Vizient enters into agreement to augment domestic supply of exam gloves

Nov. 30, 2022

Vizient, Inc. has announced an agreement with SafeSource Direct, LLC, the manufacturer of high-quality, American-made personal protective equipment (PPE), for chemo-rated nitrile gloves. The agreement is the latest move by Vizient to increase supply assurance of critical medical supplies.

SafeSource Direct, a joint venture between the Gulf South's largest health system, Ochsner Health, and Trax Development, launched in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a solution to national shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). Adding 850 jobs in Broussard, Louisiana and planning to create over 2,200 total American jobs, SafeSource Direct is initially focusing production on meeting the needs of all Ochsner facilities as well as Vizient members seeking domestic or committed supply. Additionally, the manufacturer is working toward complete vertical integration by sourcing raw materials at a nearby facility to further shore up PPE resiliency.

"The healthcare supply chain is global, extremely complex and remains an open invitation for unexpected disruptions. Vizient is committed to supporting efforts that help ensure our members are insulated against supply chain disruptions like those that occurred with the COVID-19 pandemic," said Simrit Sandhu, executive vice president for Vizient. "As a result of its unique partnership with Ochsner Health, a clinical quality leader, SafeSource Direct is able to produce high quality nitrile gloves."

With two manufacturing plants, SafeSource Direct is capable of producing more than 108,000 gloves per hour across multiple operational lines. It aims to have a dozen lines operational by January 2024 capable of producing over 2 billion gloves annually with additional manufacturing capacity available on-site.

"The pandemic shined a light on significant flaws in sourcing PPE from outside the U.S., and through this new agreement, we're helping insulate Vizient members from future price increases, stockouts, and international supply chain disruptions," said Justin Hollingsworth, CEO of SafeSource Direct. "Our healthcare partners have had to resort to stockpiling, which is costly and inefficient. We're ensuring they can always count on a readily available, high-quality supply of PPE."

"We are proud to play a leading role in ensuring a high-quality and reliable PPE supply made in America," said Regine Villain, system vice president of supply chain network & chief supply chain officer, Ochsner Health. "Having a domestically manufactured PPE supply mitigates risks inherent in a global supply chain that can't always meet demand. It also ensures that our PPE is the highest quality. Furthermore, reshoring PPE production aligns with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities to ensure ethical work conditions at PPE plants and to eliminate carbon emissions associated with overseas transport."

Vizient release