MedShares Celebrates Our 900th Aid Shipment

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In the most underdeveloped countries in the world, children  and adults suffer and  die every day because their doctors, hospitals and clinics, do not have the necessary supplies and equipment to treat them. At the same time, U.S. hospitals and manufacturers discard an billions of dollars worth of medical supplies each year, much of which is useable surplus that could save lives, but is sent to landfills.

MedShare was founded in 1998 on the premise that both the humanitarian and environmental issues can, and should be addressed.

Our first shipment was made in May, 1999 and was sent to a recipient in Costa Rica. From these humble beginnings we have grown to be one of the largest shippers of medical aid in the country.

In 2001 we were up to 15 shipments and then in 2002 it doubled to 30. Skip forward a few years to 2009, when MedShare’s 500th forty-foot container of medical supplies and equipment is shipped. The shipment was sponsored by the newly-formed Southeastern Regional Council and was sent to benefit Santa Rosa Maternity Hospital in Ecuador.

Also in 2009, a mobile CT Scanner was donated to us by Catalina Imaging in Sacramento, CA. This 45-foot mobile imaging system is the largest single medical equipment donation MedShare has received. It was safely delivered to the capital of Zimbabwe where it is the only functioning CT system in public health in the country.

In October 2009, MedShare responded to its first international disaster when a tsunami struck American Samoa. MedShare was quick to respond to the medical needs after an earthquake and devastating tsunami struck American Samoa. In disaster relief situations such as this, basic medical supplies run out quickly. Within hours after MedShare received their custom order, volunteers and staff had picked the hundreds of boxes from the warehouse, wrapped them on shipping pallets, and then transported the truckloads to the Port of Oakland.

But nothing could have prepared us for the biggest disaster in the Western hemisphere in modern times. On the afternoon of January 12, 2010, I received a text from our CEO in Atlanta and we began our response planning.

Within hours we mobilized volunteers to help us prepare aid shipments, including, notably. In the first couple of weeks we shipped 11 containers of aid and provisioned 22 medical teams. Since the earthquake we have shipped 44 containers to help strengthen their fragile health system. In January of this year, I was privileged to visit Haiti once again. While the challenges will be significant for the country for many years to come, I can say with a high level of assurance that MedShare’s partnerships are having a demonstrable impact on the lives of many Haitian’s.

The 900th container of  humanitarian aid that we shipped on April 9, 2013, Imageis destined for John F Kennedy Medical Center  located in Liberia’s capital City of Monrovia.  The medical center serves a population that is struggling with significant health challenges, including hypertension, malnourishment, and HIV/AIDS. The US spends an average of $7,700 per capita on healthcare, while Liberia just spends 6/10 of 1 percent of that – a measly $49.

This shipment contains 1,000 boxes of critically needed medical supplies such as IV kits, gloves, needles and suture to help treat thousands of patients per year. Hospital beds, examination tables, an anesthesia machine, pulse oximeters, and even a centrifuge and a microscope for their lab.

Traveling at 17 knots, it will leave the Port of  Oakland and be 50 days in transit and is set to arrive on June 2.

We’re excited about MedShare’s future, as together with the partners represented over these past 14+ years, we are confident of our ability to do even more good.

We acknowledge that there is significant opportunity to further enhance MedShare’s impact through more partnerships and collaborations at the local, national and international levels, and we invite each of you to help us deliver health and hope to more people around the world.

Chuck Haupt
Executive Director
Western Region

Bay Area Faith Leaders Convene at MedShare

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Charity, service, option for the poor, social justice, faith in action—whatever you call it, it’s an important focus for faith-based organizations. MedShare’s Western Region hosted a breakfast on Tuesday for 20 faith leaders from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

These leaders had an opportunity to learn about MedShare’s work to improve lives and the environment in our local and global community. The meeting included a tour of our 54,000 sq. ft.  Distribution and Volunteer Center where they observed community volunteers hard at work to help us sort the donated medical supplies we receive each day.

MedShare has a 15 year history of collaborating with faith communities from throughout the US and around the globe, to help deliver healthcare to the poorest of the poor. Terry Monday, Volunteer Programs Manager, and Chuck Haupt, Executive Director, hosted the event.

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Attendees were from: St. Paschal Church, Bethel Presbyterian Church, St. Leander Church, Growing Healthy Churches, St. Joan of Arc Church, San Leandro Church of Christ, Holy Names University, Bay Area Chinese Bible Church, First United Methodist Church of San Leandro, St. Raymond Church, and the Just Faith Social Justice ministry from the Catholic Diocese of Oakland.

CHI supports Philippine Hospital with Aid Shipment

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Catholic Health Initiatives partnered with MedShare to deliver an aid shipment to the Indigenous Peoples’ Hospital in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. View video here

From Sister Norman Manzano, Hospital Administrator; “Providing access to specialized treatment and care to the approximately 60,000 indigenous people living in the Diocese of Bayombong is the most significant need. These tribal peoples are some of the most marginalized and impoverished in the Philippines. They have been forced to subsist in remote, mountain villages as more and more of their land is taken for commercial endeavors, such as mining, logging, and construction of dams. They live a simple, agrarian lifestyle. The absence of a road network makes accessing services particularly challenging. Cases of emergencies often results to irreversible health deficit or death. They do not have health insurance coverage and are often turned away because of inability to pay for services. The provision of the basic preventive health services, such as immunizations and antenatal care, remains a challenge. Detection and proper management of communicable diseases, like TB, are exceedingly difficult.”

MedShare is proud to collaborate with CHI to deliver over 1,100 boxes of medical supplies to enable the Outpatient Clinic to begin treating patients from the impoverished, indigenous population of Nueva Vizcaya.

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Key Surgical® Donates More than 800,000 Masks to MedShare

Key Surgical®, a leading supplier of sterile processing and operating room supplies, has donated more than 800,000 faceshields and protective masks to MedShare, an Atlanta-based non-profit that recovers and redistributes surplus medical supplies and equipment to developing countries in desperate need of these supplies.

“The faceshields and protective masks provided by Key Surgical are destined for a number of developing countries where they will improve the quality of healthcare available,” said Meridith Rentz, CEO and president of MedShare. “We’re grateful to Key Surgical for their partnership in helping us bridge the gap between surplus and need.”

The donation by Key Surgical helps address a critical need in many developing countries. The World Health Organization estimates that millions of people in the developing world die because of inadequate medical care.

MedShare collects surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, distributors and manufacturers, and redistributes those supplies to qualified healthcare facilities in the developing world. Since the organization was founded in 1998, over $100 million worth of medical supplies and equipment have been sent on more than 750 shipments to 88 countries around the world, saving countless lives and over 2 million cubic feet of space from U.S. landfills.

“We’re proud to be associated with MedShare,” said Brian O’Connell, Chief Operating Officer of Key Surgical. “We believe in their cause and their ability to get our supplies into the hands of those who can do the most good for those in the most need.”

About Key Surgical
Founded in 1988, Key Surgical specializes in supplying hospitals, surgical ambulatory and outpatient centers with a complete line of sterile processing, operating room and clean room supplies that focus on cleaning, protecting, identifying and packaging of surgical instruments. Dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service, Key Surgical offers more than 2,500 medical products worldwide. The company is committed to manufacturing and distributing the highest quality medical products, and to maintaining all applicable ISO and FDA regulatory requirements.