Western region volunteers see MedShare’s impact first-hand on trip to Tanzania

Our volunteers consistently go above and beyond in their service to MedShare. In the summer of 2013, MedShare’s Western Region volunteers came together to raise over $22,000 to ship a container of much-needed medical supplies to a hospital in Tanzania. But that wasn’t enough. Some volunteers decided to travel to the recipient hospital in Tanzania to volunteer their time and talents on the ground.

In mid-February 2014, Camille Harris, Fran Jursco, and Nancy Menne traveled to Shirati KMT Hospital in Tanzania. MedShare’s 40-foot container was still en route at the time, but they hand-carried additional medical supplies from MedShare’s Western Region Distribution Center as well as specially requested items for the hospital staff.tanzaniamap2During their stay in Shirati, these intrepid volunteers provided meals for patients at the hospital, toured the facility, and got to observe Dr. Chirangi in the operating room. “Fran and I were recognizing all the stuff we sort (at MedShare): bovies, tips, vicryl sutures, drapes, etc. [in the operating room]. Camille decided surgery was not her thing so she folded gauze for future surgeries,” said Nancy. “Even though it appears we will miss the arrival of the container, this has been a very fulfilling trip to see just how desperately our work at Medshare is needed.” The volunteers reported that most of the supply cabinets in the hospital are bare and Dr. Chirangi was already using the supplies they brought with them.

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Above: Fran Jursco serving food to the patients at Shirati Hospital. Photo credit: Nancy Menne

 The group has left Shirati and is now travelling through other parts of Africa.  Nancy writes: We have said goodbye to Tanzania and it was sad to leave. Dr. Chirangi had all his department heads waiting to see us off when we came to say goodbye. Each one of them were so grateful for the work all of the volunteers at MedShare do, for the volunteers putting in the effort and money to ship the container, and for the expense we undertook to travel to Shirati. It was an unbelievable experience, and made me truly understand how much is needed in developing countries where they have no clean water, walk several miles to school each day, no nutritious food at the hospitals or schools, and basically just fight to survive.” 

What an eye-opening experience and incredible testament to the importance and impact of our work at MedShare. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing these insights from your trip. And thank you to all of MedShare’s volunteers and supporters who go above and beyond every day to make our work possible. We are grateful for your dedication to our mission to bridge the gap between the surplus of medical supplies in the United States and the need in hospitals like Shirati KMT Hospital in Tanzania

MedShare container has arrived in Shirati!

Editor’s Note: The 40-foot container with medical supplies and equipment sponsored by MedShare’s Western Region volunteers was shipped from the U.S. west coast in November 2013. It arrived at Shirati KMT Hospital on Monday, March 10! See photos of the arrival below.
TanzaniaPicsBlog

Biomed Volunteer Gives MedShare His Summer and Gets a Jump Start to His Senior Year

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Robert at work on a vital signs monitor.

Robert Charkowicz, a 20 year old college student from Castro Valley, CA, volunteered for the summer at MedShare’s Western Region Distribution and Volunteer Center. Robert, who is studying Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis, spent 2-3 days a week this summer working in the Biomedical Lab.  Adept with the computer Robert assisted with the Biomedical Publications Library establishing a naming/organizational structure for operation and maintenance publications. He researched equipment publications on line to find repair information and resources increasing our library and maintenance capability. These publications will be sent out with the equipment to the recipients in developing countries so that they can operate and repair the equipment when needed.

Robert also assisted with daily work, conducting inventory of equipment and testing and repairing equipment.  The equipment included items such as: Vital Signs Monitors, ECG, NIBP and SPO2 equipment, CPAP machines and respirators/nebulizers, surgical tables, ultrasound equipment and an anesthesia machine.

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Volunteer Robert Charkowicz and MedShare’s Biomedical Technician Rene Steinkellner in the lab.

He’s now returning back to UC Davis to start his Senior year.  We will miss his work and his presence here at MedShare, and wish him all the best in his future.  The work that he completed here at MedShare will continue to enhance the success of our mission providing medical equipment to those in need.

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Drops By MedShare’s Western Region

On Monday, August 20, employees of the nearby Dr. Pepper Snapple Group stopped by MedShare’s Western Region to present a grant of $1,000 dollars that was requested through their company’s employee volunteer program, ACTIONeer Program, in support of MedShare Western Region. Throughout the past year, Dr. Pepper Snapple has been regularly sending their employees to volunteer at MedShare to sort medical supplies.

Thank you Dr. Pepper Snapple Group for your generosity and your time!

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MedShare’s Chuck Haupt (2nd from left) and Terry Monday (2nd from Right) join employees from Dr. Pepper Snapple Group for their generous check presentation!

The U.S. Zero W…

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The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council hosted their first annual conference in Costa Mesa, CA on June 26 & 27 with attendees from all over the U.S. MedShare was pleased to be asked to speak about our innovative recycling program for hospitals.

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Chuck Haupt, Executive Director, Western Region, was part of a panel of speakers that also included representatives from The Walt Disney Company and MillerCoors Brewing. Mr. Haupt shared the successes (and challenges) of operating California’s first large-scale recycling operation for healthcare providers.

Did you know that hospitals are the 4th largest producer of waste, out of 48 types of businesses, in CA? While hospitals may already be recycling paper, cardboard, and even food waste, without MedShare there are tons of usable surplus being thrown into landfills every day.

Special thanks to Stephanie Barger of Earth Resource Foundation and Gary Liss of Gary Liss & Associates for organizing such a wonderful event.