At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was one life-saving medical device that was in high demand but in short supply: ventilators. In these early days, ventilators offered patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) – the main cause of death among COVID patients – the best chance of survival.
A home-grown Massachusetts company, ZOLL Medical, knew they had the power to help save lives. ZOLL develops a range of emergency-care devices and related software, including products for defibrillation and cardiac monitoring, CPR feedback, circulation enhancement, supersaturated oxygen therapy, and therapeutic temperature management. And although ventilators are a relatively small part of its business, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) called in March 2020 to ask ZOLL how many ventilators it could supply, and how quickly it could do so, the company leaped into action.
ZOLL swiftly increased its ventilator production by more than 25 times normal output. Within six months, ZOLL delivered more than 20,000 ventilators to HHS – the single largest order in the company’s history.
The Chelmsford-based company is quick to acknowledge the strength of the Massachusetts ecosystem and the ability to tap into the abundance of resources only a life sciences ecosystem like ours can offer.
“We have deep roots in Massachusetts, and I couldn’t think of a better place for us to be located and to be growing,” said Lynn Hersey, head of Corporate Human Resources at ZOLL. ZOLL is a global company with a footprint in more than 140 countries. Yet it all starts at home, as the company values having their headquarters here in the Commonwealth. It is part of the strong foundation that enables them to continue growing their R&D and manufacturing base.
“The combination of being close to great schools that encourage intellectual curiosity – including the nearby UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College – and being an easy drive to world-renowned hospitals and research institutions is powerful. We have access to a talent pool with a work ethic and resiliency that is unmatched,” said Lynn.
Over the past three years, ZOLL has been a recipient of the MLSC Tax Incentive program, which provides job-creation incentives to companies engaged in life sciences research and development, commercialization and manufacturing looking to expand their efforts in the Commonwealth. In that same three-year span, ZOLL has grown their cumulative headcount by 25 percent in the state and has provided more than 75 internships and co-ops to Massachusetts college students.
“The Tax Incentive program is an instrumental mechanism of support allowing us to make the needed investment in our hiring efforts especially during a challenging labor market,” said Lynn. “Our partnership with the MLSC has been tremendous support for our growth.”
What makes ZOLL so successful isn’t just the life sciences ecosystem or the support from the MLSC. It’s their employees’ deep-rooted connection to the purpose of ZOLL, the spirit of continuous innovation, and the commitment to the values cultivated within the company. Lynn and the ZOLL leadership team believe the heartbeat of the company is their people – from the 30-year veterans to the interns or generations of families working there. It’s the people they employ in Massachusetts and beyond that are the spark that fuels the company’s global enterprise.