Ecuador Impact Trip: The Power of Strategic Partnerships

The following entry was written by 2018 Impact Trip team member, Pat Shepherd. She is an Administrative Director at Sutter Health and leads Sutter’s Supply Chain Services for their Bay Area Operating Unit. She has been a tireless advocate for MedShare’s mission and has established an infrastructure within Sutter in support of our hospital recovery program. This is Pat’s first Impact Trip with MedShare.

 

MedShare Impact Trip, Day 1:

We visited Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil’s main office where we learned about the organization’s 130 year history of delivering healthcare for the underserved in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and its surrounding areas.

Junta’s Director, Ernesto Noboa, shared with the MedShare delegation its rich history and its current situation.  It delivers medical care in its four hospitals, runs two orphanages and two homes for the elderly, and finally provides two cemeteries – a cradle to grave continuum of caring.  Junta is the largest not for profit healthcare organization in Latin America.

We were very impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of the Junta-run and supported care sites.  Because of its performance, the organization has been enlisted by the Ecuadorian government to run four hospitals.  One hundred percent of Ecuador’s lottery net proceeds are used to fund medical services.  However, these funds are not sufficient to meet the care of Guayaquil’s medically needy.

Although services have significantly increased due to a governmental policy of the universal healthcare, we learned that the new administration has not been paying Junta and others resulting in very significant financial stress. Our shipments of supplies and equipment are needed now more than ever.

 

Earthquake in Ecuador

In April of 2016, a 7.8 earthquake shook Ecuador, which resulted in nearly 700 deaths and thousands of injuries.  The hardest hit area was in the northern part of the country bordering Colombia.  Its distant and remote location made delivering much needed medical supplies a dangerous mission.  The roads are treacherous and the drive to Esmeralda is unsafe due to drug trafficking activities.  It is also the home of the most underserved community – former African slaves.

Without Junta’s partnership, it would have been impossible for MedShare to deliver urgently needed medical supplies.   MedShare quickly mobilized and delivered a container of supplies to Ecuador where they were received by Junta and directly delivered via truck over the difficult and dangerous nine hour drive to the devastated site.  In addition to its quick response, MedShare provided the expertise in helping Junta develop a list of needed supplies that were appropriate for the immediate response after an earthquake.

On this Impact trip, we received a taste of Junta’s organization, its capabilities and the difficulties they faced in delivering the MedShare supplies.  It was clear to all of us that without this strategic partnership – the all-important “boots on the ground” – MedShare could not reach the earthquake victims.  For me, the trip to the mountainous Andes was an eye-opener.  I certainly was naive to the complexities of getting the supplies – I was so instrumental in collecting at my hospitals – to their final destination for patient care. Working together, the two organizations demonstrated the true meaning of the word “partnership”.

 

Read more from Pat Shepherd on #ImpactEcuador…

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MedShare: September 2011 Container Shipment Announcements

This shipment represented a milestone achievement for MedShare as it was our 700th container of humanitarian relief shipped.  Hospitals throughout Libya are dealing with a humanitarian catastrophe as they are running short on critically needed medical supplies. 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.  This marked the fourth shipment we’ve sent to hospitals in Libya collaborating with these partners.

Date: September 2, 2011

Country: Libya

Recipient: Libyan Red Crescent

Distribution Center: Western Region

Sponsors: Hope International Relief and Development Agency

Key Items: Hospital beds, gurneys, exam lights, exam tables, a ventilator for pediatric and adult patients, surgical packs, syringes, gloves and oxygen masks.

For more information, click here.

Date: September 13, 2011

Country: United States

Recipient: VIDA

Distribution Center: Western Region

Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH),  a Charleston, South Carolina based healthcare system, partnered with us to send humanitarian aid to Plateau Mission Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. This effort is RSFH’s second to improve the Plateau Community, their first being the provision of a safe water system in 2009. For RSFH’s “Hands Across the Water” project, employees, physicians and volunteers came together to raise more than $27,000. The 1,000 boxes of medical supplies, supplemented with biomedical equipment and durable medical goods, will support Plateau Mission Hospital’s capable professionals and strong leadership by enabling them to provide better healthcare to the community it serves. For more information, click here.

Date: September 15, 2011

Country: Kenya

Recipient: Plateau Mission Hospital

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Key Items: Nebulizer, incubator, gloves, infant warmer, prep kits, casts, OR light, beds, ventilator and an X-ray view box.

Date: September 21, 2011

Country: Ecuador

Recipient: Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil

Distribution Center: Western Region

Key Items: Pulse co-oximeter, stretcher, baby crib, exam table, PET vehicles, ambu bags, baby care kits, cervical collar, IV sets.

icddr,b, a leading international health research institution, has partnered with MedShare and another charity to support a large network of hospitals in Bangladesh by increasing quality of care and in-kind contributions of key medical supplies. The commitment, announced at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, will lead to the distribution of nearly $8 million worth of donated medicines and supplies and will establish best practice guidelines for patient care and treatment. The commitment will be operated and managed by icddr,b, which is providing medical professionals to oversee the training of over 7,600 employees at 12 hospitals as well as distributing the donated medical products.

Date: September 22, 2011

Country: Bangladesh

Recipient: i,cddrb

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: Project Development Services, Inc. generously sponsored this shipment in recognition of their 10th anniversary.

Key Items: Vital sign monitor, beds, OR light, oxi sensors, cold packs, crutches, masks, exam stools.

To read more about MedShare’s partnership with i,cddrb, click here

Date: September 28, 2011

Country: Ecuador

Recipient: Hospital Provincial General Docente Riobamba

Sponsors: Kimberly-Clark Foundation

Distribution Center: Western Region

Key Items: Nonconductive tubing, tracheostomy tubes, waste disposal units, masks, gowns, nasal oxygen cannula, exam chair, PET vehicles, nerve stimulators.

Date: September 28, 2011

Country: Paraguay

Recipient: Universidad Nacional de Asuncion Hospital de Clinicas

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: Kimberly-Clark Foundation

Key Items: Electrosurgical unit, dental chair, EKG monitor, blood glucose monitor, surgical blades, cast materials, orthopedic cement, drapes, gloves.

Date: September 30, 2011

Country: United States

Recipient: Gleaning for the World

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Date: September 30, 2011

Country: Libya

Recipient: Ministry of Health Libya

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: Hope International Relief and Development Agency

Key Items: Forceps, gauze, gloves, surgical packs, walkers, oxygen concentrator, and ventilators.

Date: September 30, 2011

Country: Libya

Recipient: Ministry of Health Libya

Distribution Center: Western Region

Sponsors: Hope International Relief and Development Agency

Key Items: Digital thermometer, stretcher, gooseneck exam lights, laptops, blood collection tubes, forceps, nasal elevator, exam gloves, medical tape.

Date: October 3, 2011

Country: Kenya

Recipient: The 410 Bridge

Distribution Center: Southeast Region

Sponsors: The 410 Bridge

Key Items: Infusion pump, sphygmomanometer, exam light, baby care kits, canes, table covers, IV sets and 10 PET vehicles.