By JENNA SITEMAN | Intern
When a young Palisadian heard of a lack of medical protective equipment in hospitals from a close family member, he set to work to fix the problem.
Fourteen-year-old Max Steinberg created a website called Supplychain with the goal of connecting healthcare workers to individuals and organizations that have supplies to donate.
The website offers features to connect the two parties, while at the same time, verifying the licensing of the healthcare workers, in order to ensure the integrity of the project.
The Rustic Canyon resident was motivated when he heard that a close relative was wearing a scuba mask to work in order to protect himself from the virus; he set to work creating a solution.
The website took more than 200 hours to make, Steinberg said, but he felt so passionate about improving the situation of protective equipment doctors and other healthcare professionals were being provided that it was worth it.
“I just felt like it was kind of outrageous for doctors to have to go to work without being able to protect themselves,” Steinberg said. “So I figured I wanted to do something about it; I used the skills that I have, to create a solution the best I could.”
Steinberg is a freshman at Santa Monica College where he is studying mathematics and, by teaching himself to understand multiple computer programming languages, he was able to bring this website and project to fruition.
In addition to his coding experience, Steinberg tried to think logically about how to make the donation process as easy as possible, in the hopes of encouraging more donors. In order to do so, his website is more of a directory to point donors to the myriad of doctors and healthcare centers near them.
Due to this reason, he does not have a specific number to share in terms of healthcare providers helped, but it can be assumed that the efforts of his project would be greatly beneficial to both parties it is aimed at.
“I’m definitely trying to do my best to have as big of an impact in the positive ways I can,” Steinberg said. “This app doesn’t necessarily facilitate a huge amount of stuff within the app; it’s mostly just for creating an information repository and that way, active donors can find places to donate,” Steinberg explained.
Steinberg shared that he aims to spread the word about Supplychain nationwide so that medical professionals in every area of the country register their needs.
“If you are a nail salon, tattoo parlor, beauty salon, painter, construction worker or real estate agent,” Steinberg shared in a statement, “you may not realize you already have the supplies the medical professionals need right now.”
He cited the inspiration of the project as recognizing that he had a skill that could be honed, and, in turn, benefit hundreds, if not thousands, of healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He suggested that others look at the skills they have and try to help during these times as well.
“The most important lesson from this, besides the actual donation of supplies to help save lives,” Steinberg said, “is that if you have skills that you can use to make a positive difference, you should do so as much as you can, even if you don’t think your skills are really helpful.”
For more information, visit Steinberg’s website at covid.structbuilders.com.
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