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Pawnee Valley Campus receives ultraviolet room sanitizer thanks to a Patterson Family Foundation grant
The Environmental Services (EVS) team poses with their new high-tech sanitation equipment at The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus. A Patterson Family Foundation grant made the new equipment possible. From left to right are: Erica Turnbough, Karisa Stude, EVS supervisor, Victor Stoulil, and Sam Lane, director of support services.

The new ultraviolet room sanitizer at the hospital in Larned not only sterilizes surfaces, it also disinfects the air, said Sam Lane, director of support services.

The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus acquired this high-tech equipment thanks to a $80,000 grant from the Patterson Family Foundation, which is based in Kansas City.

“An ultraviolet room sanitizer is not something you typically find in a hospital of our size,” Lane noted. “The cost can be a major impediment for even moderately sized facilities. The Patterson Family Foundation helped us overcome this obstacle.

“Without this type of generous support, acquiring such devices would be impossible. The grant is helping us with our goal to be the best Critical Access Hospital as we routinely explore state-of-the-art technology.”

In addition to the new room-sanitizer equipment, the grant also included a new electrostatic sprayer, which complements the sterilization strategy at Pawnee Valley Campus.

“The room sanitizer uses high-energy ultraviolet light, which is well-suited for germicidal disinfection,” Lane said. “It helps sterilize surfaces but even more important, it disinfects the air.

“It is like turning on a light switch and disinfecting an entire room in minutes. Clinical studies prove the system reduces infections including MRSA and SARS-CoV-2.”

The electrostatic sprayer generates a mist from chemical disinfectants and sanitizers.

“The ultra-fine droplets are drawn to surfaces,” Lane explained. “The droplets stick – much like the static-cling effect found while drying laundry. This allows sanitizing agents to get into small, complex areas such as keyholes, hinges and keyboards.

“It also uniformly covers large areas and spaces in half the time as other methods.”

Preventing healthcare-acquired infections is a universal goal of any hospital where many precautions, policies and procedures are in place, Lane said.

“But Pawnee Valley Campus takes a highly proactive stance with this new equipment,” he noted. “This adds an additional level to our sterilization strategy for a cleaner, safer environment.

“The rise of COVID-19 only enhanced the complex task of disinfecting areas from high-risk pathogens. This new system greatly reduces latent and dormant microbes.”

Melanie Urban, Pawnee Valley Campus administrator, shared “as Sam mentioned, Pawnee Valley’s mission is to be the best Critical Access Hospital. Our new sanitation system is an important step toward making that vision a reality. This investment truly sets us apart.”

“The Patterson Family Foundation (PFF) is pleased to contribute funding to The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus as front-line providers and staff work tirelessly to care for patients. We are pleased this funding helped Pawnee Valley Campus purchase critical equipment and supplies needed to treat COVID-19. It is both our privilege and pleasure to offer a helping hand to rural communities navigating through these unprecedented times,” PFF said.