MedShare Ships Second Container to Hospital St. Nicolas in Haiti

Haiti

MedShare celebrated a very special shipment to Haiti on Thursday, May 19, 2011, when a 40 foot container of medical humanitarian aid for Haiti was shipped out of the Western Regional Distribution Center.  The container is carrying over 11,600 lbs of donated medical supplies and equipment for Hospital St. Nicolas, such as cervical collars, electric beds, diapers, splints, gauze, syringes, an anesthesia machine, an infant warmer, and much more.

Dr. Stephen Lockhart, Chief Medical Officer at Sutter Health East Bay Region, introduced Chuck Haupt to the need for medical supplies and equipment at Hospital St. Nicolas, Saint Marc, Haiti shortly after the January 2010 earthquake. Dr. Lockhart and other medical professionals from Sutter Health went to Hospital St. Nicolas to treat the injured and sick. Subsequent to that first visit, he has returned three more times to aid patients in that community. See a short video here about Dr. Lockhart’s most recent visit to Hospital St. Nicolas.

MedShare’s long-time partner Partners in Health (known in Haiti as Zanmi Lasante) support St. Nicolas Hospital and coordinated this shipment with MedShare.  Thanks to all at PIH for facilitating this project, raising the money for the shipping, and handling the customs clearance and delivery to Saint Marc.

We are so very proud to partner with Sutter Health and Partners in Health on this second aid shipment to Hospital St. Nicolas. Joining us at the ceremony were members of MedShare’s Western Region Council, many volunteers, and 7th grade students from Corpus Christi School in Piedmont (who volunteered with us for the entire school year).

Dr. Stephen Lockhart, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Sutter Health East Bay Region

Volunteers, guests and staff celebrate this shipment to Hospital St. Nicolas

(L to R) Chuck Haupt, MedShare; Dr. Stephen Lockhart, Sutter Health; and Western Region Council members - Mary Bersot, Robin Flagg, Camilo Barcenas, Paul Hofmann, John Feilders

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!

The Ark Newspaper: Surplus Medical Supplies Make an Impact

Last week, MedShare was featured in The Ark Newspaper, a paper that serves the California towns Tiburon, Belvedere, and Strawberry. Two of our Western Regional Council members, Mary Bersot and Doug Grey, are from Tiburon, and they’re profiled in this article.

Take a moment to read the article:

Surplus Medical Supplies Make an Impact

By Ann Mizel

MedShare, a nonprofit organization ranked one of the most efficient charities in the United States by Charity Navigator, is making a huge difference in the lives of people around the world who have little access to quality healthcare, and two Tiburon residents, Mary Bersot and Dr. Douglas Grey, are deeply committed to the organization, serving on its national board.

Grey, who has retired from Kaiser Permanente as a vasular surgeon, remains at Kaiser as vice-chair, National Product Council, and is co-chair of the Technology Coordinating Group of Northern California as well as vice-chair of the Western Regional Council for MedShare. “MedShare is my second career,” he told The Ark.

Bersot, of Bersot Capital Management of Tiburon, is chair of MedShare’s Western Regional Council. “We collect usable medical surplus, except pharmaceuticals, from 29 California hospitals, including Marin General, and healthcare facilities that would otherwsie go into landfills adn incinerators and send the surplus to qualified healthcare facilites in the developing world,” Bersot explained.

The supplies sent abroad in 40-foot ocean containers of 1,000 boxes includes sutures, surgical instruments, IV sets, gloves, exam tables, stephescopes, wheelchair, sterilizers, infant incubators, blood pressure monitors and defibrillators. Qualified surplus medical supplies are also made available to free clinics in California and Georgia. (MedShare’s headquarters is in Decatur, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb.)

Grey’s focus is biomedical supplies – “anything that gets plugged in,” he said. “Either you reuse or throw out. MedShare’s biomedical engineer and technician restore and repair all donated equipment, so recipient hospitals are able to effectively operate the equipment they receive.”

