RIVERSIDE, Mo. — Dr. Farid Namin is a Kansas City-area gastroenterologist who had to stop elective procedures early in the pandemic due to a PPE shortage.
He saw the slowdown at work as an opportunity.
"When my director of my surgery told me that we will be restricted doing elective cases mainly because of a lack of PPE, that was something that was unacceptable to me. And that is the main reason that we're trying to do this, create PPE that is U.S. made for U.S. use and hopefully to one day to become completely independent of any other countries for PPE," Namin explained.
Namin is behind the opening of a new production plant in Riverside.
Safe PPE USA will be making surgical grade equipment to be used on the front lines, and in other medical fields.
"We are creating different types of masks, which include the surgical mask. And also, N95 certified masks. And in addition to that we have different lines of PPE that we will be producing here, which will include surgical gowns and isolation gowns and also shoe covers and hair covers that will come very handy for medical purposes," Namin explained.
It shouldn't be long before the PPE is in the hands of medical staff.
"We're going to hopefully go to production within a month. So, if you hopefully visit us in a month you will see that we will be in production and producing PPE. And in the first year, our goal is to produce in excess of 100 million PPE products, and by the second or third year be hope, hoping to go way further than that," Namin said.
He anticipates a workforce of 50 to 60 employees working at the production plant.
"The reason we started this was mainly when we recognized that we are so dependent for PPE from different countries, mainly China, and it comes to my attention that daily things that we used in a surgical room were not being made in the U.S.," Namin said. "That made us determined to come up with a process to create this type of PPE in the U.S., and that's our mission."