Munson Healthcare (MHC) is thanking a local CEO as well as General Motors for their help in acquiring a substantial supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves and face shields, which are critical to the safety of frontline healthcare workers.
Dodd Russell, CEO of Skilled Manufacturing Incorporated (SMI) of Traverse City, began working with his team in China on March 23 and helped secure 200,000 surgical masks along with a large quantity of surgical gloves that have already arrived at MHC’s Northern Michigan Supply Alliance (NMSA) warehouse in Traverse City. An equal quantity of masks is still on the way.
“I spend about 120 days a year in China and everything there is about relationships,” said Dodd Russell, CEO Skilled Manufacturing, Inc. “I grew up in Traverse City, I’ve raised my kids here, and one of my team members is married to a nurse who works in the COVID-19 unit at Munson Medical Center. I told my team in Shanghai that we’ve got to have this stuff, it’s for my town.”
Skilled Manufacturing, Inc. is a Tier-1 automotive, aerospace and specialty manufacturer serving customers like General Motors and Honeywell. Russell has been doing business in China for 12 years and his relationships were essential in both securing and verifying the supply that continues to arrive in Traverse City. Demand for PPE is currently up to five times that of available supply as a result of the disruption to the global supply chain created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These supplies are essential to the safety of our employees and community and finding them has been a huge challenge,” said Ed Ness, CEO of Munson Healthcare. “We are grateful to Dodd for the long hours he spent securing these supplies and to all of those in the community who have stepped up to support our healthcare team.”
A convoy of four General Motors vehicles driven by members of the automaker’s Warren Tech Center brought 14,000 face shields and 67,000 surgical-style face masks to Munson Healthcare’s Northern Michigan Supply Alliance. The personal protective equipment was made at GM’s retooled Warren plant. Senior Vice President of System Services Mark Deponio said the donation covers the entire Munson Healthcare need for a couple of weeks.
“We are so thankful to General Motors for their generosity as well as the dozens of local colleges, retailers, and manufacturers who have made significant PPE donations,” said Des Worthington, president of Munson Healthcare Foundations.
The vehicles were driven by Bruce Smith, engineering director at the Warren Tech Center, Mike Palecek and engineering manager at the center, David Schankin an engineering manager, and Brenten Corliss an engineering specialist.
The Warren plant, which formerly made transmissions, was selected by GM for retooling to assist with personal protective equipment needs in the state and nation. After acquiring equipment, and putting a production process in place, the plant produced its first prototype mask on March 27. GM is coordinating with the State of Michigan’s personal protective prioritization team to identify which hospitals in the state need face shields and masks. To date, GM has donated more than 750,000 masks and 37,000 shields to 14 hospital networks across Michigan.
Smith, who wore a shirt with “Team GM Cares” message across the front characterized the opportunity to help Munson Healthcare as “exciting.”
“This is a great and awesome,” he said. “We are happy to do this.”
Learn more about Munson Healthcare’s COVID-19 efforts and how you can help at munsonhealthcare.org and click on the COVID-19 banner at the top of the page.