Cleveland, OH,
21:32 PM

A Simple Solution: MetroHealth Pharmacy Makes Hand Sanitizer

We’ve all heard the warnings by now: the COVID-19 surge is coming.

But there’s comfort, too, in knowing that health care workers are doing everything they can to hold it back.

They’re America’s human surge protectors.

And MetroHealth Pharmacist Mike Gutridge is one of them.

In just 20 minutes last Friday, the Doctor of Pharmacy whipped up four gallons of homemade hand sanitizer in between making sure the pharmacy that serves patients in MetroHealth’s main hospital is properly staffed, meets quality standards and has all it needs.

“Hand sanitizer will soon be in short supply,” says Gutridge, Associate Director of MetroHealth’s Inpatient Pharmacy. “And this is a safe and effective alternative to commercially prepared hand sanitizer.”

The safety and effectiveness have the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which provided the simple, four-ingredient recipe for Gutridge’s simple solution.

Once it was mixed, Gutridge needed spray bottles, too.

So a co-worker ran to Home Depot to buy as many as she could. When Home Depot heard MetroHealth needed them, the home improvement store donated all 12 spray bottles left in stock.

Gutridge makes clear that sanitizer isn’t the first thing we should reach for to keep our hands clean.

“The No. 1 thing you can use, if available, is warm water and soap,” he says.

“One of the more important things I’ve seen recently is to list off the people you’re grateful for when you’re washing your hands for 20 seconds.”

That’s what Gutridge does now – thanking his co-workers, the doctors and nurses on the front lines, the employees who wipe down doorknobs and all the other surfaces we’re touching -- and now the workers at Home Depot.

“We certainly need nurses and providers and medical trainees and pharmacists and technicians,” he says, “But it’s the entire community that’s going to allow us to get through this.

“We’re going to get through this together, apart. But we’re going to get through it together.”

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About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit