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Project Frontline – Live Premiere & Panel Event
Massachusetts was one of the states hit hardest by the first wave of the SARS-COV-2 virus in the early part of 2020. As the case count surged, supplies of testing equipment and critical personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers ran short, leading hospital executives to take extraordinary measures to secure products. State governments operated in uncharted territory – scrambling to fend for themselves and competing against neighboring states in the quest to purchase and deliver much needed masks, gowns, and face shields. The fragility of global supply lines for PPE was exposed.
Massachusetts is home to world-class academic institutions and top-notch healthcare systems. Boston is a city brimming with companies on the cutting-edge of biotech and medtech research and solutions. The supporting manufacturing base stretches the breadth of the state, creating an ecosystem uniquely equipped to respond to the crisis. State government leaders acted quickly – establishing a team of experts from healthcare, academia, and industry to stand up domestic supply lines of commoditized but essential hospital products.
Episode 1 of this multi-part series documents the onslaught of the COVID-19 crisis brought on by severe shortages of PPE and testing equipment at hospitals; the formation of the Massachusetts Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT); and sets up the response by the MedTech industry to provide domestic and in-state manufacturing capabilities for critical supplies.
Julie Chen, Ph.D, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor | UMass Lowell
Brian Johnson, President | MassMEDIC
Mike Kennealy, Secretary, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development | Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Mark Keroack, MD, MPH, President & Chief Executive Officer | Baystate Health
Carolyn Kirk, Executive Director | MassTech Collaborative