MedShare Recognized by the State of California for Their Commitment to Waste Reduction

MedShare, a top-ranked local charity, was named a 2011 Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP)winner by the State of California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

MedShare receives CalRecycle's WRAP award

The WRAP awards honor California companies and nonprofits for workplace solutions to cut their waste output and reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills. MedShare was recognized for their efficient recovery and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment that helps to improve the environment and healthcare for the medically underserved. This is the third consecutive year the nonprofit has received the honor.

“This year’s WRAP winners are evidence that businesses and organizations of all sizes are achieving significant waste reduction and recycling goals, all while helping protect the environment and preserve our natural resources,” CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said.

MedShare launched California’s first large-scale medical supply recycling center in 2008. They collect unused, unexpired surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals and medical distributors. These are items that would be destined for landfills, but instead, MedShare redistributes them to needy hospitals in developing countries as well as community-based health clinics throughout California.

“MedShare continues to deliver innovative solutions for healthcare providers that want to green their operations and we are honored that our waste reduction efforts are being recognized by the State of California,” said Chuck Haupt, Executive Director, MedShare’s Western Region. “In cooperation with leading hospitals and manufacturers we were able to divert an amazing 228 tons of surplus in 2011.”

In Northern California, there are more than 30 hospitals participating in MedShare’s innovative Hospital Recovery Program. These hospitals recognize the local environmental benefit that their contributions have, as well as the impact that they will have on people’s lives around the globe.

In 14 years of operation, MedShare has shipped over 750 forty-foot shipping containers of surplus medical supplies and equipment abroad, which accounts for over two million cubic feet of landfill space saved.

Mid-December Western Region Volunteers

At MedShare, we’re lucky to host over 18,000 volunteers a year. These generous people and groups help us sort and box the 20,000 lbs of medical supplies that we collect weekly from our hospital and manufacturer partners. The sheer volume of work they provide for MedShare is incredible, and we don’t hesitate to say that our work wouldn’t be possible without them.

 Today, we’d like to recognize a few groups who’ve recently volunteered in our Western Region.

On December 17, these Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership volunteers sorted drapes and packed 77 boxes.

On December 16, Kaiser-Performance Excellence volunteers sorted 741 lbs and packed 50 boxes.

On December 15, Kaiser Permanente volunteers sorted 439 lbs and packed 47 boxes.

We’d like to recognize our volunteers for another accomplishment. On Tuesday, December 20, the Western Region had one of its biggest sorting days ever!  Regular volunteers and groups from OSISoft, Nektar, and the Bay Oaks Blasters packed an impressive 664 boxes and sorted 5,500 lbs.

These volunteers are part of the group that packed 664 boxes and sorted 5,500 lbs on December 20.

These volunteers are part of the group that packed 664 boxes and sorted 5,500 lbs on December 20.

These volunteers are part of the group that packed 664 boxes and sorted 5,500 lbs on December 20.

If you’d like to sign up to volunteer, click here. Thanks again to everyone pictured here, and the many others who aren’t.

After kayaking 2,500 miles to raise money, Conor Flannery’s container arrives in Tanzania

Do you remember Mr. Conor Flannery, MedShare supporter and kayaker-extraordinaire who fundraised $20,000 to sponsor a container by kayaking 2,500 miles from Seattle, Washington to Achorage, Alaska last March? If not, you can read about his project here.

Mrs. Christine Chacha from Shirati Hospital, Tanzania, and Conor Flannery

Conor chose Shirati KMT Designated Hospital in Rorya, Mara, Tanzania as the recipient, and we shipped the container of medical humanitarian aid out of our Western Region Distribution Center in San Leandro, California on June 8.

Late last week, we received word that container arrived. According to our liaison, “The container is in Shirati, the people all exulting.” (Have you ever heard more beautiful words? This is why we work so hard to bridge the gap between surplus and need!)

Below are a few photos of the arrival we wanted to share with you:

Unloading the container

Container in Tanzania

In addition to Conor, we’d like to again thank the Friends of Shirati organization and AISCS for their support in making this shipment possible. AISCS is a local group that helps African immigrants and has various projects with the Shirati Hospital including an improved water system.

