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Made-in-Calgary masks to create 100 jobs

October 7, 2020   by Don Horne

A Calgary-based company will create up to 100 jobs and provide more than 40 million locally made medical masks to Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“What started as an initiative to collect PPE donations to support Calgary health-care facilities quickly led to discussions among Calgary business leaders on local manufacturing capabilities,” says Dr. Breanne Everett, president and CEO, Orpyx. “Through our collaboration with Fidelity Machine & Mould Solutions, Engineered Air and Edon Management, we are now producing three-ply procedural face masks with plenty of room to expand.”

The $60-million two-year agreement between AHS and Orpyx Medical Technologies comes after Orpyx responded to Alberta’s Bits and Pieces program, which sought local organizations and companies to develop and provide goods and services to support the province’s response to the pandemic.

“This is a great example of the way businesses have stepped up to help get us through the pandemic, and the importance of health care as an economic driver. Sourcing masks from Orpyx, an established Calgary-based company, helps us continue protecting health-care workers and the public from COVID-19,” says Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health.

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Earlier this year, Orpyx responded to the Alberta Bits and Pieces program to support the province’s response to the pandemic. The company began manufacturing masks in August and delivered its first supply of masks to AHS in September. Orpyx will continue supplying masks regularly over the next two years, supplementing masks being purchased from other vendors.

“Seeing an Alberta-based company like Orpyx respond to COVID-19 by using its existing technology to create new products in a time of need is the exact innovative spirit we have grown to expect from our province. Knowing that our front-line workers will use a reliable and safe source of PPE whose production created new jobs for Albertans is a win-win for everyone,” says Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.

An independent testing lab has reviewed the supply of masks to ensure they meet international clinical standards. The review process also involved front-line health-care workers through the AHS Quality Assurance Group.

“This contract allows us to ensure a long-term, continued local source of personal protective equipment. Ensuring appropriate PPE continues to be provided to our staff, physicians, patients and guests at our health-care sites is critical for the safety of Albertans,” says Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, AHS.


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