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news News Friday, May 1, 2020 Thursday, April 30, 2020 7:50 PM - Thursday, April 30, 2020 7:50 PM

World-class fountain designer pivots to face shields, donates to Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital

World-class fountain designer pivots to face shields, donates to Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital

In early March when the staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City reacted to the quickly changing climate of the fast-spreading COVID-19 virus, one of the first needs they assessed was the hospital’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supply.

Chief of Staff Kristen L. Carroll, M.D., was impressed when Jamie Zeluff, RN, a nurse in the postanesthesia care unit, listened carefully to the hospital’s needs during these early discussions. “When she noted that we needed face shields to protect our masks and our eyes from droplet transmission,” said Dr. Carroll, “she pulled me aside and said, ‘my brother makes face shields.’ This was an incredible understatement!”

Jamie’s brother is Mark Fuller, the CEO of WET Design. This specialty company is internationally renowned for their innovative designs in the water fountain space. In fact, WET Design created the famous Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas, a tourist favorite.  

When the impact of the coronavirus hit, Mark Fuller had to face the reality that many of his employees would have no work to do for the coming months. He thought a good solution would be to make PPE for the medical field. WET Design has a 75-ton injection molding press with incredible versatile production capability due to the nature of having to make customizable parts for their fountains. It wasn’t a far stretch to pivot in the wake of the current climate and have the press start making face shields. “Those machines can make anything,” said Jamie. Referring to her brother, she continued, “It’s just a matter of his genius brain coming up with how to do it.”

Fuller worked with an epidemiologist when developing the design, which allows for easy ventilation at the forehead, preventing fogging up of the shield. Most notably, and what sold Dr. Carroll on the design, was the absence of foam which is typical for single-use face shields. Having no foam prevents bacteria from thriving and allows for easy washing and re-use of the shield.

WET Design, based in Los Angeles, is producing 24,000 face shields a day, selling them all over the nation for $8 apiece. Fuller was happy to donate face shields to the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital when his sister reached out with the request for 250 masks, a value of $2,000. Dr. Carroll was pleased at the quality of the masks when she saw them.

“They are beautifully made,” said Dr. Carroll. “No fog, no foam around the head that can be contaminated. Really great, re-useable face shields.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City is still accepting PPE donations. Cloth face coverings are the most needed items. Please call or email Nancy Wiscomb, 801-536-3632 to coordinate a delivery of home-made cloth face coverings.

Staff members wearing face shields