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Methodist Health System Helps Expand Domestic PPE Production

New joint venture will produce isolation gowns in Tennessee using domestically produced raw materials

Methodist Health System is proud to partner with a newly created joint venture dedicated to the domestic production of isolation gowns, a critical piece of personal protective equipment.

Methodist is partnering with DeRoyal Industries Inc., a global medical manufacturer, and Premier Inc., a performance improvement company, to produce the gowns in a facility outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Raw materials will be sourced from U.S.-based manufacturers, with backup capacity from Mexico and South America.

In this unique collaboration, gowns are designed to specifications considering Methodist’s care delivery requirements, while also allowing for fully automated production that can scale over time. Methodist also entered into a multiyear commitment to purchase a portion of our annual isolation gowns from the joint venture.

“Methodist is proud to lead the way in bringing production of this vital product home to the United States,” says Jan Lea, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, Methodist Health System. “This pandemic has exposed how brittle our healthcare supply chains are, and this commitment will help build resiliency into our supply chain in the future.”

Medical products critical for daily operations are overwhelmingly sourced overseas, with approximately 80 percent of PPE coming from China and Southeast Asia. The risks of this overreliance on Asia came into sharp focus as COVID-19 swept across the globe and nations closed their borders and prevented U.S. access to supplies. In addition, sourcing from overseas makes replenishment difficult, as it can take 90-120 days for foreign products to reach U.S. shores, depending on country of origin, weather, mode of transportation and customs processes.

“Methodist is an early leader, stepping up and putting their investment dollars to work in ways that will help protect communities, patients and healthcare workers from shortages of essential medical products,” said Premier President Michael J. Alkire. “This is truly a win-win strategy – where Methodist will have access to a broader array of quality products at a fair price, all while rebuilding domestic manufacturing and better insulating communities from risk and disruption.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Gowns produced by the new joint venture are expected to be available in mid-2021.

About Methodist Health System
Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Dallas-based Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated healthcare to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Twelve hospitals proudly carry the Methodist Health System brand, as owners or through affiliation. More than 50 Methodist Family Health Centers and Methodist Medical Group specialty physician office locations are among the facilities served by the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System.