Give Now  »

wfiu logo
WFIU Public Radio

wtiu logo
WTIU Public Television

Choose which station to support!

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

News Contact IPM News Indiana Public Media News

{ "banners": { "tv" : [ {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/2-28-countrymusic_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1582866000000", "endingDate" : "1582952340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/2-29-doowop_glencampbell_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1582952400000", "endingDate" : "1583038740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-01-celticwoman_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583038800000", "endingDate" : "1583125140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-02-and-3-13-suzeorman_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583125200000", "endingDate" : "1583211540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-03-erniepyle_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583211600000", "endingDate" : "1583297940000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-04-michaelbuble_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583298000000", "endingDate" : "1583384340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-05-brainfitness_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583384400000", "endingDate" : "1583470740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-06-riseup_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583470800000", "endingDate" : "1583557140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-07-pinkfloyd_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583557200000", "endingDate" : "1583643540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-08-juliachild_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583643600000", "endingDate" : "1583726340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-09-joebonamassa_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583726400000", "endingDate" : "1583812740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-10-britfloyd_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583812800000", "endingDate" : "1583899140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-11-hallandoates_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583899200000", "endingDate" : "1583985540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-12-agingbackwards_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583985600000", "endingDate" : "1584071940000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-02-and-3-13-suzeorman_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1584072000000", "endingDate" : "1584158340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-14-changeyourbrain_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1584158400000", "endingDate" : "1584331140000"} ], "radio" : [ {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUCHALBN&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=HrWnk%2fLUFYkZ0HVnlXFne71YhDw50SikSh2nq0qouhg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/iu-bicentennial-banner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1579124100000", "endingDate" : "1579582740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flgkr2wNtsqwhq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/wfiu_springfunddrive_newsphoto_2020_webbanner_1920x240.jpg", "startingDate" : "1585044000000", "endingDate" : "1587787140000"} ] }}
{ "lightboxes": { "tv" : [ {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/2-28-countrymusic-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1582866000000", "endingDate" : "1582952340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/2-29-doowop_glencampbell-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "${child.textValue}", "endingDate" : "${child.textValue}"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-1-celticwoman-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "${child.textValue}", "endingDate" : "${child.textValue}"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-2-and-3-13-suzeorman-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583125200000", "endingDate" : "1583211540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-3-erniepyle-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583211600000", "endingDate" : "1583297940000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-4-michaelbuble_lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583298000000", "endingDate" : "1583384340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-5-brainfitness-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583384400000", "endingDate" : "1583470740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-6-riseup-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583470800000", "endingDate" : "1583557140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-7-pinkfloyd-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583557200000", "endingDate" : "1583643540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-8-juliachild-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583643600000", "endingDate" : "1583726340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-9-joebonamassa_lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583726400000", "endingDate" : "1583812740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-10-britfloyd-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583812800000", "endingDate" : "1583899140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-11-hallandoates_lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583899200000", "endingDate" : "1583985540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-12-agingbackwards-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583985600000", "endingDate" : "1584071940000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-2-and-3-13-suzeorman-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1584072000000", "endingDate" : "1584158340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-14-changeyourbrain-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1584158400000", "endingDate" : "1584331140000"} ], "radio" : [ {"url" : " https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flizvLEFSbjC6m3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/wfiu_springfunddrive_newsphoto_2020_lightbox_720x480.jpg", "startingDate" : "1585044000000", "endingDate" : "1585108740000"} , {"url" : " https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flizvLEFSbjC6m3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/wfiu_springfunddrive_newsphoto_2020_lightbox_720x480.jpg", "startingDate" : "1585303200000", "endingDate" : "1585367940000"} , {"url" : " https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flizvLEFSbjC6m3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/wfiu_springfunddrive_newsphoto_2020_lightbox_720x480.jpg", "startingDate" : "1585562400000", "endingDate" : "1585627140000"} ] }}
{ "item" : [ {"label" : "t", "mp3" : "as", "startingDate" : "1568692800000", "endingDate" : "1569124800000"} , {"label" : "h", "mp3" : "k", "startingDate" : "1568001600000", "endingDate" : "1568433600000"} ] }

Cook Medical & IU Health Testing Viability Of Re-Sterilizing Medical Masks

The outside of Cook Medical

(WTIU/WFIU News)

The novel coronavirus is putting a strain on healthcare systems everywhere.

As COVID-19 spreads and hospitals around the world request more life-saving equipment, medical device companies such as Bloomington-based Cook Medical are hurrying to meet demand.

Reporter Mitch Legan spoke with Cook Group president Pete Yonkman via Zoom video to discuss what the company is doing.

This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Mitch Legan: How has this coronavirus impacted Cook the last couple months?

Pete Yonkman: We’ve been engaged with the virus since about last December. We’re a global organization, so we have a significant presence in China. We’ve been able to maintain our supply chain.

People focus on hospitals a lot. Of course, that's extremely important. But they can't do the job if they don't have the tools. And so, what we do is make tools for physicians and people who are on the frontlines of this battle. So we’ve really worked very hard to make sure that we maintain our manufacturing and distribution capabilities – because if we can't get our products to hospitals, patients can't be treated.

ML: Can you list a couple of the things that Cook creates that are used for medical emergencies?

PY: Hospitals are beginning to close down what they're calling “non-essential,” or elective procedures. And so the demand for our products is shifting for those products where we have – where patients are in the critical care unit in the ICU. We have specific tools for that. And we've seen a tremendous increase in the need for those products.

If you think about what this coronavirus does, [it] usually attacks the lungs, and so you get people who need to be on ventilators, or they have airway challenges. And so, our products are used in a lot of those procedures. It doesn't treat the virus directly, but it helps patients who are in the ICU and who have other procedures that are needed to make sure they're breathing effectively, that they don't have fluids build up those kinds of things.

What we're seeing right now [is a] large increased demand for our products that go into the ICU because so many more patients are going there with the virus. [We’re] trying to greatly expand our manufacturing in a very short manner to be able to meet a need.

Cook Medical line
Cook Group President Pete Yonkman says the company is not equipped to make ventilators, since it specializes in devices for minimally-invasive procedures. (WTIU/WFIU News) 

ML: I saw [Monday] night – I think it was the General Motors plant in Kokomo had said that they would take a look at possibly creating ventilators. My question for you is kind of along the same lines, do you have the ability to switch production to things like ventilators?

PY: We probably are not equipped to make something like a ventilator. That's a very complex machine, very complex supply chain. They're [GM] probably better situated to do that. But there are some unique capabilities and resources and skills that we have as a company that nobody else does.

For example, we're looking at a program with IU Health and looking to see, “Can we use our sterilization capabilities to be able to take masks – the N95 masks that have been used or surgical masks – and re-sterilize them so they can be used again?” Because there's been a lot of shortages of these masks. But one of our core functions and our core capabilities is doing sterilization of products, as you can imagine, because our products need to go into a sterile environment. So, that’s the kind of things we’re looking at: How can we use our resources and our skills to best serve the community during this time?

ML: What would that look like if you end up going with the mask sterilization – what would it look like and when would that start?

PY: Just to give you an example of how quickly this thing is moving: we went from the idea of “Could we re-sterilize masks?” to testing them and putting in place a procedure in less than 24 hours. In a normal time, that might take more than a year. But our teams are moving so quickly in coordination with IU Health. Now, we're still in testing, we don't know exactly if it's going to work or not. But if it does, it will allow the healthcare system to greatly extend their use of masks and protective devices. So we think that's a great match of our skills and the need in the community in a way that we can help give back for the people who are trying to provide care on the frontlines.

Cook Medical forklift
Yonkman says more than half of Cook's global workforce is located in Indiana. (WTIU/WFIU News)

ML: On Monday, Governor Holcomb issued a stay-at-home order. How will that affect Cook, specifically in Indiana?

PY: We have about 7,000 employees. Of those, probably 5,000 or so are directly related to manufacturing the products. And so, those people are having to do a very important job right now, which is coming to work, despite all of the challenges in front of them.

More than half of our global workforce is here in Indiana. And so, the ability for us to deliver products to patients across the world depends on the people here in Indiana. What we've done is we've taken a critical look at our infrastructure and said, there are certain aspects that we need to maintain for sure. That includes manufacturing and distribution, because we ship out from Indiana to all over the world. So, we want to make sure that stays intact and is robust. So, anybody who is at a facility or one of those functions takes place – manufacturing, distribution – we’ve asked anybody who is not critical to those functions to work from home.

ML: Are you changing any policies to make sure that your workers can make it financially during this uncertain time?

PY: We've done things like having people work from home if they can. And that has been going surprisingly well, better than we had expected it to go. The other thing we're doing is making sure that for those people who really are critical to making products, we want to make sure our environments are as safe as they can be. And then we're trying to identify policies that help people figure out how to adjust our schedule. So, we put in place almost 24/7 schedule that allows people to pick shifts depending on what their needs are for childcare or for caregiving in some way. We're really trying to be as flexible as we can.

We've also taken steps inside of our building. Social distancing can sometimes be a challenge in manufacturing. Our team has done a very good job of making sure that we have space in between people, that we have cleaning protocols in place. Most of our work environments need to be very clean anyways, because you're making medical products. So we have that advantage.

ML: What do you see when you look at your supply chain?

PY: It's interesting to look into the global supply chain right now. Thankfully for us, we have not seen any disruption in our supply chain. We've been able to maintain that. It does get more difficult, though, as more states put in different restrictions or quarantines, or people see shutdowns in different countries. So right now, we do not see a gap in our supply chain. We're going to be able to deliver products to our patients. But we're very careful about that and watching as closely as we possibly can. Because one disturbance in China somewhere could lead to a delay or unavailability of products for patients in the U.S.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Find Us on Facebook

Recent Business and Economy Stories