MME and ReNew Biomedical supply Ventilators Worldwide
Neil Davidson, biomedical director for ReNew Biomedical Services and Mark Taylor, co-owner and president for Master Medical Equipment and ReNew Biomedical talk about equipment.
Master Medical Equipment (MME) and ReNew Biomedical Services based in Jackson, Tennessee have helped fill the critical national and worldwide need for ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic. These two companies answered calls for emergency equipment in the beginning of the pandemic and continue to provide new and restored equipment for the U.S. from New York to New Orleans and Alabama; and internationally to places like Brazil, Argentina and Italy. With connections made through the Jackson Chamber, MME and ReNew Biomedical partnered with other West Tennessee industries, working innovatively to restore equipment quickly and efficiently, showing the perfect example of teamwork and leadership during a crisis.
"When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ended up on the phone with me, it really hit home at that moment that this was not a politicized event and we were in a true emergency,” said Master Medical Equipment and ReNew Biomedical Co-Owner and President Mark Taylor.
“Around March 12, calls started pouring in - specifically from early virus hotspots like New York City and areas around New Orleans,” said Mark Taylor. “Overnight, we went from receiving approximately 2-3 requests for new ventilators a week to hundreds of orders per day!”
Taylor also said that this didn’t even include the number of frantic calls the company, and he directly, received regarding out of service ventilators needing immediate service to be recertified and moved out to frontline locations.
“I specifically remember receiving a phone call at 10:30 pm on a Saturday night from a hospital CEO in Alabama. His smaller community hospital was overrun with early COVID-19 patients and they were desperate for ventilators and the necessary IV pumps to facilitate the vent use,” Taylor said.
Since mid-March, the pace has not slowed down at MME or ReNew Biomedical, who are sister-companies - housed in the same building headed by Mark Taylor. Taylor mentioned, “Our team went from 10 mph to 100 mph literally overnight. For weeks, our full team pulled together, working 15 hour days, seven days a week.”
And that same team, even working 100 hour weeks, was full of ingenuity - figuring out ways to do things better, faster, and more efficiently than ever. “On March 24th, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), modifying how medical devices, specifically ventilators, are approved for sale and resale. This really opened the door for different ideas and supplies for the repair of ventilators on our ReNew side,” said Taylor. “It also initiated some community partnerships for us that the Jackson Chamber connected us with.”
As a member of the Board of Directors for the Jackson Chamber, Taylor knew that the Jackson Chamber could, and should, be a resource for MME and ReNew during this time. “Our ReNew team had some great ideas on how to expedite repairs to ventilators with the issued EUA, but lacked either the components or engineering capabilities. The Jackson Chamber was an incredible resource for us, matching us up with local facilities like Teknor Apex, Toyota Bodine, and Henderson Stamping for assistance,” said Taylor.
Dustin Dinkins, biomedical technician for ReNew, repairs an internal part for an IV infusion pump.
“We’ve called it ‘MacGyvering’,” Taylor said, describing their process for repairing and testing medical devices sent in for refurbishing. Traditional “test lungs,” designed to test individual ventilators to ensure their functionality, were backordered - including new units and spare parts. Additionally, traditional test lungs test only one unit at a time. “Our diverse ReNew team, which has backgrounds in the armed forces, large hospital systems, and manufacturing, figured out how to use Teknor Apex hoses and a very specific size latex glove to replicate the resistance of the test lung,” mentioned Taylor. “With this creativity and ingenuity, we can now test up to 40 ventilator units at a time!”
This ingenuity helped MME and ReNew to fill incredible order numbers all over the country in record time. While new devices even can have months long backorders, by using the new systems they have developed, the team has been able to receive, repair, test, and ship out 80 ventilator units to TEMA (Tennessee Emergency Management Agency) in less than a week. And now, as the pandemic continues across the world, MME and ReNew continue to fill these orders - repairing and shipping certified and usable units internationally to countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Italy.
All of the resourcefulness and long hours for Taylor’s team has, understandably, taken its toll. “We’ve had several team members become very emotional about the whole situation,” Taylor explained. “But as they’ve heard the stories and even fielded some phone calls themselves from customers and heard the emotion and thankfulness in their voices, they’ve all had a feeling of satisfaction and really a sense of relief that we can actually do something about this global situation. We have a renewed sense of pride in ReNew!”
Through this entire explosion of sales, repairs, and service, Taylor said that there is nowhere that he would rather Master Medical Equipment and ReNew Biomedical be located than Jackson, TN. “Jackson is really a shining star in the Volunteer State,” said Taylor. “Many people don’t realize that Jackson’s location directly on I-40, about halfway between Nashville and Memphis, is within a day’s drive of 76% of the US population. FedEx and UPS hubs are close. We can get anything, anywhere, very quickly.”
“We are so thankful for our community and how they have helped us succeed during this time,” said Taylor. “Places like Teknor Apex, Toyota Bodine, Henderson Stamping, our local Jackson Chamber, and people like Lyn Tisdale at West Tennessee Healthcare, Tim Chapman, Hose Technical Manager at Teknor Apex, and Kyle Spurgeon at the Jackson Chamber. We’ve done our best to give back a bit during this time by doing things like supporting local businesses - ordering lunch in for our employees every day from local restaurants during this busy time.”
One thing that Mark hopes will come from this situation is that the value of BioMedical Technology and Technologists will truly be understood. “The bulk of the current BioMed Technologist population is beginning to age out,” Taylor explained. “There is a huge need for vocational training in this area and this pandemic has really shed a light on that. Besides the armed forces, there are only a few places to be trained. We hope that Master Medical Equipment and ReNew BioMedical can be a leader in training for the future.”
MME and ReNew Biomedical operate by phone daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST and online 24 hours a day/ seven days a week. For more information, visit MMEMed.com or call 1-855-488-8414 and ReNewBiomedical.com or call 1-844-425-0987.
About Master Medical Equipment:
Founded in 2011 by Mark and Jill Taylor, Master Medical Equipment is focused on the mission of selling professional devices with added value & services to customers by scanning the globe to create lasting relationships with reputable manufacturers. MME is a supplier of new and recertified defibrillators, patient monitors, EKG/ECG systems, ventilators, ESUs, pumps, and sensors to the professional medical community.
With military-trained and certified biomedical technicians restoring premium equipment to like-new condition, MME offers that equipment WORLDWIDE for almost half the price you can find elsewhere. They thoroughly test each equipment piece to ensure it meets the MME Five Point Inspection Guarantee, passes all manufacturer guidelines, and satisfies FDA safety certifications before we ship to you. The team at MME aims to provide you with quality equipment, service, and cost-effective devices so that you continue doing what you do best, improving & saving lives.
About ReNew Biomedical Services:
MME’s sister company, ReNew BioMedical, opened in 2015. ReNew provides service and maintenance for defibrillators, AEDs, patient monitors, ECG/EKGs, ventilators, ESUs, and IV pumps. Together, ReNew and MME operate under one roof to provide fast turnaround time and flexible service options for professionals who do not have the expertise nor the biomedical backup available at any given time.