medical workers in face masks
Medical workers happily display face shields created with 3D printers by Chapman University students.

From Donated Face Shields to Free Counseling Services, Chapman Helps the Front Lines Highlights of university efforts against the pandemic are shared in a community forum.

Communities that work together to harness resiliency, optimism and creativity in times of crisis have the potential to discover new ideas that will lead them to a stronger future, Collette Creppell, Chapman University’s vice president for campus planning, said in a Virtual Community Impact Forum held Friday, April 24.

Collette Creppell
Collette Creppell

Creppell sounded that note of hope as she opened the forum, streamed live by Chapman. Creppell was working in New Orleans as Tulane University’s architect at the time of Hurricane Katrina and witnessed firsthand how that city reorganized and rebuilt after the disaster.

How a Crisis Can Spark New Ideas

“The lesson is that resiliency, optimism and creativity, and those are some of the things you’re going to hear about today … allowed a community to pull out of a crisis and actually find opportunities,” said Creppell, who joined Chapman in December.

During the one-hour forum moderated by Creppell, Struppa and several campus deans updated viewers on the COVID-19- related support, research and outreach services the university is providing to the community. Highlights from Chapman included:

  • Panther Village, an apartment-style student housing facility, was made available to the City of Orange for first-responders from the city’s fire, police and health care services who need quarantine housing after suspected or confirmed exposure to COVID-19.
  • Free counseling services via telehealth are now available from the Frances Smith Center for Individual and Family Therapy. Beginning in May, the center will offer free group therapy sessions for first responders and others on the front lines of health and safety. “These are heroes in Orange that are doing this work every day and that takes a mental toll on folks,” said Janeen Hill, dean of Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, where the center is housed.
  • An initiative that put 3D printers into the hands of students in Fowler School of Engineering turned into an opportunity for students who turned the printers to the task of manufacturing face shields for medical workers. More than 3,000 have been donated to date.
  • Thanks to ongoing collaboration with Chapman, Orange Home Grown was able to reopen a modified version of its Saturday farmer’s market, with social distancing measures in place.

Researchers and clinical faculty are rolling up their sleeves in the battle as well.

Faculty from the Physician Assistant Studies program have stepped up to work night and weekend shifts, providing essential backup throughout the region.

Similarly, clinical faculty at the School of Pharmacy are working in the front lines at hospitals and as essential health care workers at community pharmacies. The school’s research faculty are testing compounds that may hold important virus-fighting properties.

Revisit the Forum 

Also among the panelists in the forum was City of Orange Mayor Mark Murphy, who shared that the city’s health and safety services were still strong and in force. Murphy also expressed gratitude to Chapman for hosting the forum.

“In times like this it’s incredibly important to have these sorts of vehicles to communicate, exchange ideas and really think and rethink how we’re going to proceed forward,” Murphy said.


Dawn Bonker

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