By now you know that, because Puritan is the only U.S. manufacturer of the specialized swabs used for coronavirus testing, we’ve been gearing up rapidly to meet the need for COVID-19 testing supplies.
Our first step was to maximize our current production capacity. Immediately, we began running three shifts. Our employees sacrificed their family and personal lives to work 10 hours shifts, seven days a week. Thanks to their fantastic dedication and hard work, we quickly increased output.
Even with this massive and often grueling production schedule, it became clear that more capacity was needed, so we’ve been building a second production facility. We’re excited to announce that the plant was retrofitted in record time, and we are in the early stages of production. As we add employees and come fully up to speed in the days ahead, we will ultimately be able to more than double our output.
All this progress would not have been possible without every one of our employees who have given so much and risen to every challenge every day. They have been — and continue to be — vital to the COVID-19 cause that President Trump made a special trip to thank them. And while they all deserve recognition, here’s a little bit about those who had the opportunity to speak during that visit.
Meet Angie Buscher
With 20 years of service at Puritan, Angie is an operator in our laboratory kit manufacturing area. Since the coronavirus hit, she’s been working 10 hours a day, seven days a week for months. Despite all the hard work, Angie feels thankful. “I am so grateful for this company and for serving our country,” said Angie.
Meet Tracy Porter
An employee over 30 years. Tracy Porter is our lead shipping and packaging technician. Before the pandemic, the Puritan team was already working long hours, filling customer orders. Back then, he and his coworkers expressed a wish for more machines to fill orders faster. One benefit of the newly expanded production capabilities will be the ability to process orders for all customers more quickly.
Tracy is grateful for the new machinery and also the opportunity to help during COVID-19. “More often than not, when we see news of a crisis in the world, we lament that few of us have any chance to change the outcome. Today, we find ourselves blessed with this opportunity to make a difference,” said Tracy.
Meet Derek McKenny
Derek is the senior manufacturing engineer at Puritan and a project manager for the new manufacturing plant. His mother has been with the company for 35 years, so you could say that Puritan is in his genes. Derek remembers spending happy, idyllic days during his childhood playing in his mom’s office. These days, being part of the team working around the clock and through weekends, his experience at Puritan is a little less idyllic. But Derek is still happy to be able to do his part to serve his country and the American people.
He’s also excited to be on the team that’s fast-tracked the buildout of Puritan’s second manufacturing facility. “This project would normally take 18 months to complete. But in a truly unimaginable feat, it was operational in just eight weeks,” said Derek. The project was a highly collaborative effort between Puritan, Bath Iron Works, and Cianbro Construction.
Grateful customers and citizens
Appreciation for the whole team has been pouring in from around the country. Here’s just a sampling of what people of saying:
“Thank you for doing everything you do and thank you for being in and producing your products in the United States of America! We are so proud of all of you!!!”
- David Behrmann, Behrtschen Enterprises Inc
“I just got tested with your product for COVID for an upcoming excisional biopsy to rule out cancer. I have been following the news from your company since I heard about you on NPR. I know all of you and your employees have been working overtime to help increase testing and I wanted to personally say THANK YOU for your efforts. You are all heroes.”
~Grateful citizen, Cumming, Georgia
Please accept my sincere thanks for all that you and your team are doing to support Bon Secours Mercy Health’s vital work during this trying time. Your tireless work, innovation and get-it-done spirit exemplify what makes Puritan a trusted and valued partner.”
~John M. Starcher, Jr., President and CEO, Bon Secours Mercy Health
“Puritan is not only critical to COVID-19 testing, but absolutely critical to restoring the confidence in the American people, which is directly related to getting the economy back on track.”
~Rachael Baitel, Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
While our team appreciates the gratitude and well wishes, at the end of the day, most would say it’s not outside praise that motivates them. What keeps them hard at work is knowing that they are serving our country and protecting their fellow Americans.
Thank you to all Puritan customers for your patience as we rush to meet all your COVID-19 testing needs. For more on the coronavirus, visit our COVID-19 Portal with the latest news and information from Puritan Medical Products, CDC and John Hopkins University.