Local company ramps up COVID-19 test kit production for hospitals, health care workers

by: Pat McGonigle, FOX4, March 26, 2020

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A small biotech company, based in Kansas City, is making a major contribution to local hospitals and health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

MAWD Pathology Group is redirecting its resources to ramp up the production of testing kits for COVID-19.

“We had the equipment, we had the expertise, we use it a lot for cancer today,” Dr. Sam Caughron said. “But we decided we could help out by making that testing available to those hospitals who need a quick turnaround time.”

The test kits provided by MAWD are exclusively for patients already hospitalized and health care professionals on the front lines.

Working with local hospitals like AdventHealth Shawnee Mission in Overland Park and North Kansas City Hospital, test kits provided by MAWD Pathology Group can deliver results in a matter of hours instead of days.

The quick turnaround is beneficial for a whole host of reasons, and one you might not immediately think of: saving PPE’s or personal protective equipment.

“The huge benefit is the resources, the PPE, the personal protective equipment that everyone is concerned about,” Caughron said. “The shortage of, and the need to keep those available, by getting the test results back, we can save the PPE for the patients who do indeed have the disease, and we can take care of them.”

Caughron said the temporary shift in the company’s focus has brought out the best in the local experts at MAWD Pathology Group.

“We’re stretching their hours. We’re asking them to come in on the weekends and work in ways they haven’t worked before,” Caughron said. “It’s the Kansas City work ethic. Everybody’s right there, asking, ‘How can we help?’”

Pathology group in Lenexa able to do same-day testing for COVID-19

by: Greg Payne and Zoe Brown, KCTV5, March 27, 2020

LENEXA, KS (KCTV) -- As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the region, doctors have expressed their concern about the lack of testing kits.

One group in Lenexa, MAWD Pathology, has decided to do their part to address that issue.

On any given day, they are busy. “We take care of about a little over half of the pathology needs in Kansas City,” noted Dr. Sam Caughron.

However, lately the group has been focusing on the coronavirus pandemic.

“We recognized that, through the hospital partners and the pathologists we have in those hospitals, that there was what we felt was an unmet need,” Caughron said.

That need is testing.

“What we saw is, in our hospitals, these patients who were being admitted, who were coming in for care, as well as the healthcare workers in the hospitals, needed a quicker turnaround time,” Caughron said.

In the past, KCTV5 News has done stories about people being frustrated about their testing results taking too long. Well, this group is offering same-day results. If you’re wondering how, the simple answer is that they have the manpower, resources, equipment, and expertise to do so.

“We are taking the approach that if we can get a diagnoses back as quickly as possible, we can save on the PPE that doesn’t need to be used on patients who don’t have a COVID-19 infection,” said Caughron

Several hospitals in the area have been utilizing MAWD’s testing services, including North Kansas City Hospital and Advent Health Kansas City facilities.

“At this point, we have capacity to handle the volume from the hospitals that we are working with,” Caughron stated.

The group has been getting requests from a number of other hospitals, which they feel confident they’ll be able to handle, too.