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Registered Nurse shows entrepreneurship is still alive in America

Coming from a family with a tradition in medicine it was only natural for Chantale to want to heal sick people. Her father was a Doctor when Chantale was growing up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Chantale wanted to be the hands-on, day and night, care and comfort for patients so she became a nurse. The family remained in Haiti while Chantale moved to the United States in 1985 and continued in nursing, gaining expertise in Critical Care.

In 2004, 13 years of marriage and 3 children later, her husband Eric had a heart attack. He was admitted to the hospital and underwent triple bypass surgery. Years of patient care experience in the Intensive Care Unit had prepared Chantale for the clinical eventualities during Eric’s slow recovery.

One thing she was not expecting was for her patient to complain so much about the embarrassing hospital gown he had to wear. During her career Chantale had seen advances in all types of medical products, but as she listened to her husband she realized the patient gown had changed little from the time she had first become a nurse. Her husband’s plight inspired her, and she developed a prototype of a new patient gown that would address her husband’s concerns.

She believed patients and their caregivers deserved a more dignified garment, and she put features into the design to help make nursing tasks easier as well. Having limited time and resources, Chantale teamed up with one of her nurse co-workers. Together they formed the ECT Solutions company, and filed for a U.S. Patent on their new gown.

In 2005, the company had a product and a vision, but no practical experience in going to market. Chantale’s husband Eric had fully recovered from surgery and was working as a real estate agent. With the housing market wallowing in the sub-prime mortgage crisis, Eric became the fledgling company’s marketing director. Caring for an extended family, working full time, and trying to launch a new company all at the same time were taking their toll. The Trouillots were blessed to find many advocates within diversity programs offered by suppliers and healthcare facilities in the medical industry, and these people encouraged them to keep going forward in spite of these many challenges.

Through 2006 and 2007 Chantale and Eric searched for a manufacturer that would take on their vision and produce the ECT Gown. Traveling extensively, they made a few false starts in partnering with large, established manufacturers in the healthcare textiles industry. All the while they continued to be enthusiastic about the potential for their product, and presented the ECT Gown to Chantale’s network of clinical nurse contacts. Eric’s sister, a healthcare purchasing manager, added some contacts of her own, but throughout 2008 none were truly interested in moving forward as the company had no solid relationship with a manufacturer that could deliver the gown in the large quantities a hospital would require. They were running out of options, but they never lost hope.

Finally in 2009 their persistence brought opportunity and ECT Solutions signed an exclusive licensing agreement with a leading health care textile manufacturer. The company shared Chantale’s desire to bring a truly innovative gown to the market, and they were willing to commit resources to promote the product.

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About the Author

Eric Trouillot, ECT Solutions, LLC, MBE
Pompano Beach, FL 33065

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