MedShare, which has earned a Green Business certification, has become a passion for Grey, who sees “the magic of this,” when he speaks of MedShare, its efficient inventory system, fully screened recipients and contribution tot he environment.

Both Grey and Bersot emphasized the tremendous impact that can be made with even very few doanted supplies, and that for every $20,000 investment – the cost of sending one 12,000-pound container – $155,000 worth of desperated needed medical supplies and equipment will reach those in need. “We raised $20,000 in two months for a recent shipment to the Kingdom of Tongo,” said Bersot, who added that average tax-deductible donations are in the $50 to $100 range. “Our story is an easy story to tell.”

MedShare is able to keep overhead low because of its dedicated volunteers – 3,000 in the Bay Area – who work at MedShare’s distribution center in San Leandro, sorting and packaging donations by type, size and date of expiration. (Volunteers can sign up online.) Because of a huge outpouring of support from volunteers as well as donors right after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, MedShare was able to ship 27 containers to needy hospitals in that country.

Board members of MedShare make yearly trips abroad, so Bersot and Grey will be able to see firsthand some of their good work when they visit Kenya next year. “We see our work with MedShare as a way to reach out around the world, much like Peace Corps workers, but from afar,” said Bersot. Without being physically present, they are touching and saving lives every day.

To learn how you can help, visit MedShare’s website at www.medshare.org, contact Executive Director Chuck Haupt at chaupt@medshare.org, or call 510-567-7070.

Thanks to Mary, Doug, Ann Mizel, and Chuck Haupt for making this article come to fruition!

MedShare Highlights Service to Women for International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, this month we’ll highlight the women around the world that MedShare serves.

Dr. Mukwege of the Panzi Hospital

International Women’s Day (IWD) began in the early 1900’s when their oppression and inequality began spurring them on to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. What originated with 15,000 women marching through New York City seeking shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights has become an official holiday in many of the countries we serve. IWD is celebrated on March 8 every year, as hundreds of events occur throughout the world to mark the economic, political, and social achievements of women.

Women play an important role in MedShare on both the operational and receiving ends. We have almost 20 female employees on staff, and many of our volunteers are women, too. While we take pride in serving both men and women, we’d like to highlight a few special women’s facilities in honor of IWD. In some developing nations, women are often not recognized as equal to men, and they are often victims of discrimination. Maternal healthcare in these countries is lacking, and the women often suffer as a result. According to the Global Health Council, for instance, more than 99 percent of the estimated 536,000 maternal deaths each year occur in the developing world.

MedShare regularly ships tractor-trailer size containers of medical supplies and equipment to maternal health centers around the world. Some recent notable shipments have gone to maternity hospitals in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, and Haiti. These medical facilities each provide much-needed healthcare to women and children, and MedShare is proud to provide them with life-saving supplies and equipment.

Santa Rosa Hospital, Ecuador

The Santa Rosa Maternity Hospital in Ecuador was the recipient of MedShare’s 500th container shipment in November 2009. The hospital staff struggle to care for the town’s maternal infant population with limited supplies, equipment, and staff resources. They were so appreciative of this container that the community celebrated its arrival with a ceremony. We were especially excited to provide the Santa Rosa Maternity Hospital with a much-needed infant incubator – the hospital’s first emergency evacuator. Our Southeastern Regional Council sponsored the container, and employees Josh Kravitz and Amanda Paniagua were fortunate to be in Ecuador as the container arrived. Commenting on the trip, Amanda said, “It was so rewarding to see our medical shipments actually being used on patients and to hear how they are so instrumental in helping these hospitals provide quality healthcare.”

Last September, a container left for the Panzi Hospital in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Located in Kivu province, the Panzi Hospital is providing relief and surgeries to treat victims of sexual violence and traumatic fistula. It’s 334-bed medical center is the home to two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Denis Mukwege, one of the Eastern Congo’s only gynecologists. Despite the hospital’s pioneering work, supply shortages are an ongoing problem, and we were proud to have provided a container of supplies to support their surgeries that treat victims of sexual violence and repair traumatic fistulas. Panzi Hospital is located in a war-torn area and highlights MedShare’s expertise in getting supplies into some very challenging places.

