A-dec Joins the Fight Against COVID-19 By Manufacturing PPE
It’s not unheard of for employees in the midst of a big company project to work extra hours and come in on Saturday or Sunday to get the job done. But when staff members go the extra mile for a completely different reason, for example, to help healthcare workers in desperate need of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, and face shields, it’s worth spreading the word.
After realizing the full magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis, Oregon-based dental manufacturer A-dec immediately launched several programs and infection control resources to support oral healthcare professionals continuing to practice dentistry during the crisis. But it wasn’t until A-dec was contacted by a local healthcare worker from Legacy Health, a regional healthcare system serving Oregon and Washington, that the company decided to take their efforts a step further.
A group of 25 A-dec employees worked around the clock over the course of a weekend to convert several of their manufacturing facilities into spaces appropriate to produce PPE for healthcare workers and emergency responders in their local area, including those at Legacy Health’s 6 area hospitals. This included developing prototypes of the most critically needed supplies, as well as determining which raw materials would be needed to meet the production goal and which suppliers might be able to help.
For the time being, A-dec is focusing its new manufacturing efforts on producing plastic shield coverings for powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) helmets. The initial goal is to produce 9,500 of these PAPR helmets, which are worn by healthcare workers to protect them against airborne illnesses, over the course of the next 3 months. When production begins there will be about a dozen people involved in manufacturing the plastic shield coverings, but the company expects the number of volunteers to increase as production ramps up to meet the growing demand for PPE.
“For more than 55 years, A-dec has lived by the principle of prioritizing concern for people above all else,” said Scott Parrish, A-dec President and CEO. “As a family-owned, Newberg, OR, manufacturer, A-dec is proud to bring much-needed PPE to Oregon’s healthcare workers. This is what we should be doing during this unprecedented time: working together to solve problems and take care of communities.”
While production is expected to run smoothly, along with many other manufacturers stepping up to the plate during this global healthcare crisis, there is a chronic shortage of raw materials needed to make PPE equipment such as plastic shields for PAPR helmets. A-dec is urging other suppliers, manufacturers, and organizations to support their efforts in reducing the continued exposure of healthcare workers and patients by helping to source the raw materials needed to create these essential supplies.
The most pressing raw material need is PET-G, which is a type of plastic. Any organization that might be able to help source this material, as well as anyone who is curious about other ways to help A-dec in its mission can reach out to PR@a-dec.com.