Tigers Doing Good

Chrysa Charno BS ’03, MBA ’09

Chrysa holding face maskAn early evening delivery connected an RIT Tiger caring for kids to RIT’s advanced manufacturing researchers.

Chrysa Charno ’03, MBA ’09, is the owner/operator of AcuteKids pediatric urgent care in Webster, NY. As a healthcare professional, Chrysa is on the front lines of the Covid-19 epidemic, and has experienced the supply issues for protective gear first hand.

“Pediatric offices like ours have a very limited supply of masks and face shields on hand,” she explained. “We knew we were going to run out in a few days, so I reached out to my contacts at RIT to see if they could help.”

Denis Cormier and the team in RIT’s Center for Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AM Print Center) went to work creating 3D printed facemasks for her practice.  Each mask is laser cut from plastic sheets, and then “cooked” in an oven for approximately 30 minutes to get the plastic visors to curve. Researchers in the Center used their own personal protective equipment when handling any parts and all printed parts were dipped in isopropyl alcohol before transportation just in case one of the staff had been exposed to the virus but was asymptomatic. Every precaution possible was taken to avoid exposing any parts to possible contamination.

Chrysa anticipates her volume of testing for the Covid-19 virus will increase significantly throughout the current crisis. It’s difficult for smaller clinics and doctor’s offices to get protective gear, as the demand in hospitals and critical care units is overwhelming the supply. But offices like AcuteKids are often the first place parents take their children when they are sick, and without gear like that provided by the AM Print Center, everyone in the office would be at risk.

Jess Koehler

Family photographed through windowProfessional Photographic Illustration/Ad Photo alumna, Jess (Barnard) Koehler BFA'02, is helping families remember this time more fondly than they might otherwise. Jess has created a window portrait series to document ‘Stay Home’ during COVID-19. 

This series began after all of her clients were put on hold since she primarily photographs in-home or at the hospital after a mother gives birth. She understood both the need to think outside of the box and the historical season for families to reflect on during their future storytelling. Before Jess arrives, she asks the family to stay inside and she stays outside – practicing good “social distancing.” She finds the best window and then calls them to meet her at it for a family portrait. “Come as you are.” she requests.

The hope is to remind families of the silver linings through this difficult time and enjoy being together. Some even show the fun and humor of the families, despite the circumstances of their confinement. 

"I’ve had a client text me that their photo brought them to tears. Others have said it was the best thing of their day and incredibly special to be a part of” says Jess. “We are all experiencing a fearful reality, but it’s fulfilling to offer a glimmer of hope and history through this series.”

You can see the series on her Instagram, @jesskoehlerphoto, with the hashtags #losangelesfamilyphotographer #theheartfulphotogs #thefamilynarrative #losangelesfamilyphotography #heartofhome #socialdistancing #stayhome

Patrick Pipino BS '90

Rasmussen is hoping to scoop up some community support. She's created a GoFundMe to buy Pipino's ice cream and donate it to two senior living facilities: Wesley Health Care and Home of the Good Shepherd, both in Saratoga Springs.

"I thought of all of the seniors who are isolated from their family and friends during this scary time, and it might be nice to share some treats with them and the wonderful staff that's helping them through this," Rasmussen said. "We just wanted to help out Patrick and give back to the community."

Pipino was gearing up for Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day, and he usually donates ice cream to the St. Baldrick's head shaving event at Westmere Fire each year, but both are postponed, so right now he's got about one ton of ice cream just sitting in the shop. He says would love to be able to put some smiles on faces.