NPS student helps local healthcare workers

Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) student Navy Ens. Jacob Teepen is doing his part to help vital healthcare workers by making and donating 100 face shields, hoping to provide some backup and additional protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teepen is avid additive manufacturing enthusiast, and used his personal 3D printer to create the head band of the face shields, which he connected to clear overhead plastic protectors, before donating them to a handful of small healthcare facilities in Santa Cruz County.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an international effort,” said Teepen. “It takes every person’s effort of social distancing and practicing good hygiene to stop the spread.

“I recognized that my possession of a 3D printer is a unique characteristic that affords me the ability to contribute more to the effort,” he added.

The face shields are designed to help healthcare professionals, whose work requires them to interact with sick patients, by adding another layer of protection for everyone involved.

“Making and distributing these face shields gives me the confidence that my efforts are not only helping end this pandemic but protecting others vital to this nation in the process,” said Teepen.

Although Teepen is out of plastic for face shields, he is already looking at other ways he can help support the fight. He’s currently reaching out to UC Santa Cruz to see if there is any way to volunteer his time to the development of COVID-19 test kits for use in Santa Cruz County.