When Bryan Health was having trouble finding a supply of hand sanitizer for smaller bottles around the hospital, Heather Seeba knew just where to turn.
The hospital system's regular supplier, a company called GoGel, decided to restrict supply of hand sanitizer to only large quantities for wall-mounted units, leaving Bryan scrambling to find smaller bottles to stock desks and counters and for staff members to carry around in pockets to help in the fight against COVID-19.
Bryan got approval from the Food and Drug Administration to compound its own sanitizer in its hospital pharmacies, but it sill needed to find the ingredients.
Seeba is Bryan's supply chain director, but she previously worked for Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing in Lincoln, and she turned to the company for help getting the chemicals needed to make hand sanitizer in-house.
Bryan inquired as to whether it could buy chemicals it needed from Kawasaki, but the company did one better: Last week, it donated and delivered two 55-gallon barrels of isopropyl alcohol and another two 55-gallon barrels of hydrogen peroxide.
Kawasaki, which shut down production for two weeks at the beginning of the week, also is helping with an effort to produce face shields for Bryan and other local health care providers.
"These are difficult times and it is key to help our health care providers and community in any way that we can," Jason Hellbusch, Kawasaki's director of administration, said in an email. "Kawasaki will continue to support the fight against this pandemic in any way possible as we have seen many other local businesses do as well. We are lucky to have such dedicated, thoughtful and talented staff to be able to contribute to this effort."
Seeba said Bryan was able to secure the other chemical it needed from a supplier and started making hand sanitizer in-house earlier this week.
The donation of chemicals from Kawasaki is one of many Bryan has received from businesses, government agencies, community groups and individuals, including thousands of masks, gloves and gowns.
"It's really heartening to see the community come together like that," Seeba said.
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