Volunteers: We Are Thankful

This is the time of year for reflection, thankfulness, and gratitude. What is MedShare thankful for? Many, many things, chief among those being our wonderful volunteers.

At MedShare, we’re lucky to host over 18,000 volunteers a year. These generous people and groups help us sort and box the 20,000 lbs of medical supplies that we collect weekly from our hospital and manufacturer partners. The sheer volume of work they provide for MedShare is incredible, and we don’t hesitate to say that our work wouldn’t be possible without them.

Today, we’d like to recognize these wonderful groups that have volunteered in our Western Region recently:

On November 30, 2011, this Kaiser Permanente group sorted 249 lbs and packed 3 boxes.

On December 2, 2011, this Triage group packed 18 boxes.

On Dec. 3, 2011, these Chinese Bible Church volunteers helped sort 1,190 lbs and pack 85 boxes.

On Dec. 3, 2011, Tierney's group helped sort 1,910 lbs and pack 85 boxes.

On Dec. 3, 2011, these DVHS Giving Tree volunteers helped sort 1,686 lbs and pack 50 boxes.

On Dec. 3, 2011, these Safeway volunteers helped sort 1,686 lbs and pack 50 boxes.

On Dec. 7, 2011, these Abbott Vascular volunteers sorted 430 lbs and packed 81 boxes.

On Dec. 8, 2011, this Kaiser Permanente group sorted catheters and packed 39 boxes.

On Dec. 9, 2011, this Kaiser Permanente group sorted 883 lbs and packed 68 boxes.

On Dec. 10, 2011, this Chinese Bible Church group sorted gloves and packed 57 boxes.

On Dec. 10, 2011, this Kaiser Permanente group sorted gloves and packed 29 boxes.

On Dec. 13, 2011, this Chevron group sorted IV supplies and packed 35 boxes.

If you’d like to sign up to volunteer, click here. Thanks again to everyone pictured here, and the many others who aren’t.

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Boys to Men Georgia Volunteers

Boys to Men Georgia, a nonprofit mentoring network, was created to guide boys 12-17 through their passage to manhood. Their mission is to help every boy become the man they want to be.

Michael with a tape gun.

Busy with activity. Unpack, label, repack.

Jordan taking pride in his work and packing neatly.

Having so much fun sorting syringes and other stuff.

On Saturday, December 10, 2011, Boys to Men held their annual service project at MedShare, and it was a smashing hit for BOTH parties. The experience was great for the boys, and we certainly appreciated their incredible sorting and packing skills.

Ben and Julio, mentee and mentor working side by side.

Since we opened up the event to family, a few moms showed up and helped out.

The Boys to Men tables in action.

These boys made a big difference. How big? In just 3 hours, they packed over 3,000 lbs of medical supplies… enough to fill a third of a 40-foot ocean container!

Jordan filling out the label that goes on the box showing exactly what's in it and when it expires.

Michael just finishing another box off.

The crew, after our 3 hours of service.

Thanks so much, Boys to Men!

The MedShare New York Tri-State Regional Council Hosts Benefit at The University Club on December 8

Medical surplus recovery and redistribution nonprofit enters the New York Tri-State Region

The MedShare New York Tri-State Regional Council is hosting a benefit to welcome the award-winning nonprofit MedShare to the New York Tri-State Region on December 8 at 6:15 p.m. The presenting sponsor for the event is Paul Hastings LLP, a leading international law firm.

MedShare is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that recovers medical supplies from hospitals and manufacturers and sends them to underserved healthcare facilities in developing countries while lessening the impact of medical waste in the United States. The organization has delivered 740 40-foot containers of humanitarian aid to health facilities in 88 developing countries.

“MedShare makes a significant impact, but we can do more,” said Meridith Rentz, CEO of MedShare. “The New York Metro area has the largest number of hospitals per capita in the United States and we are excited about the opportunity we have to bring our award-winning model to this community.”

The event is hosted by members of the MedShare New York Tri-State Regional Council, including Sandy Tytel, Chair, Alan Cohen, Donna Drummond, John D. Feerick, Michael R. Irwin, David Knott, Laureen Stanton Knutsen, Dennis E. A. Lynch, Anita MacDougall, Irwin Merkatz, MD, Jacqueline M. Wasp, J. Craig White, and Seth M. Zachary.

Stryker Endoscopy Selects MedShare as Recipient of Surplus Medical Equipment Donations

Leading medical technology company partners with nonprofit to give medical equipment a second life.

