Google Gives 49K Shields To Valley Medical Center Foundation

Google is responding to the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers, tapping into its global supply chain to donate 49,000 face shields to the Valley Medical Center Foundation in San Jose.

The face shields will be used at medical centers throughout Silicon Valley.

The Google donation is substantial at a time when raw plastic material to make face shields is in short supply.

Valley Medical Center Foundation CEO Chris Wilder told KCBS Radio the tech company not only secured the materials, but went the extra mile in designing and manufacturing the face shields before donating them.

"In this case it was the plastic and Google was able to tap into their substantial supply chains to ensure they had enough of the plastic material that we needed to build these face shields," Wilder said. "The unique thing is they partnered with our physician leaders to ensure that the face shields that they made would meet our needs."

A box of face shields secured, designed and donated by Google to the Valley Medical Center Foundation.
Briana Gallo/PRxDigital

Staff at the foundation continues to collect PPE as part of the nationwide rush to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Wilder said if and when they have enough, extra materials will be shared with other area hospitals.

"I’m optimistic personally as I see not only our hospital not being full but also I’m seeing the generosity all around us," Wilder said. "It really makes me feel good in a time of emergency and crisis."

Wilder said many tech companies and members of the Valley Medical Center Foundation have helped by getting into supply chains. Items like PPE, hair and shoe coverings, surgical and N-95 masks, ventilators and money have all been donated to allow the foundation to pivot and focus on the supplies they need.

"The money is extremely important, by the way, so that we can pivot and buy things as they become available," Wilder said.

The device is made of clear plastic, foam and elastic, and is intended to shield the face from liquid spray and droplets.

Distribution of the new face shields will be coordinated by the County of Santa Clara Emergency Operations Center.