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May 08, 2023 | Tom Ballard

EasyWhip suture needle now available to government agencies

The company founded by two UT, Knoxville graduate students has partnered with Lovell Government Services to have the device listed on DoD, VA, and DLA sites.

Lovell® Government Services and Winter Innovations have announced a partnership to list the latter’s flagship product, the EasyWhip® suture needle, on government contract vehicles.

Under the arrangement, Lovell Government Services will serve as Winter Innovations’ Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) vendor to federal healthcare systems such as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Military Health System (MHS), and Indian Health Services (IHS).

Winter Innovations was founded in 2019 by Lia Winter and Preston Dishner while both were graduate students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). It is focused on developing simple tools for overlooked areas in surgery, and the first product is the EasyWhip® suture needle. It is an award-winning and patented surgical needle designed to simplify and standardize stitching in ligament and tendon surgeries.

Winter made a name for herself and the device, continually winning collegiate-focused start-up competitions while she and Dishner were UTK students. Winter Innovations captured first runner-up in the 2022 edition of the PYA-sponsored “Ballard Innovation Award.”

Thanks to its alliance with Lovell Government Services, government customers can now find EasyWhip® on the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Distribution and Pricing Agreement and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Federal Supply Schedule. It will soon be available on the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) ECAT system. Having products listed on contract vehicles streamlines the acquisition process while helping government agencies meet their SDVOSB procurement goals.

“In the last year, we have made tremendous progress in making EasyWhip® available across the country,” said Winter. “The natural next step was to partner with Lovell to bring our solution to veterans and active military personnel across the country. I’m excited for this partnership because it provides VA and DoD facilities efficient access to EasyWhip® and builds on the longstanding relationships of Lovell with purchasing departments at these facilities.”

Founded in 2013 by Chris Lovell, a retired Major in the U.S. Marine Corps, Lovell Government Services is a two-time Inc. 5000 honoree as one of America’s fastest-growing privately-owned companies and a leader in the federal space. The Pensacola, FL-based firm partners with medical and pharmaceutical companies looking to better serve Veteran and military patient populations, increase their federal revenue stream and win government contracts.


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