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Fitness centers, construction firm partner in equipment production

Fitness centers, construction firm partner in equipment production

  • Updated

Coworkers and staff across Franciscan Health Fitness Centers have pulled together, with the support of Tonn and Blank Construction, to produce much needed PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for Franciscan Health staff to use during this period of short supply.

Workstations were set up in both the Chesterton and Schererville Clubs with social distancing measures in place.

The first project, assembling approximately 7,000 face shields to be used by front-line caregivers, was accomplished in just four days. Tonn and Blank made prototypes and tutorials to train the health club staff on how to make the face shields. The shields have been distributed to various local Franciscan Health locations to aid the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, other clinicians and staff.

Making isolation gowns for the Franciscan Health locations was the next project. Over 5,000 gowns toward a goal of 10,000, have been produced so far. The two locations have a daily shift consisting of 20-30 coworkers who are stationed throughout the Clubs. Made of a thin plastic sheeting, the gowns are cut, taped and ironed during the manufacturing process.

In addition to these projects, Franciscan Health Fitness Centers assisted Able Paper and Janitorial with the donation of 205 boxes of medical grade gloves. They were recently delivered to Franciscan Health Munster.

Due to state guidelines surrounding the “stay-at-home" order, Franciscan Health Fitness Centers services have been temporaily suspended. In support of their mission, Fitness Center staff was redeployed to help in these efforts for Franciscan.

“The fitness center staff was so excited for the opportunity to do their part to keep their front-line clinical peers as safe and protected as possible. Being able to manufacture PPE for our Franciscan health care heroes has truly given our work purpose beyond measure,” said Carrie Fleming, Manager, Fitness Center Schererville. “We are honored to assist in any way we can, all hands-on deck. Our mission is alive and well at Franciscan Health Fitness Centers.”

Franciscan Health Fitness Centers are located at:

Chesterton - 810 Michael Drive, Suite Z, Chesterton

Chicago Heights – 100 W 197th Pl,ace

Schererville - 221 US Hwy 41, Suite A,

COVID-19 updates, stay-at-home fitness videos and Club information is all available online at


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