Spokane-based startup Glucose Revival has partnered with SNAP to provide glucose gel necklaces for the organization’s medical transportation system.
Under the partnership, SNAP’s Ride to Health drivers – who are trained community health workers who transport clients to medical appointments – will carry glucose gel necklaces in the organization’s vans to treat minor, moderate and severe low blood sugar in passengers.
Kris Maynard founded Glucose Revival in 2016 to help diabetics stay safe and maintain an active lifestyle. The startup, which received a small business loan from SNAP, is coming full circle by selling its Thrive glucose gel necklaces at-cost to the organization.
“We were able to get them 20 necklaces for the vehicles, which was a good fit,” Maynard said.
The Thrive necklace is a hollow tube containing 15 grams of edible glucose gel. The necklace is held together with a magnetic clasp, allowing it to be taken off quickly in an emergency. The Thrive Jr. necklace – designed for children – contains 10 grams of glucose gel.
The necklaces can be uncapped to access the glucose gel – the same solution administered by first responders during medical emergencies – which can be ingested to treat hypoglycemia.
SNAP’s Ride to Health Program Coordinator Cameryn Flynn was receptive to the partnership with Glucose Revival.
SNAP was transporting CHAS Health clients with chronic diseases – including diabetics – to doctor appointments and, at the same time, Flynn was aware the organization was providing business support to Glucose Revival.
“Once I heard about (Glucose Revival), I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to build a partnership to have access to those necklaces on the vans,” she said. “Kris was so great to work with, and we are all about making sure we are supporting our small and local businesses.”
More than 30 million people nationwide live with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypoglycemia – the most common diabetic emergency – requires action in minutes because it can cause confusion, loss of consciousness or seizures.
Maynard said a focus for the company is to offer glucose gel necklaces in schools and on public transportation.
“In the Spokane area, there’s more than 30,000 diabetics and, unfortunately, you don’t know when you are going to come across a person with low blood sugar,” he said, adding the necklaces are designed to hang in a classroom or vehicle for easy access.
“We eventually want to get (the necklaces) on the STA buses as well,” he said.
Maynard, a firefighter and emergency medical technician at Fairchild Air Force Base, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes while serving in the military.
Maynard found out about SNAP Financial Access when considering potential investors for Glucose Revival.
He opted to accept a small business loan from SNAP because, unlike some private lenders, the organization would not take an equity share of the business.
SNAP Financial Access, a SNAP subsidiary, provides classes and workshops on financial literacy and business development. It also provides small business loans.
“This is a public good we are so happy to support,” Karen Campbell, financial stability program coordinator at SNAP Financial Access said in a statement. “It’s a perfect example of how SNAP invests in the community in unlikely ways.”
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