When the COVID-19 pandemic started in the United States, Karina Popovich took action.
With personal protective equipment (PPE) much needed in the healthcare community, Karina, a member of the KPMG Future Leaders Program - Class of 2019 - and a soon-to-be sophomore at Cornell University, founded Makers for COVID-19. Makers is a coalition of 3-D printer owners that have banded together to produce PPE for healthcare professionals all over the world. Through the creation of face shields, ear savers, the sourcing of N-95 masks and hospital gowns, Karina and her teammates are making a huge difference at the most critical time. As a team, they can provide up to 22,000 units of PPE a week to medical facilities in need.
“I always dreamed of being able to make this kind of impact, but I never thought that it would ever happen on a scale like this,” Karina said.
The positive feedback has beenoverwhelming, both in appreciation for the service they are providing and the effectiveness of the product.
“It’s really rewarding to see how important these shields are and what they represent to so many people,” Karina said. “It turns out that our shields are a lot more re-usable than the face shields that are currently available in production. It’s been great to hear that perhaps we might be paving a way for a different model of face shields to be produced that’s more sustainable for the medical industry.”
With the busy workload of leading the team and printing face shields, Popovich hasn’t had much time to reflect on how far both she and Makers for COVID-19 has come in just a few short months, but admits how appreciative she is to be making a difference by following her passion.
“I think I have to take a moment to appreciate how much we’ve grown.,” Popovich said. “It makes me feel good every single day, and I’m honored and grateful to be having this experience.”
KPMG is proud of the commitment that Karina and her fellow KPMG Future Leaders continue to show to their communities and education.