LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) — A group of federal, state and healthcare leaders selected Goodwill Industries of Arkansas as a partner in a new critical care decontamination program. This program will help ease the shortage of PPE at Arkansas hospitals, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal government recently awarded Ohio-based Battelle a $415 million contract for the purchase of 60 Battelle Critical Care Decontamination Systems™. Battelle is a nonprofit research and development laboratory. The system uses a peroxide gas to sanitize N95 masks, allowing them to be worn multiple times. At full capacity, the decontamination system can process up to 80,000 masks per day.
The state’s only Battelle system has just been delivered to the campus of Goodwill’s Little Rock headquarters on Scott Hamilton Drive. Meeting extensive site guidelines, the facility was selected based on specific qualifications such as electric, transportation, HVAC and technological capabilities. The system could be up and running in the next few days.
“Goodwill’s mission has always been about changing lives. Today, it’s also about saving lives,” says Goodwill Industries of Arkansas President and CEO Brian F. Marsh.
Goodwill has been an advocate for Arkansas healthcare providers throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The nonprofit began collecting various forms of PPE in early April, in collaboration with Cintas and the Arkansas Hospital Association. Arkansans have donated masks, gloves, gowns, face shields and other important equipment that have been delivered to area hospitals, free of charge.
Goodwill will continue to support efforts to protect Arkansans while continuing its mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. In the weeks and months ahead, Arkansans will need help more than ever. Funded by the sale of donated items, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas provides numerous job training programs and assistance finding employment, as well as operates and state’s only free high school for adults, The Excel Center®.