**** NSHA Media Release
MacKenzie Atlantic to produce more than one million face shields for NSHA, IWK
MacKenzie Atlantic of Musquodoboit Harbour will produce one million face shields for use by Nova Scotia Health Authority staff and physicians. The company has an additional contract to produce 100,000 shields for the IWK Health Centre.
Face shields are a key piece of the equipment required to protect staff working in environments where patients with possible or confirmed COVID-19 or certain other infectious disease are present.
An initial delivery of shields is expected next week, with production expected to escalate to 70,000 shields per week.
“When we realized we could put our manufacturing experience and supply chain contacts to good use to supply one of the items in critical demand, we knew we had to help,” said Carmen MacKenzie, co-owner of MacKenzie Atlantic. “In less than three weeks, our team designed a basic prototype, sourced and secured raw material, designed a socially distanced assembly line, built jigs, fixtures and tools for 37 temporary work stations, lined up partnerships with amazing local suppliers, secured a school for our assembly area, and recruited and trained over a dozen staff to start production.”
As a supplier to the defense sector, MacKenzie Atlantic has taken on this initiative on top of the work their 26 full-time staff continue to carry out for their ongoing defense customers.
“It’s a monumental effort,” said MacKenzie, “but helping to protect the frontlines is the most important thing we could be doing right now.”
NSHA’s response to the COVID-19 will result in a higher demand for face shields and other personal protective equipment compared to regular operations, but this new contract with MacKenzie Atlantic will help ensure we have a stable supply of face shields to last through the pandemic, said Dr. Alex Mitchell, medical lead for the provincial Personal Protective Equipment Working Group.
“We’re grateful to manufacturers like MacKenzie Atlantic for stepping up to meet the needs of our health care staff in an unprecedented time,” he said. “Given worldwide competition to acquire personal protective equipment and the supply chain disruptions that have come with the pandemic, having a home-grown supplier gives us additional confidence staff will have the right gear at the right times.”
Prototypes of the MacKenzie face shield have been approved by NSHA clinical staff, and NSHA’s infection prevention and control team will provide advice on the manufacturing configuration and standards to keep MacKenzie staff involved in producing the shields as safe as possible.
The contract runs to the end of August. NSHA has an additional face shield contract with BBI Group of New Brunswick.