Sears Seating producing critical personal protective equipment for local hospitals

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As the medical supply chain struggles with dynamic issues such as component supplier closures, labor uncertainty, and unprecedented demand, Iowa manufacturer Sears Seating, has begun producing critical personal protective equipment for Quad Cities area Genesis Health Systems and UnityPoint Hospitals.

“There is no business model required for doing the right thing,” says James Sears, CEO of Sears Seating. “Through the collaboration of Sears Seating’s engineers, expert sewers and hospital staff, we are able answer our community’s call for help. I could not be more proud of the team.”

Sears Seating employees began manufacturing mask covers to help prolong the life of the N95 masks and isolation gowns to protect staff working with patients in isolation Thursday, March 26th, hitting stride with full production last Monday, March 30th. With enough materials to produce 3,000 gowns and 5,000 masks, team members are refining processes to make up to 200 gowns or 500 masks per day.

“It is going to take all of us to effectively respond to this crisis, which is unlike any we have experienced in our lifetimes,” says Doug Cropper, president and CEO, Genesis Health System. “Sears Seating asked how they could become involved. One of our needs is surgical and isolation gowns, which fit well with Sears products. Any products we can find or produce locally to assist us in keeping our employees safe and safely caring for our patients can also help us avoid delays in shipping or the possibility of shortages. We are extremely grateful to Sears Seating and its employees for helping us meet the challenges of this pandemic.”

“In these unprecedented times, UnityPoint Health – Trinity is grateful to community leaders like Sears Seating who are devoting their time and considerable resources to help us combat COVID-19,” sid Pat Shouse, president of Trinity Health Foundation. “Their work to help build PPE supplies for health care teams at Trinity and all regional providers exemplifies the high integrity and generous spirit of our great community. We are thankful for Sears Seating for their ongoing commitment to improving the health of the Quad Cities.”

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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