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Darla Moore International Business Professor Develops PPE Innovation

 width=In these uncertain times, it has become even more important to support one another in a collaborative effort to fight COVID-19. As a network ourselves, we enjoy connecting members in our purpose-driven philosophies, but we enjoy it even more when we see evidence of our members creating their own support network. This is exactly what Darla Moore has done in rising to the call of the needs within their local community.

As in many states across the US, South Carolina continues to battle COVID-19 and the critical lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to first responders. As we all know, without necessary PPE, our first responders cannot safely provide care to those suffering from the disease. A group of private citizens, led by Darla Moore’s international business professor, Chris Yenkey, developed and tested a new solution capable of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). The inexpensive device expertly cleans and sanitizes PPE for reuse without significant damage of N95 masks exposed to repeated UVGI. The innovation resembles a small cabinet and is outfitted with lights capable of producing the necessary UV-C radiation. After the masks are exposed to the light for a period of a few minutes, they are considered clean and can be sent back to the workers.

Currently, the device is being piloted by the Columbia-Richland Fire Department and has provided significant support in the shortage of PPE. This story is one of many significant highlights of business schools, their faculty, administrators, and students thinking outside the box in order to provide assistance in a time when we need it most. GBSN is proud to support the efforts of all our members as we come together and understand that it is okay to stray from the norm when the call to action arises.