Thinking ‘outside the box’ Baptist Health System addresses need for PPE

Airbags now saving lives in more ways than one

DORAL, Fla. – inside a 160,000 square foot distribution center in Doral, Fla., medical supplies are imported, sorted stored and delivered to 11 hospitals in the Baptist Health System.

”Thousands of times, in fact we utilize 18,000 different items within our hospitals,” said George Godfrey, Vice President of Supply Chain Management with Baptist Health.

Among those items are hospital isolation gowns that — pre-COVID — were disposable and made in China, which became problematic.

”Of course, China was going through the same situation and all of the factories were shut down and the supplIes were not coming in,” Godfrey said.

That’s when a team lead by the Baptist Health Foundation got creative and discovered a unique alternative created by Joyson Safety Systems, a Ford Motor Company airbag supplier.

”Our amazing team of operations, sales, and engineers took a design from a medical gown and we were able to retrofit that within one week and reconfigure our operations to shift towards providing medical gowns for PPE when we had to downshift from automotive,” Dr. Donald James, President of the America’s Region of Joyson Safety Systems, said.

The material is more durable than disposable gowns and can be washed up to 50 times before being discarded.

“So now we have a lot of clinicians running around the hospital in these pink gowns, they don’t refer to it as an isolation gown,” said Godfrey.

Everyone involved smiles at the thought that airbags are now saving lives in more ways than one.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.