PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Arizona Department of Health Services just got a huge donation of personal protective equipment for our front line workers.
Hundreds of single-use bedside carts full of supplies for nurses and COVID-19 patients were sent to the Navajo Nation and eight of our most at-risk counties.
TAGCarts CEO Tagg Neal graduated from Northern Arizona University and used to live in the Valley. So when he saw Arizona at the global epicenter in the peak of the pandemic, it was a no-brainer to pivot his new business to help.
"We saw the environments of care over 1,100 pop-up field hospitals erected by the Army Corps of Engineers, and we noticed that the nurses didn't have the same environment of care with carts and storage and access that they had in the hospital," said Neal. "They told us, 'There (are) only two carts in here and 500 beds!"
"Any stressed environment leads to omissions of care, medication errors, so on and so forth," Neal added.
Knowing alternative care centers for COVID-19 patients would already be stressful environments, his team was confident they had a solution.
"We took an old idea off the shelf to design a cart with 90% of the utility for less than 10% of the cost. So we came up with a product then named it after the frontline heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic and everyday, the nurses," said Neal.
“If we continue to remain diligent about wearing masks in public now and throughout the upcoming flu season, I believe we will continue to flatten the curve for COVID-19"
Their HEROCart is stocked with single-use personal protective equipment like gowns, gloves, masks, and other supplies. They are all fully recyclable in a bio-degradable cart that comes with wheels to help streamline safety and efficiency. Nurses at the Gila River Red Tail Hawk Health Center say having to run all over their sprawling campus can be tough so they're looking forward to using the carts to keep supplies more easily accessible. They just got 54 of the donated HEROCarts.
So whether it's a rural tent pop-up for overflow care or a clinic on standby for surge capacity like Red Tail Hawk, HEROCarts keep all supplies bedside, so nurses can focus on the patients. There's even a drawer for patients to store personal items with dignity.
"Your personal diabetic medication, your eyeglasses, cellphone, wallet. And the feedback that we're getting is, yeah, it's a, it's a wonderful product with a lot of value for those environments," said Neal.
And from packaging to shipping, where they found a Phoenix moving company, Dircks Moving & Logistics to bring the donated carts here for free. It's a project they're more than proud of.
It wasn’t long ago when President Jonathan Nez of Navajo Nation was at the center of their COVID crisis seen around the world
"Not only is this product helpful and useful, it's been assembled by veterans and Americans with disabilities here in the United States of America," said Neal.
In addition to the 250 carts donated statewide, TAGCarts also donated another 150 HEROCarts to the Navajo Nation, and they're doing the same in California, where they're now based, investing more than $150,000 in our front line workers.
"When you're doing the right thing, the right way with the right people for the right reasons, there's nothing that can replace that feeling," said Neal.