B.C. companies are being asked to help connect front-line health care workers with needed medical supplies using the province’s new online COVID-19 Supply Hub. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press photo)

B.C. asking companies to contribute through online COVID-19 supply hub

New platform to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

The provincial government is encouraging B.C. companies to help connect front-line health care workers with needed medical supplies using the province’s new online COVID-19 Supply Hub.

Announced on Wednesday, April 1, the hub is an online platform to co-ordinate, source and expedite medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for provincial health authorities to support front-line health workers fighting COVID-19. According to a press release, it provides a single point of entry to triage and prioritize the thousands of offers and donations for essential supplies from business and other organizations since the onset of the COVID-19 response.

“In this provincial state of emergency, partnership and co-ordination are critical to keep our front-line workers safe and support our COVID-19 response and recovery,” Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said in a press release. “Launching the COVID-19 Supply Hub is an important step in maintaining our supply chain and making sure essential goods and services are getting where they need to go, and fast.”

Developed by Burnaby-based tech company Traction on Demand and built on the Salesforce platform, the COVID-19 Supply Hub makes the types and specifications of critically-needed supplies publicly available. From there, proposals can be quickly and easily managed and evaluated, so the right products get to the right workers on the front lines as efficiently as possible.

“This made-in-B.C. innovation showcases how important it is to work together to support our front-line workers. By giving B.C. businesses a platform to help, we are enabling some of our best and brightest minds to meet the demands of this pandemic and help keep people safe,” Premier John Horgan said in a press release.

The COVID-19 Supply Hub’s initial focus is on sourcing supplies for the health-care system and front-line workers, though government is also accepting offers for other essentials, like cleaning supplies.

The hub, which is managed under the new Provincial Supply Coordination Unit at Emergency Management BC, is complementary to existing provincial procurement streams and will work in co-ordination with other provincial and federal initiatives to secure medical and other essential supplies.

Companies looking to offer support or supplies can access the COVID-19 Supply Hub at gov.bc.ca/supplyhub.

RELATED: From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19 (April 3, 2020)



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