SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -- The name John Deere brings tractors and other heavy machinery to mind. However, for Cox Health employees, the name is bringing peace of mind.
The iconic American manufacturer has switched gears to produce personal protection equipment (PPE) for front line workers across the country. John Deere’s plant in Moline, Illinois crafted the face shields on its production line. With a design from the University of Wisconsin, the plant cranked out thousands of face shields.
John Deere Springfield branch General manager, Jena Holtberg-Benge said this is the time more than ever for everyone to come together to step up. She said John Deere felt it was important to support, approach, and act on the urgent needs of medical workers across the country.
"They're on the frontline, they're battling this every day, and there's a shortage," said Holtberg-Benge. "Whether we're hit hard as a community or not, there is a shortage of this PPE that is required to support our community."
John Deere donated 2,500 face shields to Cox Health in Springfield. At least 200,000 more will end up in eight other states.
"We're giving back to the community through these face shields, but we do it all year long, and we're just so excited this is one more way we can help out," explained John Deere HR representative, Becky Yeargan
Cox Health Foundation president, Lisa Alexander said in a single day-- they can go through 1,000 N95 masks, and 8,000 surgical masks and other PPE. That's why donations like the face shields better prepare front line workers for the ongoing fight.
"Until we know what tomorrow brings, these are going to continue to be important to us at Cox health and all health care providers across the country," said Alexander.
John Deere also donated 1000 face shields to the Office of Emergency Management.