The manufacturing of a new medical device will bring jobs to Harrisburg. Southern Illinois native and SIU alumnus Matt Reavill invented a new way to catheterize the heart. He wants to assemble the device in Harrisburg. That could create up to 200 jobs locally and eventually create 18,000 jobs across the country.
The current way to catheterize the heart is called a Centerline. Reavill says that procedure is risky and can take 30 minutes. He learned that the hard way in 1994, when his father died after complications with a Centerline.
Reavill's catheter will plug into an IV. It can monitor vital signs and deliver medicine directly to the heart. That process takes just 30 seconds and the catheter can stay in a patient's arm for a year. He says production will lead to big things here and across the nation.
"This is small business. It's what the United States needs right now. It needs a job creation model," says Reavill. "Hopefully, we can be that model and start it in Southern Illinois and show the rest of the United States how we can do it."
Reavill plans to exclusively hire disabled veterans to assemble the catheters. In the beginning, 12 or so will be hired. Depending on the demand for the catheters, that number could grow to 200.
On Thursday, Reavill asked for the approval of the city of Harrisburg to open the business at the SIC Foundation building. The council believed in Reavill and agreed to loan him $100,000 to get things started.
"Matt wanting to come here and be a part of Harrisburg is a good thing and we are going to welcome him with open arms," says Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg.
Gregg says Reavill's company is one of many businesses coming to Harrisburg and he's excited about the growth.
"It's good opportunity for our town and it's another step in the right direction," explains Gregg.
The FDA has to approve the workspace at the foundation building before manufacturing can begin. Reavill says the first two batches of catheters have been ordered by hospitals in Chicago and Springfield.