CHICAGO – The first VOCSN V+Pro critical care ventilators produced by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems in Kokomo, Indiana are being delivered by UPS to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Illinois and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The milestone shipments are putting important tools in the hands of frontline medical professionals treating patients seriously ill with COVID-19.
“The passion and commitment that people at GM, Ventec, and our suppliers have put into this work is inspiring,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We are all humbled to support the heroic efforts of medical professionals in Chicagoland and across the world who are fighting to save lives and turn the tide of the pandemic.”
“Patients deserve access to the best technology to keep them in the fight as their bodies combat the virus,” added Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple. “Critical care ventilators deliver precise airflow to protect the lungs, include accurate monitors to assess patient well-being, and most importantly, they include advanced controls that help respiratory therapists and physicians wean patients off ventilators as fast as possible.”
Franciscan Health Olympia Fields received their shipment early Friday morning and Weiss Memorial will receive theirs Friday afternoon. A third shipment from GM-Kokomo will be delivered by UPS to FEMA at the Gary/Chicago International Airport on Saturday for distribution to other locations where the need is greatest.
“UPS always stands ready to meet the urgent needs of the American people, and we are proud to be selected to make this historic delivery,” explained UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney. “This monumental effort is a testament to the unbridled ingenuity and innovation of American companies. In the words of our founder, determined people working together can accomplish anything; and GM, Ventec and UPS have accomplished this together with the speed, quality and exacting precision that the world expects from America’s private sector.”
The deliveries are the culmination of a partnership between GM and Ventec Life Systems that began with a phone call exactly one month ago. Since then, the combined teams have sourced thousands of parts, transformed GM’s advanced electronics facility in Kokomo for medical device production, and contracted with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide 30,000 ventilators by the end of August.
More than 1,000 men and women from the Kokomo community will be building ventilators.
“For a community hospital that was already struggling with budgetary constraints prior to this crisis, these ventilators are a much-needed infusion of critical resources to care for our patients, which includes a significant elderly population,” said Mary Shehan, CEO of Weiss Memorial Hospital. “We are extremely grateful for the support and to all those who are rallying to ensure that our frontline caregivers have the necessary supplies to care for our patients. We need all the help we can get now to rise to this unprecedented challenge.”
“We have healthcare heroes who are on the front lines in this pandemic and we’re grateful to know there is support to attain more of the essential resources they need to care for the most critically ill patients,” added Allan M. Spooner, President and CEO of Franciscan Health Olympia Fields. “Every single one of these ventilators will make a difference in the lives of critical COVID-19 patients and our other patients with acute respiratory illness. We are grateful and inspired by the ingenuity and dedication of everyone behind this truly lifesaving gift.”