“Steve Burton is the kind of guy who knows how to get things done,” said Greater Sayville Civic president Christine Sarni. Burton, a Sayville resident, is civic’s second vice president and co-owner of Michelle Burton Interiors. “If you go to him with an idea, like these boxes, he can make it happen.”
Burton was originally asked if he could replicate a version of the intubation boxes to create a safe environment for health care professionals at Elmhurst Hospital. Since then, he has been working hard out of his garage to build the boxes, of which he has already built 25.
He has been working tirelessly to get as many of them donated as possible, and in an effort to sell the boxes at a reduced price or for free to hospitals, Burton has set up a GoFundMe to help offset the costs. Each box costs about $275 to fabricate. Thus far, about $800 out of his $150,000 has been met.
According to Burton, he improved the initial design with help from local doctors and by providing customizations for each hospital to meet their specific needs. The box basically shields health care workers from exposure to droplets and fluids to keep them safe during the intubation process. The plastic and rub- ber gloves create a seal that is nearly impermeable and can be easily sanitized.
“I am just doing my part; with my background in fixture design and fabrication, I just knew I could add something to the original design that could maybe save a few lives,” he said of the reasoning behind starting this project.
His donations have gotten rave reviews from hospitals like Elmhurst, Long Island Community Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital.
“As this horrible virus continues to spread through our community, we are doing everything we possibly can to fight it. Our weapons against it include our very important medical supplies and protective equipment for our hardwork- ing staff,” said Richard Margulis, president and CEO of Long Island Community Hospital, explaining that when they learned of Steve Burton’s intubation boxes they were quick to purchase two. “We will do anything we can to safeguard our employees. We are thankful to be able to incorporate these into our practices for keeping our health care heroes protected as they continue to take care of our community.”
After learning about the boxes, Dr. Sconzo, a local physician, donated an additional three boxes to LI Community. Burton currently has no orders but can make them on demand within a few days. He is also working on other requests made by hospitals.
“Interior design isn’t particularly help- ful right now, and I think I found my little niche and how I can help,” Burton added, proud of what he has accom- plished thus far.