By Amy Susan, Communications Manager
The medical community is seeking help from Missouri manufacturers to fill the gap in the PPE supply chain as we, together, combat Covid-19. Join the #MAKEadifferencechallenge.
A top priority right now is increasing the personal protective equipment (PPE) medical equipment supply chain. Primarily, the medical community need masks and gowns. As the state's MEP center and trusted adviser, we are reaching out to our manufacturing community to identify those who are either currently producing, OR can begin producing in a short time, the following items:
- N95 medical masks
- basic medical gowns (large and extra-large sizes)
On April 2, 2020, we held a teleconference with Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Mo Department of Economic Development (DED), and our partners at NIST MEP to discuss next steps for those interested in helping to make PPEs. Did you miss it? You can view the recording by clicking on the image below:
Next Steps for Manufacturers Wanting to Help:
Essentially, manufacturers should determine which segment they belong to: those who are either READY to make and sell PPEs now OR those who are interested in retooling to make PPEs in the very near future.
If you are CURRENTLY READY to produce PPEs and want to be added to the state's supply list that is provided to hospitals each week for purchasing (*pricing, capacity, shipping, and other information must be provided), click here to be directed to DED's form.
In you are INTERESTED in retooling and helping produce PPEs, YOU can and should reach out to local hospitals and clinics to offer assistance. Here are five steps to first consider:
1. Review the pattern and specifications for producing PPE. Determine if your factory can be retooled to produce surgical
masks and/or shields. The pattern is available at www.aha.org/100MillionMasks.
2. Learn about your hospital’s or health system’s needs. Reach out to leaders at your local hospital to learn more about their PPE needs and how your company can help.
3. Source materials for PPE. You likely do not have the materials on hand to make PPE. Work with your local hospital to learn about what materials you can use and how to access them. Be creative and innovative about how to make it work.
4. Ensure the products meet quality, safety and sanitization standards. Work with your hospital partner to ensure the products are produced in a way that meets quality, safety and sanitization standards before they are shipped to the hospital.
5. Deliver the PPE to your hospital partner. The need for PPE is immediate and will be ongoing. Work with your hospital partner to identify how to get the masks and shields to your providers.
6. Join Missouri Enterprise's Covid-19 Manufacturing Network to connect with other manufacturers helping with the cause to share best practices, material sourcing, etc. Click here to join the network.
Links to Specs, Standards, and Insight:
- American Hospital Association - 100 Million Mask Challenge
- FDA issued guidance on Enforcement Policy for Face Masks and Respirators During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency.
- FDA issued guidance on Enforcement Policy for Gowns, Other Apparel, and Gloves During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency.
- ASTM International is providing no-cost public access to important ASTM standards used in the production and testing of personal protective equipment - including face masks, medical gowns, gloves, and hand sanitizers.
- A Review of Isolation Gowns in Healthcare: Fabric and Gown Properties
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have more questions. We are here for you and we will get through this together. Share this information with others within your company or within your network. Be safe. We are here when you need us. Connect with your Area Business Manager at any time.
Stay up-to-date on Covid-19 information specific to manufacturers at our one-stop shop.