Most recently, we shipped a container of medical supplies and equipment to Project Medishare’s new maternal health center in Haiti. This container was shipped from our Western Distribution and Volunteer Center in San Leandro, CA on Valentine’s Day, and marked the 50th container shipment from this MedShare location. Project Medishare for Haiti is a nonprofit dedicated to achieving quality healthcare and development services by sharing resources with its Haitian partners. MedShare’s Valentine’s Day gift to Project Medishare was the second container of medical supplies and equipment we have sent to support this vital maternal health center. The first container was sent in 2010 in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Both contained critically-needed items such as hospital beds, suture, gloves, gowns, masks, thermometers, exam tables, laptop computers, and baby incubators that were hand-selected by the recipient. The clinic is located in the Central Plateau of Haiti and will open this spring.

As a MedShare supporter, thanks for everything you do to enable these shipments. To honor the women in your life on International Women’s Day, click here to contribute to MedShare.

This story is an excerpt from our March e-newsletter. Click here to read the entire newsletter, featuring stories of an inspiring volunteer and medical mission trip to Gondar, Ethiopia.

Container Shipment Announcement: Two Containers to Haiti

Haiti

MedShare is proud to announce the shipment of two 40 foot containers of medical humanitarian aid for the victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  The first shipped on Monday, February 14, 2011, out of MedShare’s Western Regional Distribution Center in San Leandro, California.  That container is carrying over 1,000 lbs of supplies and equipment such as a baby incubator, a sterilizer, pediatric ambu bags, and bandages for a maternal/child health center in Thomonde, operated by the NGO Project Medishare.  This is MedShare’s second container shipment to this hospital, which our CEO and co-founder AB Short visited in 2009 and made a commitment to help.  Click Here for a description of the great work that Project Medishare is doing for the impoverished mothers and babies in Haiti’s Central Plateau. Special thanks to UPS and the AidMatrix Foundation for providing the discounted shipping rate through their humanitarian logistics program!

The second container that shipped for Haiti this week left from MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center in Decatur, Georgia this morning, February 17th, 2011.  This container is carrying over 1,100 individual boxes of medical supplies including ambu bags, pediatric endotracheal tubes,  gloves, gowns, surgical masks, and a “Bair Hugger” patient blanket warming system, among other materials.  These supplies will be used by our partner NGO Zanmi Lasante (known in the US as Partners in Health) the new Mirebalais Teaching Hospital and several Cholera Treatment Centers.  Special thanks to Angie Bryan and Nicole DeMoss for their collaboration on making that project happen!

To read more about our work in Haiti since the earthquake in January of 2010, click here.

Western Region Ships 50th Container

Yesterday, MedShare’s Western Region celebrated a special occasion, the shipment of a container of medical aid to a maternal health center in the plateau region of Haiti. What made this shipment especially noteworthy is that it represented the 50th since we opened the facility 2 ½ years ago.

Our talented staff, under the leadership of Ken Rogers and Terry Monday, have much to be proud of as a result of their passion for our mission of caring. We were pleased to have Board Members Doug Grey and Paul Hofmann, as well as Western Region Council Member  Kathryn Johnson, join with our volunteers to mark this milestone.

Below are photos of the shipment. Enjoy!

Loading the container for Project Medishare in Haiti

Loading the container

Loyal volunteers JoAnna and John Morton with Volunteer Programs Manager Terry Monday

Myron and Jay help Ken load the last few pallets

Chuck Haupt explains the shipment to volunteers

Volunteers and Staff send off the West's 50th Container, headed to Haiti

So long!From #1-50 in 2.5 years! Way to go Chuck, Terry, and Ken!

Tierney, Terry, Ron, Chuck, Alexis, Shannon, Ken, and Iryn

Chuck with Council and Board Members

We are grateful to all of MedShare’s staff, board members, regional council members, and thousands of community volunteers, from past and present, that have contributed to making this day possible.

To view more photos, click here.