It's More Than Just Research, It's Relationships - LECOM

It’s More Than Just Research, It’s Relationships

Friday, 27 March 2020

By Mary Crowe, first-year Orthopedic Surgery Resident (Millcreek Community Hospital), LECOM Class of 2019

When I reached out to Dr. Piovesan at Gannon University’s School of Biomedical Engineering last year as a medical student, it was to collaborate on building 3-D printed osteoporotic bone models.  Together we have worked on that, and many other studies.  We never imagined that a year from then we would be facing a global pandemic threatening the health of our nation, it’s citizens, it’s healthcare workers, and it’s hospitals. As we have been ramping up as medicine providers our preparations for a potential landfall of this pandemic on our front steps, it has been difficult for all of us in medicine not to feel alone.

Dr. Piovesan sent me an email Monday:  “How can I help you Mary?  What can we do?  Can I 3D – print you face shields? Would that help you?”  With just our clinical input on mask design,  within three days their team put a 3D printed face shield in my hand.

Our greatest PPE shortage at Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH) is face shields.  Dr. Anand Popuri, our pulmonary and critical care physician at MCH, now has that face shield prototype and with his  approval, Dr. Piovesan and his team will start round the clock production to make sure our healthcare providers have the greatest chance of winning this war.

I can’t even begin to put into words what this simple act of unity and solidarity means to me as a physician, as a member of academia and as an American. Without the continued encouragement from LECOM to be involved in research, I would never have pursued doing research.  And without research there would have been no relationship.