National Signs digital display sign for Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

SFA Spotlight: Saving Lives Through Medical Face Shields

Sawdust is a magazine published three times a year by the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association. Each issue features stories about the university and its alumni. What does this have to do with National Signs? Well, our favorite SFA alumnus was featured in their Fall 2020 issue – National Signs CEO, Cody Johnson.

The featured article explains how Cody (class of ’94) helped turn National Signs into a hub for manufacturing and distributing life-saving face shield medical PPE during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. His alma mater is proud of him, and so are we!

The Launch: PPE Manufacturing Begins

The article captures how Cody and the National Signs team immediately got to work figuring out how we could help when the pandemic came ashore. Mainly, our goal was to address a huge shortage of PPE for frontline workers. Because of our facility’s location in the Texas Medical Center, we really wanted to help our neighbors here in Houston. We also wanted to help where we could across the country.

The whole country was in need, and Cody was particularly motivated to help when his brother, James, expressed there was a shortage of PPE in the COVID-19 ICU he was running at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Cody said of New York, “I knew of the struggles health care workers there were dealing with in getting the equipment they needed. I wanted to do what I could to help alleviate that situation in Texas.”

And that is exactly what we did! The employees at National Signs worked together to reconfigure the equipment at our 50,000 square foot facility to produce lightweight, easily-disinfected face shields. Discussion of face shield design to the finished prototype only took three hours. Getting them into production? Just one day.

Impact on the Houston Community

The article also covers the incredible reach of our PPE production. It wasn’t long before National Signs was able to manufacture thousands of face shields each and every day. We delivered them to various hospitals, including the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Dr. Joan Richardson, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and director of neonatology at UTMB, said, “After a brief conversation with Cody, National Signs quickly began production of plastic face shields for use in our labor and delivery and newborn ICU areas. The employees of National Signs have been amazing in their rapid response and ability to help us protect our health care workers and patients.”

Our team has provided life-saving PPE for local hospitals, including:

  • Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Bayside Community Hospital
  • Laurel Court Continuing Care
  • South Lake Houston Emergency Medical Services
  • Windsong Care Center
  • The Resort at Texas City
  • Galveston County Sheriff’s Office
  • And many, many more!

The PPE Story Continues

The article concludes with a reminder that as the United States continues to fight through this pandemic, National Signs has no plans to stop providing face shield PPE and other protective materials such as acrylic barriers.

We are extremely proud of one example helping out Goodwill. Our team installed 60 acrylic barriers at Goodwill stores across Houston. We also donated 1,000 face shields to Goodwill in order to keep employees safe at work!

Steven P. Lufburrow, President and CEO of Goodwill Houston, said that Cody and the team are “…so kind to offer Goodwill-branded face shields to assist in the safety of our employees and customers. We are blessed with our partnership and the generous gift from them.”
The Sawdust article emphasized how, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the life-saving products that National Signs produces will stay in high demand.

“We’re still making signs,” Johnson said. “That’s the core of our business, but we’re also proud to continue assisting those on the front line fighting this pandemic. It’s rewarding to know the products we make are helping save lives.”

Get Your PPE Face Masks Today

We are grateful to Stephen F. Austin State University for featuring Cody and all the amazing work that our team has done during these unprecedented times. It has truly been a rewarding team effort stepping into this moment and helping so many people stay safe.

If you’re looking for face shield medical PPE for your business or organization, look no further than National Signs. Not only is our PPE lightweight, fog-resistant, and one-size-fits-most, but it’s completely customizable for the needs of your business. Request a quote today and let us help you protect your employees and customers.