If there is one bright spot during the COVID-19 global pandemic, it’s the way we’ve seen the world come together. Individuals, governments, non-profits and corporations are working toward a singular goal: stopping the spread of this deadly disease.
Each year, at our annual Field of Dreams Dinner and Auction, we are blessed by businesses who sponsor the event. During the pandemic, we’re seeing those same local companies stepping up in incredible ways.
Before COVID-19 hit, Superfeet’s main business was producing premium insoles and footwear. When non-essential businesses were shut down, Superfeet looked at their 3D printers and came up with an idea. Within seven days, they had developed a working model for an infectious disease hood, an essential piece of protective equipment. It was the fastest the company had ever brought a product to market.
“We started conversations with local hospitals and healthcare workers last week and discovered a massive need for PPE, as demand has skyrocketed over the past few weeks,” says John Rauvola, CEO and President at Superfeet. “You can feel the pride our team of employee-owners takes in being able to create something tangible to help combat this pandemic and better protect our community’s first line of defense.”
These hoods – called Power Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR hoods) – are used by doctors when intubating patients or performing procedures that put them in close contact. Superfeet received an initial order for 30,000 units from Peacehealth St. Joseph’s Hospital. They’ve had inquiries from other hospitals as well, and are doing their best to keep up with demand.
Heritage Distilling Co.
Heritage Distilling Co. in Gig Harbor, WA used their strengths in innovation and spirits production to pivot to producing hand sanitizer. The company plans to produce 15,000 gallons of hand sanitizer each month. Not only are they selling the product in their tasting room, but they are offering it to healthcare facilities as well.
They are selling the hand sanitizer at a reduced price to first responders and healthcare, delivery, and grocery store workers.
“Working to protect our communities is our No. 1 focus right now,” CEO Justin Stiefel said in a press release. “Our team is working around the clock to make the product, and if we sell out on any particular day, we will be working to restock the product.”
In early April, Alaska Airlines transported materials to create 210,000 hospital-grade masks for Providence’s 51 hospitals. The materials, originating in Seattle, landed in Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles, where the masks were assembled and distributed.
Alaska is committed to helping get products and medical professionals to the places that need them most during this crisis.
“Every day, we carry essentials such as food, mail and lifesaving items, including crucial medication and medical equipment,” said Rick Bendix, Alaska Air Cargo spokesperson. “Across our network we’re packing our freighters and maximizing cargo in the belly of passenger aircraft to deliver essential goods to our customers throughout our expansive network.”
Swedish Health Services
As frontline workers, Swedish locations are “all hands on deck” to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Issaquah, WA campus, they are providing drive-through testing. Every day, cars line up with people inside needing COVID-19 testing. Drive-through testing is essential because it limits exposure for healthcare workers, frees us space in hospitals and allows people to be tested more quickly.
Medical Teams is partnering with Swedish Issaquah to help with testing. We have stripped one of our Mobile Dental vans to allow it to function as a support center for healthcare workers. The van essentially acts as a “front office” where staff can register patients and communicate via walkie talkie with the healthcare workers conducting tests.
Sherry Barber, Director of Operations for Swedish, described the value of the van, “Having the mobile van on site has been helpful in several ways: For one, it offers Swedish medical staff to have a place to recover from being in the elements. On days when the wind and rain are heavier, it allows those who are screening patients in line an easy way to get some warmth and sit down to have some lunch before they head back out. Patient registration happens on the van and having it parked right behind the main tent where cars go through makes it easy to pass information over the radios. For the staff working inside the van—they can quickly get a sense of potential volume of patients by looking through the windshield at the line. Overall it makes everything run more efficient.”
More than ever, up-to-date and accurate news is vital. KIRO 7 is a critical source of breaking news and information about the pandemic for the Seattle area. KIRO 7 is a trusted news source and is helping keep Seattleites safe and informed.
KIRO 7 has supported Medical Teams’ in many ways over the years. From covering stories like that of the recent COVID-19 response to contributing to successful Field of Dreams auctions with the help of news anchor, Monique Ming Laven.
We are proud to partner with so many innovative and philanthropic companies and corporations that are moving quickly to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in our own communities.
You can be part of protecting lives from COVID-19 with a donation today.