SKANEATELES FALLS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Despite Hillrom purchasing the company five years ago, the 105-year-old Welch Allyn’s name is still stamped on the products its employees make at the Skaneateles Falls factory.
“The work that the Hillrom team in Skaneateles is doing is more vital now than it has ever been,” Vice President Howard Karesh told NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan in a remote interview from Chicago.
Locally, Hillrom produces Welch Allyn-brand blood pressure cuffs and vital signs monitors, which can take a patient’s temperature. Temperature checks are one of the most regular tests conducted on a COVID-19 patient.
Demand for Hillrom’s products made locally and around the world is “extraordinary” as hospitals and state governments increase hospital capacity in their communities as coronavirus spreads through those areas.
While 500 local workers are staying home, around 500 are still working on the factory floor every day.
To double production, work is happening seven days a week, which is up from the five regular days.
Hillrom’s version of a ventilator is less invasive than the ones frequently referred to in the fight against COVID-19, but have been in high demand as it saves the more life-saving version for people who need it.
While the ventilators are made by Hillrom in California, the company is filling many orders for the New York State government.
Karesh said, “We are fortunate at Hillrom to be one of those companies whose products are uniquely in demand, and I don’t mean that in a commercial sense. I mean that from an ability to help sense. From hospital beds to monitors to ventilators, the products we make matter a lot.”
Welch Allyn has always been essential for local jobs, but now the work the employees do is more essential than ever.
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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan.