In honor of Sterile Packaging Day (April 13), the Sterilization Packaging Manufacturers Council will be hosting a blood drive through the Red Cross April 14 at MD&M West. Now in its second year, the annual day celebrates the roles sterile medical packaging play throughout healthcare, including enabling blood donation.
This year’s theme is “Better Together,” and the blood drive “celebrates the collective spirit of the sterile packaging industry and the chance to give back,” says Brandon Fisher, director of sales for PPC Flexible Packaging, an SPMC member. “Donating blood and giving something tangibly human, something that is always in need, encapsulates the meaning of Sterile Packaging Day—Better Together.”
Jay Virgil, vice president, sales & marketing, for SPMC member Technipaq, who is an Army veteran, says that the blood drive "resonates with me from those experiences and current global events. The idea for a blood drive at MD&M during Sterile Packaging Day allows us the opportunity to bring it all together and be united…point of care, patient.”
The day is also a chance to acknowledge the collective spirit of the healthcare industry, both on the supply side as well as the clinician side. “If you look at the entirety of the medical device supply chain—medical device manufacturers, sterile packaging manufacturers, sterile/aseptic fillers, and others—it is an industry that is critical to day-to-day life,” says Fisher. “Sterile Packaging Day is about celebrating all those who contribute to healthcare as a whole, including nurses, COVID-19 testing professionals, and other clinicians.”
The “Better Together” theme is also well suited to SPMC’s tradition. Kathleen Daly Mascolo, vice president, director of sales & marketing, for SPMC member Beacon Converters, says that “SPMC members routinely team up with customers, suppliers, and industry organizations such as ASTM and AAMI to develop best practices and test methods, with the goal to improve patient safety. Just as we work better thanks to everyone’s strengths on our own teams, working with our partners’ strengths makes for a stronger industry. It’s the way new medical devices reach the market and lives are saved.”
Adds Kevin Fogg, sales account manager for SPMC member SteriPax: “We take pride in building a reliable supply chain for healthcare packaging—it is about making an impact. Together with our partners and the sterile packaging community, we are committed to providing critical support to device manufacturers, care providers, and patients alike—that is the driving force for SteriPax.”
Fisher laments that there is often a lack of understanding of how integral sterile packaging is to healthcare. But sterile packaging absolutely is, even down to the sterile sachet that packages the “IPA wipe to sterilize a cut,” he says. “Sterile packaging is needed to carry the product from manufacturing to sterilization to patients.”
Fisher adds that during COVID-19, people have “come together to ensure stability and health in the masses. The amount of work has been absolutely staggering—it has taken discipline and an understanding of the responsibility to keep it moving forward. It has also required an increase of cadence, communication, and collaboration—it feels like 3-5 years of work in one year.”
Fisher and the other members of the SPMC are also looking forward to coming together at MD&M West. “With the shifting landscape, we are now able to have trade shows and get together with industry, competitors, and colleagues. That in itself is a great testament to the work that has been done to get to this point,” says Fisher. “To go from where we were on lockdown to getting on a plane and attending a tradeshow, it ties into the ‘Better Together’ theme—how lucky we are.”
In support of Sterile Packaging Day's message that “We’re Better Together,” the SPMC has expanded its membership to include allied industries, Dhuanne Dodrill, CEO of PAXXUS tells MD+DI. “Companies that are engaged in the manufacture of materials, equipment, or supplies; testing; and sterilization services primarily related to healthcare flexible packaging and have sales in the United States are now eligible to be SPMC members,” she says. “By collaborating across a broader industry base, the SPMC will be better able to serve our mission of improving patient protection.” Interested companies can contact Abby Trumpy at [email protected] for more information.
Please consider booking an appointment for the blood drive through the Red Cross April 14 at MD&M West.