MedShare Welcomes Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellows

In early August, we introduced you to our Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellow, Sana Rahim and Clint Fluker. They’re doing an incredible job so far, and we’re enjoying having them!

Our CEO and Co-Founder, A.B. Short, welcomed them on the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s blog, and we wanted to share the post with you. Click here to view, or see below.

MedShare Welcomes Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellows

By: A.B. Short, MedShare CEO & Co-Founder

Faiths Act fellows Sana Rahim and Clint Fluker, joined MedShare in late July. The two not only brought with them a wealth of experience and talent, but also a tangible new energy to our team.

Clint and Sana, MedShare's Faiths Act Fellows

You see, MedShare is aware of the potential to bridge interfaith groups in our community for a greater good, and as such, we’ve been eagerly anticipating their arrival.

To welcome Clint and Sana, we hosted a team breakfast where they had the opportunity to meet everyone. Then, to foster their understanding of how MedShare’s operates, they met with each of our various departments. I especially enjoyed sharing the history, founding, and achievements of MedShare with them.

During their year at MedShare, Clint and Sana will be working with various faith communities in Atlanta to allow those from different faith backgrounds to come together for a common cause: to improve global health.

Clint, Sana and Lindsey Barnett, MedShare's Senior Programs Manager, Sorting Medical Supplies

Their presence here has the potential to double the number of volunteers and, accordingly, our impact worldwide.

MedShare mobilizes community volunteers to sort and box the 20,000 lbs of donated medical supplies that we collect weekly, so you can see why their role is vital to MedShare’s ability to truly bridge the gap between surplus and need.

In addition to leading volunteers, our fellows plan to raise funds for joint container sponsorships, bridging those from various faith backgrounds to send 2,000 boxes of medical supplies to healthcare facilities treating victims of malaria and improving access to healthcare for women and children.

Clint and Sana with A.B. Short, MedShare CEO & Co-Founder

Most importantly, though, Clint and Sana will leave a lasting impact on the MedShare community of staff and volunteers as they lead us in a greater understanding of the way that collaborative faith can be a force for good.

I expect the Faiths Act fellows will pass along invaluable interfaith dialogue skills that we will continue to benefit from and utilize long after the fellowship has ended.

We’re honored to be a host, and happy to have them!

A.B. Short, MedShare’s CEO & Co-Founder

To learn more about medshare go to: http://www.medshare.org/

If you’d like to welcome Sana and Clint to MedShare, you can do so on our Facebook wall or via Twitter: @MedShare, @SanaRahim or @ClintFluker.

A Message from Jim Arnett, MedShare’s Board of Trustees Chair

MedShare’s Board of Trustees Chair, Jim Arnett, announces that on September 1, 2011, A.B. Short will be stepping down as CEO, and Meridith Rentz will take his place. Click here to view a larger version of this message.

We invite you to join us in welcoming Meridith and also in thanking A.B. for his inspiring leadership.  You can share your thoughts with both of them on MedShare’s Facebook wall or via twitter, @MedShare and @mrentz.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Visits MedShare

MedShare was pleased to host the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., at its Headquarters and Southeast Distribution Center in Decatur. MedShare and The Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Rev. Jackson’s organization, discussed opportunities to provide medical supplies and equipment to support the healthcare issues that thousands of East Africans are facing as a result of the famine.  From the earthquake in Haiti to the tsunami in the South Pacific and tornadoes in Alabama, MedShare has a history of successfully sending medical relief in response to urgent humanitarian needs. To help, sign up to volunteer or donate at www.medshare.org.

Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., with members of MedShare and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, speaking

Rev. Jackson with MedShare's A.B. Short and Nell Diallo

Rev. Jackson shaking hands with MedShare's Biomedical Engineer and Ethiopian, Tesfah Gebremichael

MedShare & Rev. Jackson discussing a partnership

Click here for more information and here to view more photos.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Visiting MedShare to Address East Africa’s Famine

Rev. Jesse Jackson Visiting MedShare to Address East Africa’s Famine

Rev. Jesse Jackson visiting Atlanta-based nonprofit to initiate humanitarian aid shipments to those suffering in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya

This afternoon, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, will visit MedShare to address East Africa’s famine.

The U.N. fears that thousands have died due to hunger, and Rev. Jackson hopes to partner with MedShare to mobilize his influence to send humanitarian aid to treat those suffering from malnutrition in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya.

“According to the UN World Food Program, over 11 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa,” says Rev. Jackson. “In Kenya, an estimated 3.6 million people have been affected; this includes refugees, rural pastoralists, and urban poor who are unable to buy adequate food because of escalating prices. In Ethiopia, at least 4.5 million people are in need of assistance. I strongly believe that we can show how compassionate we are as a country by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and sheltering the homeless.”

“MedShare is honored to host the Revs. Jackson and Lowery, and explore opportunities for medical supplies and equipment that we can provide to address the healthcare issues that thousands of East Africans are facing as a result of the famine,” says A.B. Short, CEO and Co-founder of MedShare.

MedShare’s Southeast Region Employee of the Quarter: Tesfah Gebremichael

Every quarter, MedShare staff vote to elect an “Employee of the Quarter” in both the Southeast and Western Region. This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated strength in the following areas:

  • Exemplary service provided during daily work
  • Notable contribution to department and/or overall organization
  • Projects an attitude of teamwork
  • Commitment toward excellence
  • Contributes to high staff morale

This week, MedShare’s Southeast Region named our newest Employee of the Quarter: Tesfah Gebremichael, Biomedical Engineer.

