2012 On the Horizon: A Year for Expansion

This is the time of year for reflection, thankfulness, and gratitude, and also the time to chart our goals for the year to come. What’s on our radar? In two words: gratitude and expansion.

MedShare Trustee Dan Goldberg and CAO David Pass with John Stamos and the Beach Boys

We must first look back before looking forward. We at MedShare have a lot to be proud of this calendar year. In the 2011, we hosted more volunteers, supplied more medical mission teams, and turned over more supplies than in previous years. We continued with our environmental focus, hired a new CEO, instituted a regional council in New York, and not only shipped containers of life-saving medical supplies and equipment to 40+ countries, but also supported our own country by shipping two containers to Alabama in response to April’s devastating tornadoes. Most importantly, we shipped more containers than ever before, and in doing so, had a positive impact on an incredible number of lives around the world. In essence, we have successfully continued to bridge the gap between surplus and need this year.

Much time and energy went into our achievements, and we’d like to recognize those that have made this year’s successes possible. Thanks to A.B. Short, our co-founder and former CEO, for the vision you and Bob Freeman had 13 years ago. Thanks to the Board of Trustees for driving the search to bring in Meridith Rentz, our new CEO and President. Thanks to Meridith for the talent, passion and tireless energy you bring, and your commitment to take the organization to the next level. Thanks to our hospital and corporate partners for the supplies, equipment, and services you give; without them, our work wouldn’t be possible. Thanks to our incredibly generous supporters for allowing us to have a successful year of development in a down economy. Thanks to our volunteers for your dedication in sorting and packing countless boxes of supplies. Thanks to all MedShare employees for tirelessly working to better ourselves and others. Thanks to our recipients for partnering with us towards the common goal of improving healthcare worldwide. And finally, thanks to those that have contributed towards our potential expansion into South Florida and the Mid-Atlantic.

In the words of our recipients: merci; gracias; mesi, obrigado; cảm ơn ông; shukran; amesege’nallo’; naa goodee; tenk-kee; ngiyabonga; asante.

We have achieved much, but we can do more still. We can save more lives and space from landfills, and strengthen more healthcare systems. We can give more volunteers a meaningful experience and engage more hospitals and corporations in partnership.

To do all this, we are strongly exploring our expansion opportunities in two markets: South Florida and the New York Tri-State Region. MedShare was recently introduced to both communities through events held in each region.

On October 27, 2011, MedShare Trustee Daniel Goldberg hosted a Beach Boys concert at SPIN Ultra Lounge benefiting our expansion efforts into Florida. The event was well-attended, not only by the Beach Boys and John Stamos, but also by a generous local crowd. Thanks to all who made it possible! Click here to view photos of the event, and here to learn how you can help bring MedShare to Florida. We are currently working with consultants in the region to meet prospective partners, and hope to enter the region in 2013.

On December 8, 2011, the MedShare New York Regional Council hosted an event at The University Club to introduce MedShare to the region. We’d like to give a special thanks to Seth Zachary, Chairman of Paul Hastings, Sandy Tytel, Council Chair, Laureen Knutson, Anita MacDougall, Jackie Wasp, and Olivia Ayala for the event’s success. Ms. Rentz gave an inspiring speech to the attendees that conveyed the great need for a MedShare in New York. The New York Tri-State area has more hospitals than any other market in the United States, and MedShare has developed a world-class, proven model. This is an equation that would add up to hundreds of thousands of lives saved were MedShare to enter the region in 2012. Click here to read Ms. Rentz’s speech, here to view photos from the event, and here to learn how you can help with the effort.

You – our stakeholders and supporters – are the fuel for the MedShare mission. You’ve enabled us to achieve more, and we are so grateful for everything you’ve done. We hope you’ll join us in the coming year as we grow our model and have an even greater impact.

This was part of our December 2011 newsletter. To view the rest – including our new videos and a great last minute gift idea – click here.

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CEO Corner: “We Must Continue to do More”

Meridith Rentz, MedShare CEO

Dear friends,

During my first month here at MedShare, I enjoyed spending quality time in each of our current distribution and volunteer centers (Atlanta, GA and San Francisco Bay Area) as well as those regions where we are evaluating expansion including the Mid-Atlantic (to include New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia) and South Florida (to include Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton).

Everywhere I go, the message from our donors, partners, volunteers, staff, Board and council members is brilliantly consistent as they share with me stories of the amazing work MedShare has done for a country, hospital, clinic or project about which they care deeply. They all express great admiration and gratitude for the unique MedShare model that A.B. Short and Bob Freeman created 13 years ago….and they all convey with great urgency that we must continue to do more. The world needs “more” of what this MedShare team delivers.

The MedShare Board and staff have heard this plea for “more,” and we are working to respond in partnership with strong leadership groups in both the Mid-Atlantic and South Florida regions. Dan Goldberg is leading our efforts in South Florida and has joined the MedShare Board. Sandy Tytel, Chair of our New York Council, and Seth Zachary, Trustee, are leading up a great group of Council members in New York. While we have much work ahead of us, there are already great things happening. For example, over the past few weeks we have received several hundred quality hospital beds from North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System. From Ghana to Ecuador and beyond, many of our worthy recipients lack adequate hospital beds; this donation will help MedShare meet those needs. We look forward to continuing this strong partnership with North Shore LIJ and building additional new relationships with health care facilities and suppliers in both markets.

There are many ways you can help us as we develop our plan for these new regions. Whenever MedShare is invited into a new region, we must develop strong partnership with local hospitals, medical supply manufacturers and distributors, volunteers, donors, and other nonprofit organizations. If you have ideas or recommendations of people or organizations we should contact in any either South Florida or the Mid-Atlantic, please send them our way. You can reach me at mrentz@medshare.org or via Twitter @mrentz.

We also have several fun events coming up to “introduce” MedShare to the community in Boca Raton (October 26th at SPIN Ultra Lounge featuring The Beach Boys) and New York City (December 8th, The University Club, 6:15 cocktails, 7:30 dinner). We’d love for you to join us.

Thank you for your support and feedback as we work to provide expanded MedShare services in order to save more lives and support more communities.

In Service,

Meridith

This letter is an excerpt from our October e-newsletter. For more – including a first-hand account of a Trustee’s trip to NYC, our Clinton Global Initiative Commitment with icddr,b and Americares to strengthen health systems in Bangladesh, and how to get your family and friends involved – click here.