Published on April 23, 2020

Reading Hospital - Tower Health Pharmacy Team Creates Hand Sanitizer for EmployeesHand Sanitizer

West Reading, PA., April 23, 2020 - Beyond their usual role in treating patients, pharmacists at Reading Hospital - Tower Health wanted to aid their hospital team members in the fight against COVID-19. Because pharmacists possess a unique knowledge of product compounding, they decided to make hand sanitizer. The Pharmacy team reviewed several recipes and decided on the World Health Organization recommended combination of ethyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, and, for esthetics, a dash of lemon or lavender scent.

Last week, the team contacted local distilleries to source ethyl alcohol, the main ingredient for hand sanitizer. The call was answered by Manatawny Still Works, Montgomery County, who graciously donated 10 gallons of the required ingredient.The next day the team performed several test runs and produced a finalized product by early afternoon.  On Friday, April 10, an assembly line of Pharmacists and Technicians began production at 8 a.m. and six hours later had produced more than 500 bottles of hand sanitizer.  Albright College donated an additional five gallons of ethyl alcohol on Friday afternoon allowing the team to develop additional supply.

 "The support from Manatawny Still Works and Albright College is another example of what we, as a community, can accomplish when we work together," said William M. Jennings, Reading Hospital President and CEO. "Our employees now have access to hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community."

Mike Kleinschmidt, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy at Reading Hospital said, "Through the ingenuity of our staff, dedication of our leaders, and most importantly, generosity of our local community, we have been able to produce more than 1,000 two-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer for use at the hospital."

About Reading Hospital

Reading Hospital is the flagship, Magnet Recognized, acute care hospital of Tower Health. Located in West Reading, Pa., Reading Hospital is a 714-bed hospital that is home to many top-tier specialty care centers, including Reading HealthPlex, McGlinn Cancer Institute, Miller Regional Heart Center, Emergency Department, Level I Trauma Center and Beginnings Maternity Center, which houses the region's only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With more than 1,000 physicians and providers across 49 locations, Reading Hospital has been recognized for its quality outcomes and clinical expertise across services lines. It is listed as one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for four consecutive years and received a 5-Star Rating from CMS two years in a row. For more information, visit