November 16, 2020 – Premier Inc. (Charlotte, NC) and 34 member health systems partnered with DeRoyal Industries Inc., a global medical manufacturer, to create a new joint venture dedicated to the domestic production of isolation gowns.
A new entrant in the market, the joint venture will produce isolation gowns in an existing facility just outside Knoxville, Tennesse. Raw materials will primarily be sourced from U.S.-based manufacturers, with backup capacity from Mexico and South America, Premier said.
In this collaboration, gowns are designed to specifications considering the hospital systems’ care delivery requirements, while also allowing for fully automated production that can scale over time. To support the venture long-term, health system co-investors also signed multi-year commitments to purchase a portion of the isolation gowns used each year from the joint venture.
Gowns produced by the new joint venture are expected to be available in mid-2021.
The arrangement with DeRoyal is part of Premier’s strategy to create more resiliency in the supply chain. Through this effort, Premier has worked with members to pursue targeted investment opportunities in critical supply categories that lack adequate competition, geographic diversity or stable sources of contingency supply. The first such investment was in Prestige Ameritech, one of the nation’s only domestic producers of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
As a result of the joint investment and a long-term commitment to purchase products from Prestige Ameritech, the company is now making 3.5 million additional N95 masks per month for U.S. healthcare providers. Moving forward, Premier plans to address critical supply needs through similar partnerships with members in other product categories, including gloves and disinfecting wipes.
Premier members participating in the initial investment include, among others:
- AdventHealth (Altamonte Springs, FL)
- Atrium Health (Charlotte, NC)
- Baptist Health (Louisville, KY)
- Beebe Healthcare (Lewes, DE)
- CHAMPS GPO (Cleveland, OH)
- Chesapeake Regional Healthcare (Chesapeake, VA)
- Med Center Health (Bowling Green, KY)
- Community Medical Centers (Fresno, CA)
- East Alabama Medical Center (Opelika, AL)
- First Health of the Carolinas (Pinehurst, NC)
- Health Enterprise Cooperative (Cedar Rapids, IA)
- Henry Ford Health System (Detroit, MI)
- Hospital for Special Surgery (New York, NY)
- McLaren Health Care (Grand Blanc, MI)
- Methodist Health System (Dallas, TX)
- Mon Health System (Morgantown, WV)
- Monument Health (Rapid City, SD)
- Norton Healthcare (Louisville, KY)
- OSF HealthCare (Peoria, IL)
- Riverside Health System (Newport News, VA)
- SBH Health System (New York, NY)
- St. Elizabeth Healthcare (Edgewood, KY)
- St. Luke’s University Health Network, (Bethlehem, PA)
- The University of Tennessee Medical Center (Knoxville, TN)
- Texas Health Resources (Arlington, TX)
- University of Virginia Medical Center (Charlottesville, VA)