UPS has delivered the first VOCSN V+Pro critical care ventilators produced by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems in Kokomo, Ind., to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Ill., and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The milestone shipments are putting important tools in the hands of frontline medical professionals treating patients seriously ill with COVID-19, officials say.
Both Franciscan Health Olympia Fields and Weiss Memorial received their shipments on Friday, April 17. One day later, UPS delivered a third shipment from GM-Kokomo to FEMA at the Gary/Chicago International Airport for distribution to other locations where the need is greatest.
The deliveries are the culmination of a partnership between GM and Ventec Life Systems that began with a phone call one month ago. Since then, the combined teams have sourced thousands of parts, transformed GM’s advanced electronics facility in Kokomo for medical device production, contracted with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide 30,000 ventilators by the end of August, and launched mass production. More than 1,000 men and women from the Kokomo community will be building ventilators.
Said White House Assistant to the President Dr. Peter Navarro: “Not only has GM/Ventec and the UAW set a new Trump Time standard in rapid industrial mobilization—just weeks from site construction to ventilator production—the GM/Ventec ventilators are now rolling off the line, and on the wings and tires of Big Brown-UPS. And through the seamless coordination of FEMA, these lifesaving devices are equally rapidly being delivered to hospitals in need in Chicago and Gary.”
Mary Shehan, CEO of Weiss Memorial Hospital, also spoke out about the delivery, stating: “For a community hospital that was already struggling with budgetary constraints prior to this crisis, these ventilators are a much-needed infusion of critical resources to care for our patients, which includes a significant elderly population. We need all the help we can get now to rise to this unprecedented challenge.”