By Jill Fox
A family-owned business that typically manufactures privacy glass, such as the observation windows seen outside a hospital nursery, is now part of the effort to provide a safe way for doctors to perform procedures on COVID-19 patients.
A Coral Springs and London-based company, VISTAMATIC is now behind unique personal protective equipment.
According to CEO Kevin Roth, Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky reached out to him in search of someone who could help manufacture a type of intubation box to be utilized in local hospitals after Dr. Meena Hierholzer, an Emergency Room Physician at Broward Health North called her for help.
“I had reached out to my physician friends around the country to see what they were purchasing to make sure they’re prepared for the surge,” said Hierholzer, an ER doctor at Broward Health North for the last 12 years.
Someone suggested this intubation box to her that had been quite effective.
“The intention is when you’re hands-on, it can contain the disease within the box itself to decrease exposure to the virus,” Hierholzer said.
When asked, Hunschofsky immediately thought of Roth, who lives in Parkland with his wife, Hayley, and four children.
“I thought maybe he could do it or would know of someone who could make the boxes,” she said.
When Roth seemed interested, Hunschofsky connected him with Hierholzer, who sent him a prototype right away. Roth was able to produce an intubation box for her that week, from his Coral Springs warehouse.
“We have had so many requests for them, and we’ve been contacted by doctors saying they are saving lives,” said Roth, who explained, the Ventboxx is a clear acrylic box that is placed over the patient’s head and has two holes for the clinician’s hands to go through to perform procedures.
In cases where the risk of transmission is high, the Ventboxx reduces the contamination to doctors, nurses, respiratory specialists– everyone within the room.
In addition to donating hundreds of masks to places in need, like Aston Gardens retirement facility in Parkland, VISTAMATIC has provided dozens of free Ventboxxes to local healthcare facilities.
“Typically, I prefer to be an anonymous donor, but I want to get the word out and donate as many of these as possible because they are saving lives,” said Roth, who is currently selling the intubation boxes at his cost as well as donating ten percent of the sales to Feeding America.
Roth has since set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to donate as many of these essential PPE products as possible.
Each box costs $149 to make, pack and ship. The goal is to raise $15,000 to provide 100 units, two to each of 50 local hospitals. Upon donating, individuals can even indicate if they wish to give money towards a particular hospital’s Ventboxx.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and now resides in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 11 and Randi, 7.
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