Medline today announced plans to manufacture face masks in North America for the first time. Using a mix of foreign and domestic materials for the masks, the company is modifying its Lithia Springs, Ga. plant and anticipates production to begin in January. An anticipated second production line is expected to launch later in 2021. When the two lines are fully operational, Medline estimates it will produce 36 million face masks per month.
“Throughout the pandemic, Medline has been laser-focused on implementing new ideas to combat the national shortage of medical supplies. In particular, our customers have a critical need for readily available face masks. This is a significant capital investment in one of our largest manufacturing facilities that will increase the number of face masks Medline can offer to healthcare facilities and diversifies our PPE supply chain,” said Charlie Mills, Medline Chief Executive Officer.
More than 30 healthcare providers spanning hospital systems, skilled nursing facilities and homecare providers already have raised their hand to purchase the made-in-America face masks as part of Medline’s North American Manufacturing Expansion initiative, including Bon Secours Mercy Health, University of Washington Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Geisinger, Encompass Health, Wisconsin Illinois Senior Housing and CVS Pharmacy.
This is the second manufacturing expansion by Medline in the U.S. in 2020. In April, the company launched hand sanitizer production at its Hartland, Wis. plant to help meet a nationwide shortage. Medline redeployed manufacturing capabilities in that facility to produce the 80 percent ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer and retrofitted one of its production rooms for the new product. The company also shifted manufacturing focus in its Meriden, Conn. plant to manufacture alcohol gel packets during the height of the shortages.
Read the full announcement here.