Through a new joint venture between HCA Healthcare and A Plus International Inc., and support from the HCA Healthcare Mission Innovation Fund, LLC, production of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be brought to North Carolina through a new manufacturing center.
The joint venture will produce PPE Level 1 and Level 3 masks meeting American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for quality and safety starting in early 2021 from a manufacturing center located in Asheville. The joint venture will be co-managed by A Plus and HealthTrust, a global leader in purchasing aggregation and performance improvement for healthcare.
“Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the vulnerabilities in the global supply chain for critical PPE,” said Greg Lowe, President, HCA Healthcare North Carolina. “While HCA Healthcare has been able to secure the PPE needed for its 187 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, this new PPE manufacturing center in Asheville will help ensure access to quality masks made domestically. Should there be a surge in demand similar to what was experienced in the first half of 2020, we will take comfort knowing that we will have the flexibility to ramp up production capacity to meet growing demand.”
“Onshoring the manufacture of these critical PPE products will benefit both the economy and long term public health of our region,” noted Clark Duncan, Executive Director of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County. “We’re grateful for the work and leadership of HCA Healthcare in locating the joint venture here in Buncombe County.”
“This new business not only benefits our local area with new jobs for skilled workers and decreases our dependence on overseas supplies, but it will further our support of caregivers on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19,” said Lowe.
About Mission Health and HCA Healthcare North Carolina
Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare, is based in Asheville, North Carolina, and is the state’s sixth largest health system. Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit missionhealth.org or @MissionHealthNC.