July 6, 2021 – Ochsner Health (New Orleans, LA), a health system, is starting a new manufacturing business to make personal protective equipment (PPE).
Not only will Ochsner be making gloves, gowns, masks and N95 respirators, it will manufacture the materials used to make those items, such as the liquid nitrile needed for gloves and the spunbond meltblown spunbond (SMS) laminate fabric needed to make masks, gowns and bouffant hair covers.
Ochsner and construction contractor and property developer Trax Development started a joint venture, SafeSource Direct, with $150 million.
SafeSource is putting $73 million toward retrofitting an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that will also serve as a headquarters. The remaining $77 million is going for the development of a new facility.
The venture is expected to make surgical tie-masks, bouffant hair covers, shoe covers, isolation gowns, procedure masks, N95 respirators and nitrile rubber gloves.
Ochsner is part of the group purchasing organization (GPO) Vizient (Irving, TX), and the SafeSource products will be made available through the GPO.
The first product will be nonmedical gloves and they should be available by the end of the year. After refinement and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance, medical-quality gloves will be produced.
SafeSource’s first customer will be the health system, along with its partners and affiliates, but after that, the company intends to sell to “anybody and everybody else.”