1 million face shields and counting: The team making it possible

May 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has called on all of us to support frontline healthcare workers in any way we can. Teams across Boston Scientific are collaborating with hospitals, universities and industry peers to find new and innovative ways to address the urgent demands.

Through a swift undertaking named Project Shield, Boston Scientific employees assembled and donated 1 million face shields for healthcare providers in just over one month.

It all started when Alissa Brandon, a research and development (R&D) project manager with the company’s Urology business, saw people in her local community assembling face shields out of their homes. Although Boston Scientific is not in the business of making personal protective equipment (PPE), she was determined to find a way to mobilize the company’s global R&D and manufacturing capabilities to help address shortages of PPE on a more significant scale. She pitched the idea to a network of colleagues—including the global Young Professionals Network, which she chairs. Within a day, Project Shield was underway.

“This is one of many examples of what can be accomplished when a team with a lot of heart and know-how comes together to collaborate,” expressed Alissa. “There are countless inspiring projects underway across communities and local organizations, and it’s been fantastic for Boston Scientific employees to be able to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts in our own way.”

Alissa and the team put together a product development process – which normally takes many months – in just over a week. Efforts included recruiting employee volunteers, site approval, developing project tracking plans and releasing standardized graphic operator instructions and labels.

The Boston Scientific team connected with nonprofit GetUsPPE, a grassroots organization working to deliver the critical protective equipment. Based on a GetUsPPE online survey of nearly 700 U.S. based medical staff workers, 36% of respondents reported having no remaining supply of face shields.

Since beginning production in early April, Project Shield expanded operations to include twelve Boston Scientific sites, with more than 400 employees from around the globe contributing their time and expertise.

In Alissa’s words, “So many people stepped up to contribute and help scale this project to where it is today. I am grateful for our caring team who demonstrated heroic hustle.”

Boston Scientific Face Shield Distribution (thousands)