Hy-Vee Gifts Sterilizer to On With Life Rehab Facility


ANKENY, Iowa — If you shop at Hy-Vee, you may have noticed those sterilizers that clean carts after customers use them. One of those machines has made its way into the neuro-rehab facility On With Life.

The idea sparked when Amy Debuhr, a physical therapist at On With Life, was getting groceries.

“I shop at Hy-Vee a lot and I just kept watching their employees use this machine and I thought, ‘Gosh, I wonder if that would work for our equipment,’” Debuhr said. “And offhandedly I talked to our corporate staff and they called and within a matter of days, we had a yes. I was shocked, but like super elated.”

The sterilizer has been running at On With Life for just about a week. Staff have been experimenting with what they can push through. So far they have found they can clean wheelchairs, shower chairs, and even smaller equipment on a tabletop.

Debuhr said it’s been a great conversation starter with patients and shows them that staff is taking the necessary and sometimes extra steps to keep them healthy.

“To be able to have something like this help us, I wish we could have had it earlier in the year,” Debuhr said. “To be able to have it now and ensure that our equipment is sanitized well and quickly is a huge bonus for us.”

Hy-Vee was able to give the machine to the rehab facility thanks to a fundraising effort by local suppliers and shoppers. Store employees say keeping surfaces sanitized and people safe is important to them.

“I think we all realize that this last year the health of everyone is of utmost importance,” Katie Popp, regional marketing manager with Hy-Vee, said. “We brought these machines to Hy-Vee to help sanitize our carts, and now we’re bringing it to On With Life to help them sanitize their wheelchairs. It really just helps to keep everyone healthy.”

Hy-Vee will keep cart sanitizers at local stores for the foreseeable future. On With Life plans to use the machine to sanitize equipment throughout the building, and maybe even outpatient equipment too.

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