BHSU creates airborne isolation shield for Monument Health

Jeff Olstad, carpenter at Black Hills State University, created and designed an airborne isolation shield for Monument Health caregivers. (Photo courtesy of Black Hills State University)

SPEARFISH, S.D. (KOTA TV) -- Monument Health requested assistance to create an airborne isolation shield in response to COVID-19 and Black Hills State University has created it! The shield is available for use in the Emergency Department at Monument Health Spearfish Hospital to protect caregivers.

"COVID-19 and other contagious diseases are a big concern, especially in hospital Emergency Departments," said Brian Williamson, RN, BSN, Manager of Emergency Services at Monument Health Spearfish Hospital. "This airborne isolation shield offers us a much-needed level of personal protection while performing procedures such as intubation. It helps contain the virus and keep it from becoming airborne and infecting our care team.”

Monument Health initially reached out to BHSU to build the shield with the university’s 3D printer. Jeff Olstad, carpenter at BHSU, took on the project and created and designed the shield based on Monument Health’s specific needs. After receiving the completed product in April, Monument Health added gloves and set up a HEPA negative pressure system for the shield.

BHSU works with Monument Health to provide Student Health Services on campus and utilizes Monument Health’s expertise in athletic training. Healthcare providers also participate in Scrubs Camp at BHSU each spring for aspiring healthcare professionals.

Recent BHSU graduates work throughout the Monument Health system, in both patient care and administration. The BHSU associates degree in applied health sciences fulfills all pre-nursing requirements and is offered at BHSU in Spearfish and in Rapid City.

“We value the relationship we have with Monument Health and greatly appreciate their care of our community. We look forward to continuing our work together to prepare students for the growing need for healthcare professionals. If there is something we at BHSU can do to help our community caregivers, we are glad to do it,” said BHSU President Laurie Nichols.