Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan Announces Community PPE Production Effort Has Produced Over 30,000 Face Shields for Hospitals, Nursing Homes, And Local Governments

Head of New York State Association of Counties Calls Community PPE Production Initiative Largest in the State 

Face Shield Project That Started Mid-March at SUNY New Paltz Supplied Hospitals and First Responders in New York City and Across the State 

With Partnership of Ulster County’s Project Resilience, IBM and Dutchess County, Project Successfully Shifted from Network of 3D Printers to Full Factory Production of Tens of Thousands of Units 

KINGSTON, N.Y. – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan today announced that over 30,000 face shields have been produced for hospital workers, local police departments, and nursing homes throughout New York and Connecticut. Nearly eight weeks into the program, what started as a small production effort now produces thousands of pieces of PPE and is believed to be the largest community PPE production initiative in New York State and possibly the nation. 

The face shield project, started in mid-March by SUNY New Paltz Science and Engineering Dean Daniel Freedman, Director of the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center, and County Executive Pat Ryan. The project received financial support from the Novo Foundation and Central Hudson and initially established a production network of 3D printers in high schools, colleges and universities throughout the Hudson Valley and Capital Region. IBM stepped up soon after and contributed materials and design expertise, and by mid-April, USHECO Custom Plastic Manufacturing in Rosendale and IBM produced specialized molds and machinery to enable factory production of thousands of the face shields per day.

The face shields, designed to protect users from contagious airborne particles, have been used at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, Mt. Sinai Beth Israel hospital in New York City, Yale University Medical Center, Albany Medical Center, HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston and Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, to name a few.

“In a matter of weeks, we went from a frightening shortage of PPE masks to a successful large-scale local mass production capability by using strong community partnerships and ingenuity,” said County Executive Pat Ryan. “From our face shields program, delivering over 100,000 meals through Project Resilience, and standing up our own COVID-19 testing locations, Ulster County has continued to find creative solutions to help serve and protect our community.”

 “With IBM’s help and our partnership with Ulster County, and many other companies, schools, and libraries in the region, we have what is likely the most impressive community PPE response in the state if not the entire country,” said Director of the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center Dan Freedman, who is also an advisory board member for Stratasys, the world’s largest manufacturer of 3D printers. “The work we have done has shown what can happen when we all work together towards a collective goal. I have no doubt that this effort has saved lives and kept our first responders safe.”

“When the nation’s PPE supply chain was crumbling, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan put out a call to action in his community. The response to this call to action was an impressive public-private partnership that resulted in the largest community production of PPE in the state, and maybe the nation,” said New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “This face shield project is another example of how New York Counties are leading with the most critical local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. It shows how our front-line counties are improvising in ways that are saving lives and serving our communities in ways never before conceived.”

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro partnered with Ryan to support the factory production of the face shields enabling both counties to distribute them to health care workers, first responders, community groups and various facilities.

“We thank the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz for producing a record number of face shields and sharing its designs, making these vital protections more accessible to those who need them,” said Dutchess County Executive Molinaro. “Dutchess County is proud to have partnered with Ulster County to purchase thousands of face shields from fabricators in the region, including SUNY New Paltz, supporting perhaps one of the largest productions of personal protective equipment in the state, if not the nation. Dutchess County has already distributed 11,000 face shields to front-line workers who are battling Coronavirus and saving lives each day.”

A sampling of some of the facilities using the face shields produced through this effort:

  • SUNY Upstate Medical Center
  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel
  • SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • Danbury Hospital
  • Ellenville Hospital
  • Woodland Pond Senior Care
  • Columbia Memorial Hospital
  • Albany Medical Center
  • Cornerstone/Orange Regional Medical Center
  • HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley
  • Nuvance / Vassar Brothers Medical Center
  • CP Unlimited
  • Cortland Hospital
  • Brett Lox/Woodstock Respiratory Therapist 
  • NP Health Center
  • Sharon Health Center
  • ORMC Lab 
  • Glen Arden HCC
  • St. Lukes Cornwall
  • Dutchess Country
  • Putnam Hospital Center
  • SUNY New Paltz
  • Town of New Paltz Police Department
  • Town of Crawford Police Department 
  • ORMC
  • Diaz Ambulance
  • North Central Bronx hospital
  • Putnam Ridge Rehab
  • Catskill Regional Medical Center
  • New Windsor EMT
  • Phelps ER
  • Emergency Community Assistance Center in Monticello
  • Phoenix Rehab Center
  • Somers Rehab and Nursing Center
  • Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum
  • IMA Group (Gerry Setaro)
  • Villa Veritas
  • Lutheran Care Center, Poughkeepsie


Photo: County Executive Ryan and SUNY New Paltz Science and Engineering Dean Daniel Freedman, Director of the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center, tour Usheko in Rosendale, N.Y.