John Strotbeck: How Boathouse Sports Started Making PPE

John Strotbeck, Olympian and CEO of Boathouse Sports, explains how and why the outerwear company pivoted to PPE production at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Segment Description: John Strotbeck, Olympian and CEO of Boathouse Sports, explains how and why the outerwear company pivoted to PPE production at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previous Coverage: Strategic National Stockpile: Supplies Fail to Go Where Needed Most

PPE is a term that nearly everyone is familiar with now due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Currently, international shortages of PPE have been plaguing health care workers and hospitals.

Mask shortages were noted in February, with a considerable amount of manufacturing issues due the pandemic coupled with stockpiling and rapid efforts to prepare. From surgical masks to N95 respirators, such PPE has become the new gold to acquire. With such shortages noted and an increasingly strained US health care infrastructure working to combat the threat of COVID-19, the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) was put into place.

The SNS is designed to provide critical supplies including medical counter measures, but also PPE and medical equipment, to help supplement those states struggling to keep up. Kept in storage, the SNS supplies are deployed “If a community experiences a large-scale public health incident in which the disease or agent is unknown, the first line of support from the stockpile is to send a broad-range of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Contents are pre-packed and configured in transport-ready containers for rapid delivery anywhere in the United States within 12 hours of the federal decision to deploy. Each package contains 50 tons of emergency medical resources.”

Within the SNS there are several branches that range from information and planning to operational logistics and science. Medical and pharmaceutical products are just 1 piece of the SNS, with PPE and medical equipment also making up inventory.