ENGLEWOOD, Colo (CBS4) — Centura Health is taking a new approach to protecting frontline caregivers, thanks to one manager who was determined to find a solution to the shortage of personal protective equipment. Officials said Supply Chain Manager Dan Whetten spent his off-hours “tinkering” in his garage — and built a UVC Box to sterilize masks.
“UV light has been proven to kill a range of dangerous bacteria and viruses from MRSA to E. coli,” explained Whetten. “I feel like we need to do everything in our power to fight the spread of this disease and this technology is something we could use to our benefit.”READ MORE: I-70 Westbound Closed: RV Catches Fire And Rolls Backwards, Ignites Semi Truck Near Genesee
There are three types of UV light — UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC light has the most energy of the three — and it can be used to destroy the genetic material inside viruses and other microbes.
Whetten is working with American Ultraviolet Company, which is providing dosimeters that will help calculate proper UV dosing, ensuring that masks are disinfected.READ MORE: Colorado Dog Owners Should Take Careful Steps To Avoid Heat-Related Injuries To Their Pets
The UVC light box holds 12 masks and places UVC light on every angle of these masks in order disinfect their surface.
Centura Health officials say 38 boxes are now being constructed based off Whetten’s garage design. The units will be placed in all 17 Centura hospitals across Colorado and western Kansas.
“It might have taken the urgency of this horrible virus to make this happen, but this is something that will help our hospitals and patients for a very long time,” stated Whetten. “I’m just glad to bring a solution to the front lines, they shouldn’t have to worry about their protection when they are working extremely hard for their communities’ health.”MORE NEWS: U.S. News Ranks Children's Hospital Colorado In The Top 10 For Pediatric Facilities In The Nation