MedShare's CEO A.B. Short congratulating Tesfah on the announcement

CEO A.B. Short speaking about Tesfah's accomplishment

Tesfah first came to MedShare as a student at DeVry University. He volunteered under our Senior Biomedical Engineer, Eben Amstrong, in MedShare’s biomedical department, and made such an impression that he was hired full-time after graduating. Tesfah is incredibly hard-working, talented and always has a positive attitude. We consider ourselves lucky to have him on staff!

In addition to the wonderful recognition, Employees of the Quarter receive an extra day off and a prime parking spot. Congratulations on this well-deserved award, Tesfah!

Global Atlanta repost: MedShare Strengthens Ties With Congo-Kinshasa


On April 20, 2011, MedShare was pleased to welcome His Excellency Dr. Victor Makwenge Kaput, Minister of Health, Democratic Republic of Congo and Dr. J. M. Kalonji, Multi-Sector Advisor, Ministry of Heath. They visited MedShare to discuss future container shipments to Congo. Dr. Makwenge detailed their current healthcare system and struggles, and his plans to improve it.

Global Atlanta’s Ann Cantrell covered the visit, and we wanted to share her article with you.

MedShare Strengthens Ties With Congo-Kinshasa

By Ann Cantrell

The Democratic Republic of the Congo that has been ravaged by years of war and suffers from an inadequate health care system will be receiving much needed medical supplies from an Atlanta-based charity, which is strengthening its ties with the CentralAfrican country.

As part of its mission to provide poorer countries with surplus medical supplies from the U.S., MedShare International will be sending three 40-foot containers from Decatur to the impoverished country by the end of May.

Valued somewhere between $150,000 to $200,000, each container will have supplies such as sonographic and X-ray machines, patient monitoring systems and equipment used to administer anesthesia during surgeries.

Since 2004, MedShare already has sent 25 containers to the Congo, but even this sizable contribution has been woefully inadequate to serve the needs of the country’s 71 million inhabitants.

“In the United States, $8,047 was spent on health care per person in 2009. By comparison, the Democratic Republic of the Congo spends $4 per person … Situations like this are why MedShare is here,” David Pass, MedShare’s chief advancement officer, told GlobalAtlanta.

In keeping with its growing relationship with MedShare, Victor Makwenge Kaput, the Congo’s minister of health,  and two other representatives from the ministry, visited the headquarters on April 20 to tour the facility and discuss future partnerships.

Nell Diallo, vice president of corporate and international relations, told GlobalAtlanta they are seeking corporate sponsors and have begun discussions with the Coca Cola Co., Western Union Co., and DHL Express, an international mail service, to assist with shipping and funding.

MedShare depends on corporate and private sponsors to fund its operations of gathering leftover medical supplies and equipment from hospitals in the U.S. and redistributing them in underserved communities. The organization has sent containers to more than 30 countries including Afghanistan, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Victor Makwenge Kaput, the Democratic Republic of Congo's minister of health, at MedShare's headquarters in Decatur.

During his visit to the MedShare headquarters and disribution facility, Mr. Kaput outlined some of the health problems in the country to Ms. Diallo, Mr. Pass, A.B. Short, CEO and co-founder and other staff,

Each year, 350,000 children in the Congo do not live past five-years and 3,600 women pass away due to pregnancy complications, according to the health minister. “Each second, children die because of no medical care. Each second, women die because of pregnancy complications,” he added.

According to Mr. Kaput, there are also 1 million people living with HIV/AIDS and many suffer from malaria.

After years of war involving half-a-dozen neighboring countries, he said the health care system was decimated. And even though the war officially ended in 2003, the conflict continued within the country particularly in the east, eventually killing more than 5 million people in the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II.

Years of war destroyed the infrastructure of hospitals and clinics and the government only provides the Ministry of Health with $70 million a year for expenses, Mr. Kaput said, adding that $70 million would not even be sufficient to fund the construction of a single hospital.

Due to the lack of government funding, the ministry looks to non-profits, non-governmental organizations and religious groups for funding, equipment and physicians, he said.

More than 80 percent of its funding comes from these organizations, like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, bringing its budget in the Congo from $1 to $4 for each person per year, he said.

Mr. Kaput said he wants to increase this amount to $14 per person each year, repair damaged public hospitals, improve distribution of supplies to rural areas, bring more doctors to the country and re-develop medical research programs.

Working towards these goals, he added that the health ministry is working with South Africa to bring back thousands of Congolese doctors that relocated during the wars and increase their salary from $200 to $1,000 per month.

The health minister and his colleagues concluded their visit to Medshare with a tour of the warehouse and distribution center.

For more information, visit http://www.medshare.org.

Thanks to Global Atlanta for the great coverage! We look forward to working with the Minister to improve healthcare in the DRC.

To view photos of the Minsiter’s visit, click here.

MedShare’s FY 2010 Annual Report – How YOUR Support Has Helped!


Our Annual Report for the Fiscal Year 2010 is ready, and we’re excited to share it with you. Click here to view.

Inside the Annual Report you’ll find the year’s highlights, recipient and volunteer features, our summarized financial information, a comprehensive look at our impact in Haiti and our environmental impact.

As we looked back on the year’s accomplishments, we feel proud of all that we’ve achieved. We are also overwhelmed with the generous support that donors like you continue to provide. Thank YOU for making our mission of bridging the gap between surplus and need possible!