CHANDLER, Ariz., May 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Chandler Innovations, the city's business incubation and entrepreneurial development program, is supporting the efforts of one of its members to create a non-profit that manufactures and donates personal protective equipment to medical professionals caring for patients affected by the Coronavirus.
Steve Abbit, inventor, and entrepreneur has shifted his focus towards helping keep doctors and nurses safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abbit, creator of Freestand, a device that uses gravity to extract the last bit of product out of bottles for maximum product consumption, became aware of the shortage of PPE in the healthcare industry after a heartfelt conversation with a family member who is a healthcare provider in Texas.
"I couldn't stand knowing that doctors and nurses feared dying, risking their lives and the lives of their families every day due to a shortage of PPE as they worked to save their patients. Those patients could be you or me, and they are someone's kids, parents, and friends. One way or another, I was going to do something to help save the helpers," said Abbit. "It's clear the generous and caring supporters of PREM share this passion."
Tori Wilson, Abbit's cousin and an ER nurse expresses a sense of urgency and concern. "With hospitals being filled with the sick and dying, it is important for medical professionals to change their masks, gowns, and gloves every time they enter a new room in order to protect themselves and their patients," said Wilson. "Unfortunately, most hospitals are running dangerously low on clean medical supplies. It's groups like PREM that are going to allow us to keep ourselves and your loved ones safe and protected. This could be the difference between life and death."
PREM Group has received over 350k in equipment and materials donations from organizations that support Abbit's efforts.
Lyle Rusanowski, President of Delta Technology and Co-founder of PREM, personally understands the risks to healthcare workers. "My wife works with patients that are at high risk of getting the virus. The PREM Group allows me to participate in fighting the virus as well," said Rusanowski.
PREM Group plans to donate the first shipment of PPE to HonorHealth, a prominent health services provider in Arizona. PREM Group says donations are required to fulfill more orders and expand to more states.
The non-profit expects to supplement the number of gowns available to staff by producing up to 1,000 gowns per day. PREM's goal is to raise enough funds to sustain production and cover the cost of materials.
"HonorHealth uses approximately 30,000 gowns per week," said Abbit. "While we are fortunate to have partners willing to donate materials, once those materials run out costs are roughly $3 per gown. At the rate we want to produce, we'll need to raise $100k each month to help keep our doctors and nurses safe. If enough people give, those numbers are very attainable."
Diana White, CEO of Chandler Innovations, supports Abbit's efforts. "The costs for PPE have risen considerably in the past few months," said White. "A non-profit that focuses solely on manufacturing and donating this much-needed resource will help to fill the gap made due to the increase in demand."