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Riverside Health System Takes Key Steps to Expand Domestic Production of Personal Protective Equipment

June 08, 2022
PPE-press-release FINAL
Riverside Health System is collaborating with Premier, Inc., S2S Global and manufacturers to encourage more domestic production of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) items. These efforts are part of Riverside’s ongoing strategy to build supply chain resiliency and invest in domestic and geographically diverse manufacturers, including products in short supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first initiative, a joint venture with Premier and Prestige Ameritech, is dedicated to the domestic production of N95 respirators, procedure and surgical masks, face shields and protective eyewear from a production facility in North Richland Hills, Texas.  Deliveries began in May 2020 and thus far, over 4.5 million items have been delivered in support of our team members.
The second initiative, a joint venture with Premier, several Premier Health System partners, and DeRoyal Industries Inc., is focused on the domestic production of level-2 isolation gowns.  Via a state-of-the-art production facility outside Knoxville, TN, the partnership is expected to produce more than 40 million domestically-manufactured gowns annually, with the first delivery received in March 2022.
In a third initiative, through an S2S Global collaboration with Premier and Honeywell, Riverside is supporting the expansion of the domestic manufacturing of nitrile exam gloves. This initiative is expected to produce at least 750 million U.S.-made exam gloves in its first year alone.  Product deliveries are estimated to begin in Q3 2022.  
“Riverside is committed to ensuring that our team members have the supplies they need to stay safe, healthy and able to provide exceptional care to our patients who rely on us,” said Bob Hornsby, Director of Supply Chain for Riverside Health System. “With this collaboration, Riverside is helping create new domestic sources of PPE to help insulate these critical products from shortages and make them available to our workforce.”
Currently more than 80 percent of PPE items are manufactured overseas, which can limit U.S. providers' access during public health emergencies. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PPE supply has been constrained as global demand skyrocketed. Global raw material scarcity, port closures and delays, and increased usage have exacerbated ongoing issues with providers’ PPE access.
“Throughout the pandemic, Riverside has stepped up to help change the way we source critical products,” said Michael J. Alkire, President and CEO of Premier. “Riverside is a true innovator, as this initiative and the added domestic supply it provides would not be possible without Riverside’s commitment. Riverside deserves recognition for their leadership and for their contribution to helping bring PPE production back to America.”