Univ. of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Medical Instruments Shop prevents two operating rooms from closing

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Several months ago, two operating rooms were at risk of closing. Two of UIHC’s own machinists were able to bring those ORs back online.

Tim Weaver and Russ Sauer make up the team of senior machinists. Employees at all levels come to see them when a machine or utensil breaks, when they need a new and effective way to serve their patients, but just don’t know how to create.

They even see people who simply need a refurbished operating table or door knob.

“We do sheet metal work, welding, work with plastic, we’ve made big boxes for research,” said Sauer.

One specific instance has earned them even more praise.

The wheels on two OR doors were worn down so bad that UIHC almost needed to order brand new parts. Because of supply chain issues, it would have taken too long and the ORs would have had to close.

“We were able to take the worn-out parts and get dimensions off of them and make some new parts,” said Weaver.

They fixed them quickly and efficiently. Not only were they able to overcome supply chain challenges, but they also saved the organization nearly 8 thousand dollars.

Even with many in-house successes under their belt, they say every day is different.

Both machinists hope to continue to help more employees and patients all throughout UIHC.

“That’s the cool part about work, you don’t know what’s coming through the door, you don’t know what you’ll be doing,” said Weaver.

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