ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Dr. Michael Rauh and Dr. Geoffrey Bernas built plexiglass shields for staff and patients at UBMD Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, on Big Tree Road in Orchard Park.

“The Covid-19 crisis has really forced us to reevaluate how we take care of patients a great focus has been the use of telemedicine,” said Dr. Michael Rauh. “Yet still some patients require in person visits.”

The organization was already taking the proper precautions, like screenings, wearing masks and even providing them to patients. But Rauh And Bernas wanted to add an extra layer of protection for their essential employees and for the patients.

“The idea originally came from the Post Office in Orchard Park,” said Rauh. “They had PBC pipe with plexiglass protecting our postal workers. So I took some pictures and said that’s a fantastic idea.”

The physicians assembled 13, 3-4 ft. long PBC plexiglass protectors. “They’ve been very helpful to kind of socially distance our staff from patients and those checking in and out of our organization,” said Rauh.

Staff members say they are grateful for an extra layer of protection and that they along with their families are being thought of. 

“It’s just an added bonus, an added safety measure, to make us feel safe at work, said Ryan Rajk, a Certified Athletic Trainer and Medical Assistant. “Speaking personally it makes my wife feel safer when I come home.” 

And the response from patients has also been great.  “Several have actually stepped back and taken picture with their camera and said I’m going to use this at my job too,” said Rauh.

If you’re interested in making the shields yourself, UBMD Orthopedics and Sports Medicine has put together directions. You can view them in the PDF below.

Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.