MedShare Celebrates 700th Container Shipment

MedShare staff, volunteers and supporters celebrate the 700th container shipment

On Friday, September 2nd, MedShare celebrated a milestone achievement: we shipped our 700th container of humanitarian aid. This shipment paid tribute to A.B. Short and Bob Freeman’s founding vision, and celebrated the success of our past 13 years, during which we’ve shipped over $93 million worth of medical supplies and equipment to 88 developing countries and territories around the world. In the process, over 2 million cubic feet of space has been saved from landfills, as well as millions of lives around the world.

The container was sent from our Western Region Distribution and Volunteer Center in Northern California, and will benefit beleaguered hospitals in Misrata, Libya.

Turn-out at the ceremony was fitting for an event of this magnitude: Mr. Homdi Soliman, Operation Director of HOPE International Relief & Development Agency and sponsor, Dr. Heshaam Fallah, a Libyan-American physician with Kaiser Permanente and project coordinator, the Chief Medical Officer from Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente representatives, a Council Member from the City of San Leandro, MedShare Trustees and Regional Council members, and many of our volunteers were in attendance. Mr. Soliman and Dr. Fallah spoke about the grave healthcare situation in Libya, and Mary Bersot, Trustee and Western Region Council Chair, shared her appreciation to our staff and volunteers.

“It has been an exceptional experience working with MedShare and all their staff throughout the Libyan conflict. With their extraordinary service and vision, we were able to help save the lives of thousands of men, women, and children,” said Homdi Soliman, Operation Director of HOPE.

The container was sponsored by HOPE International Relief & Development Agency (USA)based out of Columbus, Ohio. I-GO Aid Foundation, based in Malta, Libya, will coordinate delivery of the supplies and equipment to hospitals in Libya. The 1,000 boxes of medical supplies we sent were supplemented with biomedical equipment and durable medical goods, including hospital beds, gurneys, exam lights, exam tables, a ventilator for pediatric and adult patients, surgical packs, syringes, gloves and oxygen masks. Hospitals throughout Libya are dealing with a humanitarian catastrophe, as they are running short on critically needed medical supplies. This marked the fourth shipment we’ve sent to hospitals in Libyacollaborating with these partners.

We must give credit where credit is due: MedShare wouldn’t be celebrating this milestone achievement were it not for our wonderful community. For those that support MedShare through your gift of time, in-kind or financial donations or community advocacy, we thank you for all that you do, and ask that you continue helping us bridge the gap between surplus and need. With your partnership, there is no limit to what we can achieve, and we look forward to celebrating our 1,000th, 2,500th, and 5,000th container shipments with you!

To view more photos of this shipment ceremony, click here.

This is an excerpt from September’s e-newsletter. To read more – including a letter from CEO Meridith Rentz and the story of a medical mission team in South Georgia – click here.

MedShare Celebrating 700th Humanitarian Aid Shipment with Formal Ceremony – Libyan Relief

MedShare to host a formal shipment ceremony for its 700th aid container to beleaguered hospitals in Libya on Friday, September 2nd.

For 13 years, award-winning nonprofit MedShare has bridged the gap between surplus and need by recovering and redistributing surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals and medical companies to needy health facilities around the world.  On September 2nd at 9:30 a.m., the organization will celebrate its 700th container shipment of humanitarian aid with a formal ceremony. The container will be sent to benefit beleaguered hospitals in Libya.

I-GO AID Foundation

The container is sponsored by HOPE International Relief & Development Agency (USA) based out of Columbus, Ohio. I-GO Aid Foundation, based in Malta, Libya, will be coordinating delivery of the supplies and equipment to hospitals in Libya. Among the over 1,000 medical supplies and equipment that will be sent are hospital beds, gurneys, exam lights, exam tables, a ventilator for pediatric and adult patients, surgical packs, syringes, gloves and oxygen masks. Hospitals throughout Libya are dealing with a humanitarian catastrophe, as they are running short on critically needed medical supplies.

