Help EMBA 120 Protect Medical Professionals from COVID-19

Dr. Smitha Arekapudi, a board-certified anesthesiologist, epidemiologist, health policy advocate and Dr. David Press, the associate chief medical officer for Doctors Community Hospital, a not-for-profit community hospital located in the Washington, DC region are leading the chart to tackle the PPE shortage. As current executive MBA student at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, we are working with some of the top minds in the Kellogg network. Together we are working to find manufacturers to produce face shields for healthcare workers’ protection and help with distribution. In addition to help with physical resources, our go-fund-me initiative well help fund financial resources since currently it’s coming from the team’s personal funds.

The Situation

Frontline healthcare workers, including physicians, nurses, and technologists, are courageously risking their lives to care for the nation’s sick, affected by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Unfortunately, these workers often have inadequate to zero personal protective equipment (PPE) due to nationwide shortages, placing our most vital human asset at risk in our battle versus COVID-19.

The Solution

After a dozen prototypes and two verifications, people in the Czech Republic developed this face shield

Dr. Arekapudi and Dr. Press are working with a variety of companies to help create the face shields. Once a design is approved, we’ll need help to fund the production of the shields as well as help with distributing them front lines to people at hospitals, ERs, hospitality groups, etc.


The Ask

The working group of doctors, biomedical engineers and manufacturing engineers implores you to join our battle versus COVID-19.ity. 

We are setting up a page to help fund our efforts so far. All of the prototypes, research, etc. has been out of pocket from the professionals volunteering to develop these PPE. Please consider donating below or viewing the list of volunteers we are looking for to help execute our plan. 

Business Sponsors or Manufacturers

Once our masks are  finalized, we’d like to find business or manufactures sponsors to help us produce and/or fund the production of the masks. 

Logistical Support

We’ll need logistical support to ship and deliever the masks once they are produced.

At-Home Mask Sewing

We’re working on non 3D printed masks as well and will need help producing the masks on a grass-roots level if we can’t get manufacturing support

3D Printing Capabilities

Once we have the specifications for our masks we’ll need a network of 3D printers to help produce the 3D masks. We’re looking for large companies and smaller volunteers to help get these produced. 

Medical Profession Testers

We’d like to connect with medical professionals who could test and advocate for the masks in their hospitals. 

Other Volunteers

Kellogg MBA students are helping with Marketing and other consulting functions. Once we get an approved prototype we’ll need a variety of different volunteers. 

Dr. Smitha Arekapudi

Board-certified Anesthesiologist, Epidemiologist 

In addition to being a board-certified anesthesiologist and epidemiologist, Dr. Arekapudi is a health policy advocate and current executive MBA student at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. She’s working closely with manufacturing and engineering professionals to develop a prototype for a PPE and is looking for volunteers to collaborate with and help spearhead strategic planning, production and delivery of these masks.


Dr. David Press, MD, FACP

Associate Chief Medical Officer for Doctors Community Hospital 

Dr. Press is the associate chief medical officer for Doctors Community Hospital, a not-for-profit community hospital, located in the Washington, DC region. He is dedicated to the continuous improvement of quality, safety and patient experience.
Dr. Press joined Doctors Community Hospital in 2018 guiding his hospital to its first top-5 state ranking in all-cause 30 day readmission reduction, hospital-acquired complication reduction and overall patient safety as measured by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) in FY2020. Prior to serving at Doctors Community Hospital, Dr. Press served as the medical director for hospital medicine at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center for 4 years, where he received the Arthur Schoengold physician of the year award for the physician who best exemplifies the hospital’s core values of service, patient-first approach, integrity, respect, innovation and teamwork in 2015.
Dr. Press is a board-certified internal medicine physician completing his residency training at Georgetown University Hospital in 2011. Prior to his residency training, Dr. Press joined the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (formerly, the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) as a health policy analyst where he coauthored a journal article in 2007 for recommendations on regionalized hospital preparedness during a pandemic.
Dr. Press received his medical doctorate at the University of Maryland, his bachelors of science in biochemistry with a minor in philosophy and ethics at the University of Rochester, and he is a current executive master of business student at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Dr. Press lives in Arlington, Virginia where he enjoys writing poetry in his free time.