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Updates: Positive Pacificans continue to serve and create

Jun 19, 2020

We have chronicled community outreach efforts and interesting stories involving University of the Pacific students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors during the first 11 weeks of Positively Pacific.

This week, we update the stories of several Pacificans:

Felicia Ortiz
Felicia Ortiz, a 2018 dental hygiene graduate from Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, worked with her father Mike to create face shields from items purchased at Home Depot. They also bought a 3D printer to speed up operations.

What is new:My father and I were very close to meeting our goal of 400 face shields. However, I got called back to work the first week of June and my father started work the next week,” Felicia Ortiz said. “We were able to produce 315.

“We donated face shields to pediatric offices, medical offices, dental offices, EMT departments and a third batch to Safeway. I also was more than happy to provide a couple of my patients with face shields who live with immunocompromised family members.”

Felicia and Mike Ortiz also designed and produced ear protection for health care professionals.

Kyra Christmas
The University of the Pacific water polo All-America had hoped to play for Canada in the 2020 Olympics. The COVID-19 pandemic caused postponement of the games in Japan until 2021. We wrote about Christmas’ unique training situation after Canadian officials shut down swimming pools. She worked with her father to build a swimming pool out of hay bales on their Alberta farm.

What is new? Christmas’ hay bale pool has become a media and social media sensation. At the time of her Positively Pacific profile, her Instagram video had 1,125 views. That total has risen to 5,176. 

Media outlets all over Canada and some in the United States (notably USA Today) have featured Christmas and her unique pool. "It was a little disappointing at first but it just gives our team another year to train and get better together," Christmas told the Canadian Broadcasting Company. “So I think in a way it was kind of a good thing."

David Chayka
Beginning in mid-March, the six 3D printers in the Citrus Heights home of David Chayka ’17 PharmD, churned out many face shields and other equipment to help front-line health care workers and others. At one point, Chayka and his assistant—11-year-old son Matthew—had the printers working around the clock.

What is new? Chayka has received numerous requests recently for masks and shields for children. 
“I have a bunch of pre-printed masks and shields that still need to be cleaned and processed, allowing my 3D printers to rest for a little,” he said. “People are requesting masks for their kids. They are designs like Darth Vader or Bane, so that their kids would be more apt to wear the masks in public.”

He also has started working closely with dental offices.

“They’re struggling with simple things like sanitizers, face shields and random little gadgets for their equipment,” he said. “I spent some time working on aerosol precautions, creating mouthpieces that work like a vacuum to suck up aerosols when manipulating the mouth cavity (explained in this video

“It has been very busy, but I enjoy every minute of it. I get to practice doing what I love, and I get to help people at the same time,” he said. “I can’t ask for more.”

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