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!

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Thank You Letter from Tonga (the container arrived!)

Remember the Western Region Council sponsored container of medical supplies and equipment that we sent to Tonga in April in collaboration with the LDS Church? We are happy to share the good news that it arrived safely, was unloaded in a secure compound, and distributed between Niu’ui Hospital in Ha’apai and Prince Ngu Hospital in Vava’u.  Both hospitals are remote in the outer islands, and these supplies will certainly go a long way in enabling each to provide better healthcare services.

We received a thank you letter from  Halahuni Langi, the Country Welfare Manager for the LDS Church in Tonga, and wanted to share it with you.

Dear Mr. Haupt,

Greeting from Tonga!

My name is Halahuni Langi and I am the Country Welfare Manager for the LDS Church in Tonga.

This is to acknowledge receipt of the generous donations of medical equipments and supplies donated by  MedShare for the two hospitals in the outer Islands namely: Prince Wellington Ngu Hospital in Vava’u and Niu’ui Hospital in Ha’apai.

The FCL container 40-footer No. MFJU 0859239 landed on Queen Salote Wharf, Tonga on 9th May 2011.  While on hold on  the wharf with Customs seal intact, Ministry of Health was able to clear the said container through Customs on duty free basis without any problem.  The said container was delivered from the Wharf on Friday June 3rd, 2011 to LDS premises at a distance of about one-tenth of a mile secured with a 24-hour security provided by LDS staff.

Hand-over Ceremony of the medical goods and supplies by the church representative to the  Ministry of Health took place on Tuesday June 7th, 2011.  Government Dignitaries including the Minister of Health, Director of Health together with several members of their staff as well as LDS church leaders attended this ceremony.  A ceremony of this type always call for prayers.

Dr. Sililo Tomiki, the Chief Dental Officer offered the Invocation – and at this opening prayer – he was praying for special blessings for the staff of MedShare and its directors for their generous assistance in donating the medical goods for the people of Vava’u and Ha’apai, respectively.

From San Leandro, CA...

...to Tonga!

During the course of this ceremony, the Honorable Minister of Health, Mr ‘Uliti Uta and the Director of Health, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola jointly acknowledged their gratitude for the great donation of medical goods and supplies by MedShare.  The Hon Minister emphasized of the fact that all the supplies donated by MedShare will be delivered to the two hospitals – none to remain at the Vaiola hospital in Tongatapu.  Surely, this direction was carried out by the Ministry of Health together with the LDS Humanitarian Services in Tonga.   The Minister further warned his staff of the importance of proper handling and proper application of the medical supplies in order to improve the lives of the people of Vava’u and Ha’apai as to meet the expectations of MedShare.

At this ceremony, President Fe’ao Fehoko of the LDS church offered the benediction in which , he was pleading with the Lord for his blessings upon the staff and directors of MedShare and all the people who made it possible for the delivery of the medical goods for Ha’apai and Vava’u.

Following this ceremony, a week later on 17th June 2011, final handover ceremonies took place at the two hospitals.  Again, acknowledgement of the generous assistance by MedShare were expressed during the Course of the Ceremonies.  Dr Edgar ‘Akau’ola of Prince Ngu Hospital and Dr. Tevita Tu’ungafasi of Niu’ui Hospital expressed their gratitude for having been access to MedShare Website in placing their Orders.  Dr. ‘Akau’ola expressed his gratitude for allowing him by MedShare to order more than 500 items.  He was impressed with the donated goods – quality and quantity.

The Hon. Minister of Health at the Handover ceremony of the medical supplies at Niu’ui Hospital challenged the staff to ensure that the  health of Ha’apai people will be improved and their lives would be better and happier.

At the Handover Ceremony at the Prince Ngu Hospital, the Hon. Minister of Police, Dr. Viliami Latu in representing the Government of Tonga, expressed gratitude to MedShare and the donors for the successful handover of the medical supplies.  Finally, on behalf of the Humanitarian Services, I would like to express our heart-felt thanks to the directors and staff of MedShare for their generous assistance in donating the medical goods and supplies for the improvement of the health of the people of Ha’apai and Vava’u, respectively.

