PPE Access is a Not-For-Profit whose sole purpose is to facilitate reliable and affordable access to PPE for community frontline healthcare workers, NPOs/charitable organizations and Regional Agencies.
Global PPE shortages remain a constant challenge: The need to secure alternative supply sources has become essential to protect our frontline workers and community-at-large.
Nowhere is this increased pressure and sense of panic being felt more acutely than in our community healthcare groups. While our hospitals and certain healthcare practitioners fall under provincial and federal mandates, entire swaths of community providers are having difficulty reliably accessing PPE. These groups include community physicians and specialists, hospice, shelters, group homes, public health, fire, police, EMS, midwives, and indigenous outreach programs. And the list goes on. Charitable organizations and not-for-profits that provide valuable community programming, often to our most vulnerable populations, have also been left scrambling to find quality PPE at reasonable prices.
Under the current model, these groups have always ordered PPE as individual organizations, never having a reason to doubt their traditional supply chains. Now, with global supply drying up, allocations in effect, and many PPE distributors requiring exceptionally large orders, we need to find a reliable way to start supporting these critical community organizations.
We believe in the purchasing power of numbers; creating this co-operative model will result more buying opportunities and better pricing for all. PPE Access has developed important partnerships with:
- Mohawk Medbuy – a large hospital purchasing consortium. Through PPE Access, community groups will be able to take advantage of the same buying opportunities that hospitals do! As items come off allocation, this means that the initiative will continue to provide value to organizations, even post-pandemic.
- Stevens – Our wonderful partner providing warehousing and 3rd party logistics and additional buying opportunities.
- Multiple Canadian manufacturers, including The Canadian Shield, plus a network of global distributors who help to smooth out supply access.
We have received incredible traction and support: In the Waterloo Region alone, over 300 organizations have registered their plans to participate so far. Supported by the Region of Waterloo, we were granted $50,000 in a unanimous decision by Councillors to support start up costs. We have also been receiving great support from Ontario Health.
PPE Access raises funds to bulk-purchase PPE through a social impact investment.
Community medical practitioners, NPOs/charitable orgs and Regional Agencies will be able to join PPE Access at no charge. They will be able to order PPE via this site’s online store. As these items are sold, we will be able to start tracking and analyzing the PPE needs of the Region and re-stock based on usage patterns.
STERILIZATION FOR REUSE
PPE Access is also working towards the creation of a sterilization-for-reuse program for N95 masks using the Cleanworks machine. The model for this is currently being determined, as Health Canada continues to formulate the guidelines for usage.
Amber French, CEO
|This initiative is being led by Amber French. Amber is Managing Partner at Catalyst Capital, an investment firm focused on technology and real estate investing in the Waterloo Region. Prior to her career in private equities, Amber leveraged her BSc from University of Waterloo by working for DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. She is also actively involved in the Angel Investor community and is a member of Rotary. Many months ago, Amber started working alongside the region’s hospitals and Ontario West, leveraging her vast network to connect the dots to alternative PPE supply chain options. Over time, she began focusing on addressing the challenges associated with the ongoing PPE needs of community healthcare workers and launched PPE Access.|
David Hussey, COO
David Hussey has worked in the KW Tech Sector for his entire career. After leaving the University of Waterloo with a BA and MA in History, he joined his first Startup right out of school. Some of the past companies he has worked with as an employee or as a contractor include: Knowledgehook, Rapid Novor, Voltera, and Nicoya. He has worked with Junior Achievement for 3 years, mentoring students in building their own businesses in the Company Program. David began working with PPE Access when he realized that there is a dire need to assist Businesses and Health Providers to the proper Personal Protective Equipment needed.
CFO Grand River Hospital
VP of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Ontario Health
Chief Purchasing Officer for the Region of Waterloo
Dr. Neil Naik
President KW Academy of Medicine, Assoc. Professor McMaster University