Dear Colleagues at Penn State Health:
As Thomas Paine wrote in 1776, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” You are on the front lines of a battle that can only be won through your expertise, commitment and courage. We are grateful to each and every one of you for your incredible service to our community. Thank you.
I recognize that each day is more challenging than the previous one, and we are working to ensure that you have the equipment and supplies you need to safely do your job. The community is behind you. Penn State faculty and staff have rapidly transitioned their efforts to studying the coronavirus in our research labs. We also have 100+ people across Penn State investigating 3D printing and manufacturing of masks, face shields, and ventilators parts while also looking into sterilization methods for new and reused items that medical professionals need. These people are working closely with Penn State Health, as well as local companies that are willing to help, and we are monitoring FDA guidelines as they change.
Our alumni and friends are also helping where possible. For example, Penn State’s longtime benefactors Gene and Roz Chaiken and their son Warren, are using their company’s extensive distribution network ship ventilators to state agencies and hospitals throughout the nation. In addition, the Shanghai Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association is collecting masks to send to the United States in this time of critical need.
We know you need additional help, and we are leveraging the talents of Penn Staters everywhere as we abide by the shelter-in-place orders to do what we can to flatten the curve. Your health and well-being are our top priority, and we will continue to closely work with the leaders at Penn State Health on your behalf.
Again, thank you for your dedication in this difficult time. You bring honor to the medical profession and to Penn State. We wish you and your families are very best.
Eric J. Barron
The Pennsylvania State University