Local furniture makers, GoodWood to make face shields for New Orleans healthcare workers.

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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- A furniture company is carving into a new market. The market of making face shields for doctors and nurses on the front lines.

You might be wondering, how does a furniture company get into the business of making medical products? Well, when orders stopped coming in because of the rise of the coronavirus, GoodWood jumped into action.

“Throughout the world there is a shortage of personal protective equipment,” shared Dr. Korak Sarkar, Ochsner Neurologist. 

Before the coronavirus pandemic, employees at GoodWood would normally be busy at their work stations sawing wood and sanding but, the tools are sitting still on the shelves for now while all of the action is happening at a new work bench.

“Innovation Ochsner and Ochsner Health systems were looking for a partner to help scale up these prototypes that were being engineered downtown,” explained Michael Dalle-Molle, Co-owner and Director.

As the cases of Coronavirus skyrocketed in New Orleans, Scale Workspace and its tenants Entrescan and Robert Forbes 3D responded by pivoting their production to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE), with a heavy focus on full face shields.

Within only four days, the team had produced a functioning design and delivered face shield prototypes to Ochsner Health for testing. Due to a large demand for the face shields, GoodWood Nola and OPA Signs and Graphics came on to accelerate the manufacturing of our design. 

The face shield features a clear shield that is then attached to a frame. The shield and frame are cut on a laser cutter and are then sanitized and assembled for use.  

“So, my team is currently putting together face shields for the Ochsner health system,” said Jordan Rose, Co Owner of GoodWood.

Now, they’re making tens of thousands of face shields that will go to Ochsner Hospitals and medical centers.

“What we do is quality control the frames to make sure there are no sharp edges,” Rose showed us. “And, that they are totally clean and ready to go. We also do the same thing for the shield material. These patients are coughing and sneezing. Their sick right. So having this really large peripheral view shield over your face keeps any of that stuff from getting on to your face.”

From piecing together the shields to packing them up and sending them off. This team is going more than just providing materials.

“Another commodity that is of short supply is the moral and Hope. And this is literally delivering hope to our front line staff,” said Dr. Sarkar.

Trying to keep their employee on the payroll, GoodWood is also keeping their local sources in business too, like OPA, who is in charge of cutting critical parts of the shields.

“It’s not that different from our day to day. It’s just the use of the product itself that differs a little bit from what we do all the time,” Dalle-Molle told us.

“We’re here. We are engaging all of our community partners that we have. We are keeping our people busy. We’re buying materials from local vendors and we are making a product that is going to save lives,” shared Rose.

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