Nike is converting popular sneakers into face shields for health care workers

(PORTLAND, Ore.) — In addition to donating millions of dollars to coronavirus relief, Nike is now also turning efforts towards creating personal protective equipment for health care workers.

On Tuesday, the athletic apparel brand announced that its innovation, manufacturing and product teams are collaborating to start creating full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect against COVID-19.

Working alongside health professionals at Oregon Health & Science University, Nike is finding a way to reproduce face shields using Nike-owned materials at the brand’s manufacturing facilities.

“Without proper facial protection, healthcare workers are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, which could place substantial strain on the healthcare workforce in the months ahead,” Dr. Miko Enomoto, associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at OHSU School of Medicine, said in a statement on Nike’s website. “The full-face shields help protect healthcare workers’ faces and also help to prolong the length we can safely use a surgical or N95 mask.”

Produced through a nine-step process, Nike’s full-face shield includes three parts manufactured from elements of the brand’s popular footwear. “Collar padding once destined for shoes is repurposed; cords originally earmarked for apparel reconsidered; and, most important, the TPU component of a Nike signature — the Nike Air soles — reimagined,” the brand wrote in the statement.

The first shipment of full-face shields and PAPR lenses went to OHSU on April 3 and will be provided to health systems in Nike’s World Headquarters region, including Providence, Legacy Health Systems and Kaiser Permanente, and others across the state of Oregon, the company said.

“OHSU’s mission is to support the health and well-being of all Oregonians, and we can’t do that without adequate supplies of personal protective equipment,” Dr. Danny Jacobs, president of Oregon Health & Science University, said in the Nike statement. “I’ve been so inspired by how our community has united to meet this health crisis. We are forever grateful to the commitment of our colleagues at Nike, as their dedication to our united effort will help save lives.”

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