“It has been an exceptional experience working with MedShare and all their staff throughout the Libyan conflict. With their extraordinary service and vision, we were able to help save the lives of thousands of men, women, and children,” said Homdi Soliman, Operation Director of HOPE.

In its 13-year history, MedShare has shipped over $93 million worth of medical supplies and equipment in 700 tractor-trailer size containers to 88 developing countries and territories around the world. In the process, the organization has saved over 2 million cubic feet of space from landfills, and millions of lives. This will be MedShare’s fourth shipment to hospitals in Libya collaborating with these partners.

“It’s truly remarkable what MedShare has accomplished over the past 13 years.  Our success is tied directly to the strategic partnerships that we have cultivated over the years,” said Meridith Rentz, CEO of MedShare. “We are proud to send over 1,000 medical items to those in Libya that have been dramatically impacted by the turmoil in that country.”

I-GO Aid Foundation is a nonprofit organization that delivers much needed medical and food supplies to the Libyan people, specifically those in cut-off coastal areas of the country. HOPE International Relief & Development Agency is an American non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to easing the hardships of the disadvantaged, displaced, and misfortunate people of the world through programs that provide food, shelter, education, and financial means and incentives to start small businesses and industries that could serve as permanent sources of income.

“I am driven by the simple desire to do anything I can to help the thousands of Libyans that are suffering every day,” said Dr. Heshaam Fallah, a Libyan-American physician with Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA and primary coordinator of MedShare’s four aid shipments to Libya.

The aid shipment ceremony offers a TV and photo opportunity for the media as MedShare celebrates the impact of their mission through the formal send-off of its 700th shipment of medical supplies and equipment.  The event is scheduled for Friday, September 2 at 9:30 a.m. at MedShare located at 2937 Alvarado St, San Leandro, Calif.

Volunteers Make the MedShare World Go Around!

Though we’ve said it time and time before, we can’t say it enough: volunteers make the MedShare world go around. Sorting medical supplies is a huge task, and the work that volunteers do is what enables us to accomplish our mission of bridging the gap between surplus and need.

This morning, we wanted to share a few photos we snapped of volunteers hard at work:

Volunteers in our Decatur sort room hard at work

Emory Healthcare's Occupational Injury Management team doing a second-sort

Happy birthday to our longtime volunteer Jane Gole!

What exactly do volunteers do?

We utilize 15,000 volunteers each year (12,000 in GA and 3,000 in CA). Their primary role is to sort the medical supplies donated by hospitals and manufacturers. (Each week, we receive about 20,000 lbs of donated medical supplies!) Volunteers sort and group similar supplies together into boxes. The boxes are then entered by a staff member into an inventory system, sent to the warehouse, and after being requested by a medical facility, are then shipped out and used to save lives!

To sign up for a volunteer session in either our San Leandro or Decatur warehouse, click here.

MedShare Ships First Container of FY 2012 to Ukraine

MedShare is proud to announce that the first container of the new fiscal year shipped out of our Western Region Distribution Center in San Leandro, CA on Friday, July 8th.  The container, which is destined for Ukraine in Eastern Europe, is carrying over 900 boxes of medical supplies for humanitarian aid distribution.  The items were individually selected by the Donetsk Regional Charitable Organization, “Greek Medical Fund Hippocrates,” and includes surgical masks, drapes, iodine, gloves, orthopedic instruments, as well as a brand-new Mizuho Osi Hana Orthopedic Surgical Table.

The Donetsk Regional Charitable Organization will distribute the donated supplies amongst four different under-resourced medical centers in Ukraine: Volodarsk Hospital, Telmanovo Hospital, the CMF “Hippocrates”, and the Mirupol Oncologic Dispensary.

MedShare West Coast staff showing the “number one” sign in front of loaded container, representing first shipment for Fiscal Year 2012

Thanks very much to Hellenicare for sponsoring this project. Hellenicare is an NGO that delivers humanitarian assistance programs in Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia in a wide variety of areas, including human rights advocacy, infrastructure restoration, economic development, and of course, healthcare. Please see their website www.hellenicare.org for more information.  We look forward to working with Hellenicare on more container shipments to Eastern Europe in the future!