Premier Inc., a leading health care improvement company, and 15 leading health systems acquired a minority stake in Prestige Ameritech, the largest domestic manufacturer of face masks, including N95 respirators and surgical masks. Under the agreement, Premier members including St. Luke’s University Health Network based in Bethlehem, commit to purchase a portion of all face masks they use annually from Prestige Ameritech for up to six years, inclusive of a three-year renewal option.
The arrangement with Prestige Ameritech is part of Premier’s newly announced strategy to work with members to invest in domestic and geographically diverse suppliers of PPE and other medical equipment currently in shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
PPE products critical for the daily operations of health systems are overwhelmingly sourced overseas, with approximately 80 percent coming from China and Southeast Asia. The risks of this overreliance on Asia came into sharp focus as COVID-19 swept across the globe and these nations closed borders and prevented U.S. access to supplies, triggering widespread shortages of PPE needed to protect healthcare workers and patients. In contrast, Prestige Ameritech represents a domestic supply chain, with production completed in the United States. Prestige also sells 100 percent of its products to U.S. customers.