Employee Life

Employee engineers protective gear for health workers

Susan Simpson
Employee Andrew Hayek is making face shields for his wife, Dr. Sarah Hayek, and other medical workers with 3-D printers procured by Williams. The printers will later be donated to schools.

When Williams engineer Andrew Hayek received a 3-D printer at Christmas, he planned to make toys for his toddler daughter.

Three months later, he’s using that printer and more purchased by Williams to make face shields for his wife, a surgical resident, and her health care colleagues.

Andrew’s wife Sarah works at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. She said the additional shields are providing peace of mind to medical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What we have in supply now and a week from now could quickly change so this is relieving some of that anxiety,” she said. “It means so much to the people working on the front lines to have support from their communities like this.”

Andrew is making the plastic framing for the shields and hospital staff and volunteers are attaching sheets of disposable plastic sheeting, some of which was donated by area schools.

Dr. Sarah Hayek models a 3-D printed face shield created by her husband Andrew Hayek, a Willliams employee.

Andrew said each frame takes about 2.5 hours to create on a 3-D printer. But with the additional printers, he’s able to make about 50 each day.

“When the hospital asked if I could make more, I said, why not? I’m not the one there doing this life-saving work, but I can help the people who are,” he said.

Dr. Mo Shabahang, chair of the Geisinger Surgery Institute, thanked Andrew for his efforts.

“The shield helps them do their job feeling secure that if anything splashes, this shield will protect them. This also shows our employees that we care about their safety.”

Once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, the printers procured by Williams will be donated to local schools to help students learn 3-D printing.