Manufacturer retools to make reusable medical gowns

Alex Grover, chief operating officer at i2M, shows a medical gown now being manufactured at the plant in Mountain Top, Luzerne County.

The Daily Item 

MOUNTAIN TOP — A manufacturing company in Northeast Pennsylvania has converted its operations to produce effective and durable personal protective gowns for frontline healthcare workers at Geisinger Medical Center and across the nation.

The company — i2M — is a leading producer of flexible polymer films used in products such as shower liners, pool liners, decking, product labels and window graphics. It is based in Mountain Top.

“If you’ve ever put a bumper sticker on your car, taken a shower or walked on luxury vinyl tile, you’ve probably come into contact with one of our products,” said i2M Chief Operating Officer Alex Grover.

“Our team believes that it is the responsibility of U.S. manufacturers to step up to the plate for our medical heroes and first responders.”

The company found itself well-positioned to design material to create medical gowns that were durable and reusable for hospital staff. Grover was able to connect with Geisinger’s Director of Emergency Management Stephanie Gryboski to help create the best design and needs for the gowns.

“I supplied Alex from i2M with the specifications on our current isolation gowns. From those, she designed the vinyl, reusable gowns,” Gryboski said. “These are great because they can be disinfected and reused and are very durable.”

The gowns are long sleeve, waterproof and they secure at the waist for a comfortable fit. They are generously sized for full coverage and flexibility and have a medium gloss finish that makes them easy to disinfect after use. 

“We’re also working on developing face shields, which we realized we are capable of developing after receiving step-by-step instructions from Stephanie,” said Grover, who donated 1,000 gowns to Geisinger.

Grover said Geisinger’s confidence in their product gave the company inspiration to do more. The company plans to distribute more than 5,000 gowns to first responders and medical centers nationwide. They set a goal to distribute more than 10,000 within the next three weeks.

“i2M’s donation was incredibly generous, especially because it was a changeover for their team that wasn’t easy,” Gryboski said. “They worked hard to get the product right before presenting it to us. We appreciated their diligence and determination to get us a good product.”

Grover said it was an easy decision to donate the gowns to Geisinger.

“We firmly believe that we will only defeat COVID-19 if we come together as a team and as a community.

“The i2M team sees our gowns as our contribution to winning the war against the virus on our home turf.”

To make a donation to Geisinger in the fight against COVID-19, visit online at Geisinger.org/fightcovid or call 800-739-6882.

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