Congratulation to you at MedShare and your staff for your great donations.  Accordingly, all the recipients who are receiving treatments at the two hospitals can only say thank you- God  bless you and the staff of MedShare on your endeavors to improve the health of the people of Tonga.

On behalf of our people, we owe it to MedShare – and we always pray for your protection in all areas of your developments.

Thank you again – God bless MedShare.

Sincerely,

Halahuni Langi
Country Welfare Manager

Thanks to MedShare’s Western Region Council for your direct efforts that made this aid to the people of Tonga possible!

To view photos of the shipment ceremony, click here.

Thanks to Conor Flannery, MedShare Ships Supplies to Tanzania!

On Wednesday, June 8, a 40-foot container of medical humanitarian aid for Shirati KMT Designated Hospital in Rorya, Mara, Tanzania shipped out of MedShare’s Distribution Center in San Leandro, California.

Over 1,000 individual pieces of equipment and supplies were selected by their hospital director, Dr. Bwire Chirangi, and included on the container, including ambu bags, hospital beds, surgical drapes, sterilization packing an anesthesia machine, patient gowns, an ultrasound, and much more.

Many thanks to the Friends of Shirati organization and AISCS for their support. AISCS is a local group that helps African immigrants and has various projects with the Shirati Hospital including an improved water system.

Members of AISCS, MedShare Staff and Volunteers

Pediatric Ward

Inside the OR

This project was made possible thanks to Mr. Conor Flannery, who fundraised $20,000 for MedShare by kayaking 2,500 miles from Seattle, Washington to Achorage, Alaska last March! To learn more, click here.

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

To read Conor’s account of the shipment, click here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Virginia Godkin

Virginia Godkin (seated, far left) at MedShare Western Region’s Volunteer Appreciation Event. She received the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for devoting over 100 hours this year.

“Virginia Godkin is our oldest volunteer, and she volunteers two or three times a week. She has volunteered 236 hours in just the last 12 months and over 400 hours since we opened (not quite three years ago). That’s pretty amazing when you think that she’s standing for much of that time in our unheated/uncooled warehouse. She is a retired surgical nurse from the era when nurses actually pulled supplies and sterilized them. This makes her very valuable on the stainless steel sorting team and really whenever we sort. She always claims she’s forgotten everything but she has helped us many times with items we didn’t recognize. I want to be like her when I’m in my 80s…she’s active, good natured, smart and humble. She regularly brings in donut holes and other goodies to share with all the volunteers. We love her.” 

– Terry Monday, Volunteer Programs Manager

Virginia (front, center) at a container shipment ceremony earlier this year

Name: Virginia Godkin

Age and Occupation: I will be 87 in July, and I’m a retired Surgical Nurse.

Hometown: San Leandro, CA

Please describe yourself in one sentence. Local community volunteer.

When did you first hear about MedShare? I first heard about MedShare at my therapy pool about a year after they opened their warehouse in San Leandro. I was told it was a wonderful organization and wanted to check it out for myself.

How would you describe your volunteer experience at MedShare? It has been very good and enlightening. I’d encourage anyone who has a few hours to volunteer at MedShare – it’s a great experience.

How long have you been volunteering at MedShare? Since January 2009.

What inspired you to get involved? After hearing about MedShare, I wanted to go see what it was all about. Once there, I saw all this stuff that was resurrected from hospitals and saved from landfills. People need this equipment, but it would go to waste were it not for MedShare. I wanted to help.

What is it that motivates you to keep volunteering at MedShare? I feel as though I’m accomplishing something. I volunteer two days a week, and it’s also become a social gathering for me.

Have you been involved with MedShare in other ways besides sorting supplies? If so, please explain. In addition to sorting medical supplies, I’m also helping to organize the stainless steel sorting program. I work alongside JoAnna Hansen-Morton and Camille Didas. It was backlogged for a while, but we’re getting it caught up.

What has been your favorite MedShare moment or story during your time serving with us? My favorite moments are when a container ships out to a country in need. During the shipment ceremonies, the staff does a great job of illustrating how these containers will make a difference in recipient’s lives. It is a good feeling to see our hard work make the world a better place.

To learn more about volunteering at MedShare, click here.

This is an excerpt from June’s e-newsletter. To read more – including a story of a medical mission team in Ethiopia and how we’re supporting the world’s soon-to-be newest nation – click here.

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