Pathologist and consultant Dr. Steffani Stalos knows how important it is for lab personnel to wear the necessary equipment in order to conduct specimen tests, as 60 to 70 percent of medical management decisions are based on these tests. Worried about how supply chain gaps would affect healthcare and laboratory entities during the pandemic, Stalos launched Core Medical Industries LLC in April.
Stalos worried that not enough testing would be done if lab personnel weren’t properly protected, and wanted to get involved to solve the problem. Core Medical Industries aims to produce high-quality filtration masks for hospitals, primary care clinics, urgent care centers, first responders, clinical labs, acute care centers, and rehabilitation and pain centers. Stalos’ goal is to meet local needs first, but as the company grows, she plans to create a reserve for other states and the federal government.
“I have more of a background on how to manage a service-based company,” Stalos said. “This is a totally new type of company for me, because this is a product-based company, meaning it relies on the cost of goods inventory. It is a quite a steep learning curve, and it is a learning curve I’m willing to go through because I know the impact it would have on all of us in the healthcare community.”
Despite the current need for masks, Stalos believes the demand for personal protective equipment will outlive the current COVID-19 pandemic. Because the United States does not have enough suppliers to make the amount of the masks it needs, the country is forced to lean onto foreign suppliers, which only solves the short-term problem, Stalos says. With Core Medical Insturies LLC, she hopes to contribute a short-term and long-term supply chain solution.
“If we come to another worldwide pandemic, are we going to reach out again to the foreign suppliers who are themselves under the same condemning and pressures that we are? It doesn’t seem proactive enough if we don’t start building our infrastructure,” Stalos said. “ My solution is to safeguard our medical health and our economic health by preparing for the eventuality of another pandemic where we would actually have enough infrastructure and we don’t have to rely on foreign suppliers.”