Magazine Feature / People

Alumnus markets revolutionary burn treatment bandage

DU alumnus Michel Hewitt (BA political science ’02) has always been interested in the medical field and knew he wanted to give back. He has found a way to do both.

Hewitt is marketing a product that he says could revolutionize the wound-care industry. The product is BurnStat, a bandage that speeds healing time and reduces pain, swelling and scarring for burn victims. Hewitt claims that this product can cut hospital downtime by a third.

“This is something that everyone should have,” says Hewitt. “I think we are on our way to change the world.”

A few years back, Hewitt was living in London and assisting orthopedic surgeons. When he noticed that some of their medical equipment was obsolete. The realization sparked an idea for a company—MedEx—that sells re-furbished medical equipment to countries in Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia that are desperate for medical resources.

“We buy the equipment from hospitals and other medical clinics, then refurbish it and sell it to these countries that are in dire need of it for a substantially lower price,” Hewitt says.

While he was on a business trip in South Africa, a colleague asked him to meet with scientists who discovered an African clay that could help heal wounds.

The MedEx Africa branch, in conjunction with Global Natural Products, is now commercially producing the BurnStat bandage, which incorporates the natural organic compound.

The bandage has been approved by the FDA, and MedEx has rights to sell BurnStat throughout North America.

“It is our goal to introduce this to the world,” says Hewitt. “Because of our connections in the global market, we’re the company to do it.”

Rice University has taken a keen interest in BurnStat and is doing a study on the product. Tests show the bandage reduces scarring and works on diabetic ulcers, infected wounds, animal bites, burns, skin grafts, donor sites and bed sores. MedEx claims that the bandage can reduce scarring by 75 percent and heal a burn wound in 28 days or less.

MedEx has gown to 15 employees working in Houston and branches in Costa Rica, South Africa and Singapore. Hewitt is hiring dozens of sales representatives and sub-distributors as the market for BurnStat grows.

Hewitt is preparing to launch MedEx branches in the Middle East and South America, with offices in the United Arab Emirates and Argentina.

“One of the first comments that Michel made to me when we started working together is that he planned to change the world on country at a time,” says Ted May, DU’s director of disabilities. “It appears that he is well on his way to accomplishing that goal.”

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