The worst situations can bring out the best in the people who are impacted by them. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are worldwide shortages of supplies, including personal protective equipment, and companies are stepping up to ensure that this supply does not run out.
One of those companies is Little Rock-based Lexicon Fabricators and Constructors. At the onset of the pandemic, it became clear of the need for personal protective equipment, and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce reached out to Lexicon to begin manufacturing equipment. The company leapt at the opportunity, Lexicon president and CEO Patrick Schueck said.
According to Little Rock Chamber CEO Jay Chessir, Lexicon was an obvious choice to partner with on the project, having proven themselves as innovative and able to quickly scale projects in need.
“Lexicon is a proven innovator and strong partner to the Little Rock community,” Chessir said in a statement. “When we needed to scale production of face shields before the peak of COVID-19 in Arkansas, Lexicon immediately went to work.”
Lexicon has created a new aluminum bracket for face shields, which are being provided at no cost to healthcare workers in central Arkansas hospitals. These shields are designed to extend the life expectancy of other personal protective equipment in use by healthcare workers.
“Every day, we meet that commitment with the help of our hardworking and skilled team. We knew we could make a part more durable than the plastic brackets that typically come with the protective face shields,” Schueck said. “Within minutes, Robert Johnson, our vice president of preconstruction, had developed an aluminum prototype.”
The shortage of personal protective equipment struck a chord with Schueck, and he took it as a challenge to create an improved product to help protect frontline healthcare workers.
“A few weeks ago, I watched an interview by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, where he lamented the shortage of medical supplies by saying, ‘Don’t we make anything in America anymore?’ I took this personally. I strongly believe we can build anything in this country. And we can build it better, more efficiently, safer and at a fair price—if we have an even playing field,” he said.
“In these unprecedented times, businesses must be more diligent than ever about keeping their employees safe. But it’s been a slow and often frustrating process to get the necessary equipment and supplies to do that. No industry has felt this more acutely than health care. That’s why it’s critical we provide our hospitals with the safe, durable and effective equipment they need—before Arkansas hits its expected COVID-19 peak.”
Schueck said that the company expects to manufacture 4,000 brackets for Arkansas hospitals. Afterwards, Lexicon is planning to make the parts and template for the bracket available to others in Arkansas and throughout the United States who are facing personal protective equipment shortages.
Image courtesy of Lexicon Fabricators and Constructors