This morning, we began loading boxes for our tornado relief shipment to Alabama. It will go out this afternoon! For more information, read this post.
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).
MedShare needs your help to respond to disaster situations, both abroad and at home. One such need is in Alabama, which was devastated by tornadoes that tore through the Southeast in late April. To help MedShare respond to urgent humanitarian needs in Alabama and others like it, click here. Whether you donate $5, $50, $500, $5,000 or more, any amount will be greatly appreciated and help us deliver immediate relief.
While many states were affected by the recent tornadoes, Alabama received the brunt of the damages. 300 people were killed, 230 of whom were in Alabama. 6,200 single-family homes were destroyed, 5,000 were heavily damaged, and close to 300 apartment complexes were wiped off the map. More than 68,000 people have registered for disaster assistance in Alabama, and MedShare is stepping in to help.
MedShare is an organization that typically only ships containers of humanitarian aid to needy hospitals and clinics throughout the developing world. Occasionally, however, we do respond to natural disasters and domestic local needs. We did in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, and are doing so again in response to Alabama’s disastrous tornado. Our nimbleness, flexibly, infrastructure and great relationships in the medical community make this possible, and we felt it our duty to assist when called upon by our neighbors for help. When responding to domestic situations, MedShare only sends new donated product with the permission of our manufacturer and supplier partners.
With many of the hospitals, clinics, and service organizations damaged or destroyed, there are often questions about how folks are receiving the medical attention and relief they need. In addition to the hospitals and clinics that are still operational, volunteer organizations are also providing assistance to the tornado victims. MedShare is partnering with one such organization, the Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments (AAVFD), and we will be shipping two containers of much-needed medical supplies. We are also working on as many as three additional projects with similar worthwhile recipients which meet our profile standards.
Catholic Charities USA contacted the Catholic Health Association regarding AAVFD’s needs. Because of CHA’s recent work with MedShare around the responsible processing of medical surplus, they connected this group with MedShare. AAVFD is the coordinating body within the state for fire services and emergency medical services. An enormous amount of their supply inventory has been exhausted – and will continue to be – from the storms and through the coming weeks, and they desperately need donations. AAVFD has a system in place to efficiently receive and distribute supplies so that all affected regions in Alabama will be helped. Other worthwhile projects are being identified in Tuscaloosa and throughout Alabama.
Requested items include syringes, colostomy supplies, ileostomy supplies, infusion units, IV kids, oxygen masks, bandages, gauze, slings, iodine, dressings, and sutures. We are partnering with specific manufacturers on these domestic donations, all of which is new product donated specifically for this cause.
We plan to ship the first tractor-trailer load this month, and at least two additional containers in June, but we need your help to make this possible. Click here to donate toward our efforts. Any gift will be greatly appreciated and will enable MedShare to respond to this disaster situation and others, whether they strike here in the U.S. or abroad. MedShare is committed to transparency in our operations and donor relations and we will provide a report of our activities in response to this and other disaster situations.
It is thanks to supporters like you that we are able to make a difference, and we’re grateful for your help in bridging the gap between surplus and need.
On May 6th, a 40-foot container carrying medical humanitarian aid for Armenia was loaded and shipped out of MedShare’s Southeastern Regional Distribution Center. These items will be received in Armenia by the NGO Greek Medical Fund, Hippocrates of Hellenicare, and distributed to eight local under-resourced hospitals, including the Alaverdi City Hospital, Vanadzar Hospital N1, Spitak Hospital, and Tashir Hospital.
The container holds over 11,000 lbs of donated medical supplies and equipment, such as:
- urinary catheters
- exam gloves
- sterile gauze
- oral swabs
- an electrosurgical unit
- and much more!
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 visit their website for more information.
We are looking forward to collaborating with Hellenicare again on an upcoming container shipment to Ukraine!