Mon Valley Hospital purchases cutting-edge equipment with CARES Act funds

Karen Masnfield

Monongahela Valley Hospital is using cutting-edge technology to combat COVID-19, thanks to more than $1.52 million in equipment it recently purchased through CARES Act funding.

Washington County commissioners on Wednesday presented hospital officials with a check for $1,526,492 from the Washington County Hospital Grant Program. The CARES Act grant dollars are funded by the U.S. Federal Government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“This is one of the most exciting things I’ve been able to do as commissioner, to provide the hospital with CARES Act funding for equipment they really needed,” said Commissioner Nick Sherman.

Louis J. Panza Jr., president and CEO of Mon Valley Hospital, said the funds were used to “to purchase innovative devices and equipment for our front-line staff to use to provide a higher level of care to our patients.”

With the funds, Mon Valley Hospital bought two advanced ultraviolet disinfection systems, 70 Maxair CAPR helmets, and three ventilators, and installed nine self-service kiosks at the entrances to the hospital and the Charles L. and Rose Melenyzer Pavilion and Regional Cancer Center.

The state-of-the-art room sanitizers use UV radiation technology to destroy more than 35 infection-causing pathogens, including coronavirus, in 10 minutes, by inactivating their DNA. The sanitizers lend a technological hand to the hospital’s manual surface disinfection routine.

Additionally, the systems provide 360 degrees of surface coverage, ensuring that patient rooms are germ-free.

The Maxair CAPR helmets are air-purifying respirators for use by health-care workers. The lightweight helmets are an alternative to cumbersome air tubes and bulky, belt-mounted blower units.

They also provide better respiratory protection than conventional powered air purifying respirators and N-95 respirator masks, according to MVH.

Health-care workers are using the helmets throughout the hospital, including in the ICU, Emergency Department, COVID units, Anesthesia and Respiratory Therapy departments, and the Hospitalist Service.

The self-service kiosks help the hospital better handle patient, visitor, and employee building access.

The high-tech kiosks screen people with temperature check software, a wellness questionnaire, and other features, to determine if it is appropriate for the person to enter the building.

Sherman commended the health-care workers at Mon Valley Hospital and thanked them for their efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was great being there to talk to the nurses and doctors on the front line. It’s been a lot for all of them,” said Sherman. “They’re on the forefront dealing with the pandemic and the virus, and in addition they’re now getting inundated with phone calls (during the vaccine rollout), and they’re calming people’s nerves and dealing with people who aren’t being very patient and taking it out on them, so I want to recognize them for all they’ve done.”