Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.