HARRISBURG — Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin recently highlighted the efforts of Actuated Medical, a manufacturer in Bellefonte, Centre County that developed face shields in response to the state’s critical need for personal protective equipment through DCED’s Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal, which mobilized manufacturers producing COVID-19-related products and supplies or could pivot to producing COVID-19-related supplies. As of the end of July 2020, the MCAP received 2,118 submissions for face shield production.
“Earlier this year we received guidance regarding the effectiveness of PPE for mitigating the spread of the coronavirus, so ensuring that these products were available and accessible inspired the development of DCED’s portals,” said Sec. Davin. “We knew that businesses in our commonwealth were ready to immediately respond in supporting healthcare, frontline, and essential workers. Actuated Medical’s quick pivot in production to face shields exemplifies the strength of Pennsylvania’s business community. By organizing donation options and hiring new employees to respond to ramped-up production needs, Actuated Medical has touched the lives of not only our commonwealth’s communities, but the country as a whole.”
Actuated Medical designs and develops next-generation, FDA-compliant medical devices. In March 2020, the company pivoted to support clinicians’ needs for additional PPE amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With four models available, Actuated Medical’s face shields are designed for multiple uses, allowing essential workers to disinfect and reuse.
“The pivot to making face shields was important not only for combatting the coronavirus, but for keeping our team employed and providing affordable, high quality PPE,” said Maureen L. Mulvihill, Ph.D., President & CEO of Actuated Medical. “We’re proud to manufacture our face shields right here in Pennsylvania with US-sourced materials and have been able to expand our products to include hard hat face shields, kid-sized face shields, and football helmet shields.”
In addition to pivoting operations this spring to respond to the commonwealth’s need for PPE, Actuated Medical organized a donation campaign to ensure smaller organizations like nursing homes, volunteer fire departments, and grocery stores, that may not have had immediate or priority access to PPE like hospitals, had a resource for these products. With many of their consumers interested in donating to organizations in addition to their own purchases, Actuated Medical set up an option in their online store for donations. At the end of April, about 50 percent of the company’s face shield sales were donated.
Additionally, the company was able to hire new staff, many who had been displaced due to business mitigation efforts earlier this year, to keep up with the production demand.
The MCAP was developed through a joint effort between DCED, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, IRC Network, Life Sciences PA, Pennsylvania Life Sciences Greenhouses, and the PA Chamber of Business and Industry. The portal helps facilitate business connections for expansion of supply chain capacity and manufacturing innovation. The goal is to match manufacturers and distributors to fill specific supply chain needs to meet increasing demands for medical supplies and related products, assist manufacturers that have workforce needs or gaps and aid them in identifying skilled workers, and identify manufacturers that can pivot or innovate to fulfill the demand for medical supplies and related products.