SWEPCO distributes face shields to Shreveport hospitals

 SHREVEPORT, La., May 19, 2020 – Frontline medical workers at two Shreveport hospitals have additional protective face shields thanks to a technology innovation team at Southwestern Electric Power Company’s parent company, American Electric Power. (NYSE: AEP).

In late March, the group began to produce transparent protective face shields using 3-D printers. SWEPCO recently distributed 600 of the protective shields to area hospitals, including:

  • CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center in Shreveport, La.
  • Emerging Viral Threat Lab at LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport
  • CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas
  • Longview Regional Medical Center in Longview, Texas
  • Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana, Texas  

“This was a wonderful opportunity to support our local healthcare teams and would not have been possible without our talented AEP Charge team,” said Michael Corbin, SWEPCO External Affairs Manager in Shreveport.

The face shields were a welcome sight at the Emerging Viral Threat Lab at LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport.

“LSU Health Shreveport is extremely grateful for the generous donation of face shields from SWEPCO for use in our Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Lab.  The EVT lab, which opened on March 25, often runs multiple shifts per day, so the need for PPE has continued to increase.  Thanks to SWEPCO, the EVT Lab at LSUHS has staff prepared to provide the testing level required to get our community safely back to work.” said Chris Kevil PhD, Vice-Chancellor for Research at LSU Health Shreveport.   

Production of the shields involves roughly six employees whose roles range from printing and design to tracking down materials. Employees visit the lab and remove the finished product in shifts to allow for physical distancing to keep them safe and healthy.

The harrowing images of healthcare workers’ faces cut up from wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) for prolonged periods inspired the Charge team to look for materials to make the shields more comfortable, said Derek Kramer, AEP vice president and chief digital officer.

He said the shields feature regular elastic headbands and neoprene foam in the inside.

Currently, Charge can produce about 200 face shields a week.

“Our printers are working 24/7,” Kramer said. We just keep them going as quickly as we possibly can to keep production high.”

About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)

SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (AEP: NYSE) company, serves more than 536,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com. Connect with us at Facebook.com/SWEPCO, Twitter.com/SWEPCOnews, Youtube.com/SWEPCOtv and SWEPCOConnections.com.

About American Electric Power (AEP)

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP's approximately 17,400 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,200 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.