With personal protective equipment (PPE) a mainstay in the battle against COVID-19, New Jersey launched the PPE Supplier Registry to forge connections between suppliers and buyers in the state.
The program intends to connect wholesale vendors with stock of PPE, including surgical and other protective masks, hospital gowns, test kits, and hand sanitizer, with area hospitals, medical organizations, and private businesses.
Gov. Phil Murphy noted at his daily press briefing June 3 that even as the state begins to reopen, the supply issues for PPE still exist.
PPE Supply Issues
“We don’t have enough PPE today. Today, on June 3, 2020 in this state,” said Murphy. ” As a nation, we started out in an awful place with a peashooter at best in terms of PPE, ventilators, other supplies, not just for long-term care, certainly for long-term care and other vulnerable communities, but for hospital systems, for essential workers, for NJ Transit bus riders or train operators.”
“As we sit here today as a nation and as a state, we have come — I don’t think per capita any state has put more PPE, sourced it and put it to work than New Jersey. I’m pretty confident we’re number one in the nation, but we’re still not at the level that we need to be.”
The initiative launched in May was developed through a coalition of agencies, including the governor’s office, the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Office of Innovation, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Office of Economic Transformation.
Protecting the Frontline
The marketplace is seen as a way to ensure the health and safety frontline workers during the pandemic.
“One of the most distressing challenges related to the coronavirus outbreak has been ensuring healthcare and other essential workers have the protective gear they need to safeguard their own health and that of their loved ones while caring for others,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio.
Not only would the site provide critical PPE materials which were hard to come by, it would increase distribiton speed, too, according to Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and Director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
“Establishing a centralized clearinghouse where organizations and businesses that need PPE can connect directly with suppliers is critical to speeding up our efforts to get protective equipment to workers who need it most,” Callahan said.
Early Success, Expanding Access
At its launch 1,000 businesses had registered for the database, offering more than 2,500 different products. Interested companies can register using the PPE Supplier Registry intake form.
“The PPE Supplier Registry is another example of how technology and innovative thinking can enable solutions to complex challenges,” said Chief Innovation Officer Beth Simone Noveck.
The site would also provide PPE to businesses as the state began its reopening effort.
“The PPE Supplier Registry provides access to resources that will enable more New Jerseyans to return to work without putting themselves or their communities at risk,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan.