September 2020: Living in the “new normal” of life after COVID-19, the presence and hopeful protection from viruses and microscopic dangers is more of a priority than ever for everyday citizens, public workers, and business owners everywhere.
Business owners like Loretta Kwiatkowski. As the owner of Lord & Ladies Child Development Center in Jenks, Kwiatkowski and her staff oversee the well-being and safety of innumerable children, which includes ensuring that they have a safe environment for play and learning.
“When the coronavirus was starting to really pick up in Oklahoma, when it was getting hot and heavy, I happened to see an article about Midwest Pathogend Services in a magazine,” Kwiatkowski said. “I was interested because I have some background knowledge about the type of services they offer. They were the first company like this that was close enough to my facility that I might be able to utilize affordably.”
Kwiatkowski said that many of the companies comparable to Midwest Pathogend are out of state, and with it being located in northeast Oklahoma, she felt comfortable reaching out to them with an inquiry.
“Early on in the coronavirus, there was a lot of fear about what was going on,” she said. “When I called Midwest, the first person I spoke to was (Midwest partner) Chuck Peeples, and he explained to me who they are, and what their usual services are.”
Midwest Pathogend Services is a local, certified provider of the patented PathogendR Service, offering whole-space disinfection services and decontamination products tailored to meet the most stringent needs of their clients. These needs are met through a combination of techniques to disinfect spaces, from manually wiping surfaces with a high-grade disinfectant and fogging rooms with a proprietary hydrogen peroxide fog.
CURoxideTM is now available for do-it-yourself public purchase.
“When I first spoke to Chuck, I explained to him that my needs were for the services to be affordable and done in a timely manner because we were closing our facility for a couple of weeks,” Kwiatkowski continued. “They were able to work us in, and on affordability.
Kwiatkowski said the Midwest Pathogend staff serviced an area of more than 65,000 square feet in roughly six hours, after which she said she was “extremely satisfied.”
“They went over everything they were going to do to clean and decontaminate the facility before doing so. Afterward, they gave me a printout of all the data with the germ count before their servicing, and after,” she said. “They were very professional, and I felt very confident with them.”
Kwiatkowski said the Midwest Pathgend crew went above and beyond in not only disinfecting and decontaminating but in preserving the area treated.
“We have a lot of live plants, and Chuck’s technicians went around and took pictures of where different things were so that they could be put back in the right spots,” she said. “They helped remove the live plants, and the Guinea pigs, which we have, and helped put them back, so it was much more than them just coming in to ‘just do the job,’ but they were very thorough in their prep work and attention to details.”
Kwiatkowski said she was so satisfied with the quality of the work done, she would handily recommend their services to any other home or business owner.
“Their professionalism…their skill level …those rate them highly, in my opinion, plus the fact that they’re local – they’re the only company of this kind that I know of in Oklahoma that does biocontamination. They were very professional, and their work gave us something that’s as important to not just us, but the families we serve as well: peace of mind,” she said.
“When people come into your building, you want to be confident that you’ve done everything you can possibly do to make it a safe environment,” she said. “The families and the staff both felt that way after Midwest Pathogend came through. It gave us all great peace of mind.”
Operated by Chris Schultheis, M.S., and his partner Chuck Peeples, Midwest Pathogend Services is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and so named because their goal is to “end the path to infection.” Midwest services the greater Claremore and Rogers County areas, Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma.
Chris Schultheis, M.S., Midwest Pathogend partner, demonstrates the CURIS fogging and newly invented spraying system in an early childhood education classroom at Lincoln Christian School, Tulsa, OK.
Chris says their patented sprayer works well for disinfecting specific items that need attention. Their service leaves no residue and is safe for electronics, art, furnishings, and more.
“About two years ago, I learned about a newly developed technology that was designed by a microbiologist after her daughter contracted an MRSA infection,” Schultheis said. “This technology, combined with a product we use called CURoxideTM – which is a seven percent Hydrogen Peroxide fogging formula – enabled us to offer our customers the most comprehensive decontamination possible.”
After researching the technology, visiting with the founder and her team of specialists, Schultheis decided to purchase equipment to start his own PathogendR Services company in Oklahoma.
“In addition to the decontamination service, one thing we do a lot of right now – especially since we’re still relatively new, as far as companies go, is to educate the public about who we are, what it is we do, and why what we do is so important,” he said. “One misconception people tend to have about us, in the beginning, is that we’re a cleaning company or a janitorial company, but that’s not us – we’re a multi-faceted high-end decontamination service.”
Schultheis and Peeples utilize multiple methods that result in the best outcome in disinfecting and decontamination, beginning with the CURIS Decontamination System foggers.
“The CURIS foggers are a portable fogging system capable of disinfecting a room or enclosed area via a pulse technology,” Schultheis said. “While other systems rely on dispensing chemicals and turning off once the desired time is achieved, or depend on manual spraying, this system goes a step further by focusing on a ‘maintained pathogen-kill zone.’ The process maintains that volume of solution within a space to improve optimal environmental conditions.”
Additionally, the CURIS system employed by Midwest was designed to reduce human error, allowing Schultheis or Peeples to monitor, manage, track, and report the decontamination process.
“The system uses .08 ounces (of solution) per cubic feet of space being decontaminated and calculates how much time will be needed to fill every inch of that room with the solution,” Peeples said. “This is important because a common misconception to disinfecting is that you wipe a surface, say, with Lysol, and wipe it off, but some of the harder to kill germs or viruses require you to leave a disinfectant on a surface for up to 20 minutes, and our process fills every cubic inch of a space for the time needed to kill germs, bacteria, etc.
“The (CURIS) system will update us on its progress, when the work is done, and if it’s a job that requires more than one unit, should one (unit) stop working, it communicates with the other units, which then ‘pick up the slack’ and increase their solution output to compensate,” he said. “We’re alerted to all of this through electronic notifications, so we’re able to closely monitor the entire process.”
Midwest’s highly-effective CURoxideTM solution may be sprayed directly onto surfaces or used in a fog to saturate an area. The fog itself is non-corrosive, odorless, leaves no residue, and can safely provide full-room decontamination for offices, schools, gymnasiums, nursing homes, hotels, homes, or other spaces.
As varied as pathogens are, Schultheis said that the decontamination services he provides eliminate nearly 100 percent of germs, bacteria, and viruses present in a room or space.
“One of the biggest and hardest to kill pathogens is C. diff or Clostridium difficile – which is a tough little bacteria that causes a more severe form of antibiotic-associated diarrhea – the disease ranges from mild diarrhea to severe colon inflammation, which can even be fatal,” Schultheis said. “C. diff is a spore, and to be able to kill that isn’t easy, but our technology and products work together as an effective sporicide, as well as killing viruses, bacteria, germs, etc.”
C. diff is found in fecal matter and spread by touching a contaminated surface, such as a keyboard, blanket or doorknob, often common in nursing homes, day cares, public restrooms or anywhere else proper hygiene may be difficult or challenging.
The girls weight room and other facilities at Lincoln Christian School are regularly disinfected to prevent irregular contamination.
“On the scale of ‘kill difficulty,’ viruses are actually the easiest (to kill), even the coronavirus and Ebola, for that matter,” said Peeples. “At the bottom are viruses that have lipid envelopes – those ‘envelopes’ usually being derived from portions of the host’s cell membranes, but also include glycoproteins, and help (the virus) to evade the host’s immune system. Examples of these would be the flu, HBV, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, Zika, and others.”
Above these are gram-positive bacteria such as staphylococcus and streptococcus. Above these are gram-negative bacteria, such as pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, E. coli, and legionella.
“Harder to kill than the bacteria are fungi, including fungal spores, like Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus, Candida Auris, and above them are viruses without envelopes – Norovirus, Rotavirus, Rhinovirus, HPV, and others, and harder than these are mycobacteria – Tuberculosis, and Mycobacterium Avium,” he said.
At the top of this “kill difficulty” pyramid are bacterial spores, such as tetanus, botulinum, Anthrax, and the aforementioned Clostridium difficile, which is rated a “very high level” needed for disinfection.
But despite the high difficulty level of the various spores, bacteria and viruses, the solution utilized by Midwest Pathogend has an impressive 99.9999% kill rate.
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