Stryker Endoscopy, a division of Stryker Corporation, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, named MedShare their chosen partner for donating surplus medical equipment. This relationship will give these useable items a second life in developing countries.

Stryker’s relationship with MedShare, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that recovers medical supplies from hospitals and manufacturers and sends them to underserved healthcare facilities in developing countries, is part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiative to provide life-enhancing products and work with healthcare providers in innovative ways that help them restore health to their patients and advance sustainable change to improve the quality of patient care. Stryker’s selection of MedShare was based on the nonprofit’s commitment to quality, as well as the credibility they have earned with global partners.

“Stryker Endoscopy is proud to partner with MedShare and we look forward to working together to make a positive impact on healthcare, the environment, and families around the world.”, said Mark Lipscomb, Vice President of HR for Stryker Endoscopy.

The organization will donate a wide variety of equipment and consumables to MedShare, including arthroscopy, laparoscopy, urology and sports medicine surgical tools. Stryker employees will also assess and repair all items prior to donation, an effort in line with MedShare’s commitment to ensure all equipment sent to recipient hospitals is immediately useable upon arrival.

“We are honored that Stryker has selected MedShare to responsibly recover and redistribute their surplus medical equipment,” said Meridith Rentz, CEO of MedShare. “These items are greatly-needed in countries around the world, and strategic partnerships such as this are what enable us to make a difference and improve healthcare systems.”

MedShare is an innovative nonprofit with a dual mission to deliver surplus medical supplies to underserved populations around the world while lessening the impact of medical waste in the U.S. The organization has delivered 700 40-foot containers of humanitarian aid to health facilities in 88 developing countries.

About MedShare
MedShare is a US 501(c)3 organization that bridges the gap between surplus and need to improve healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to those most in need. For more information, please visit the organization’s website at www.medshare.org.

About Stryker Corporation
Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies and is dedicated to helping healthcare professionals perform their jobs more efficiently while enhancing patient care. The Company offers a diverse array of innovative medical technologies including reconstructive implants, medical and surgical equipment, and neurotechnology and spine products to help people lead more active and more satisfying lives. For more information about Stryker, please visit www.stryker.com.

About Stryker Endoscopy
Stryker Endoscopy is a division of the Stryker Corporation, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies. Stryker Endoscopy offers an extensive minimally invasive product portfolio including arthroscopic, laparoscopic, urologic, gynecologic and visualization platforms. For more information about Stryker Endoscopy, visit:www.stryker.com/endoscopy.

Practicing Empathy: Jeff Foxworthy’s Backyard Bash Takeaway

By Clint Fluker, MedShare’s Faiths Act Fellow

It is said that knowledge is power. Therefore, lack of proper directions—knowledge—can leave you stranded and feeling, well, powerless. For example, on Thursday, September 22, 2011, I turned hurriedly into the church parking lot to find a parking space. To my surprise, the lot was nearly empty. This seemed rather strange considering the heavily advertised Jeff Foxworthy Backyard Bash started at 7:30pm and the hour was soon approaching. All over the city people have been looking forward to this event; a comedy benefit where all proceeds would go to eight Atlanta-based nonprofits, including MedShare.

Backyard Bash

Yet, here I was parked outside the church doors, alone, watching a couple bicker over the contents of their takeaway bag from the restaurant up the street. Perplexed, I called my partner Sana (a.k.a driving directions hotline) and explained my dilemma. She quickly confirmed my suspicions. I was two blocks away from Buckhead Church, not to be confused with Buckhead Baptist Church, where I was presently situated. She then berated me to move quickly because I had her ticket to the event.

When I finally arrived and we entered the Buckhead Church sanctuary together, Foxworthy had already started his routine about thought conundrums that continued to plague him despite turning 50. For example, colonoscopies, dietary habits of canines, Cajun accents, toilet paper discussions with his wife, and the innovative science of packing tissue boxes.

Then, the host of “Who’s Smarter than a Fifth Grader” transitioned from a routine about his personal lack of knowledge to a testimony about a potential wealth found through empathy. He discussed his recent work with the Atlanta Mission, an organization focused on ending homelessness. Foxworthy told us a story about a young man in college, who over the course of his life had lost his entire immediate family to suicides. The last death drove him over the edge into homelessness. He told the audience about how hearing this man’s story helped him realize this story could have been his own.

Foxworthy continued by sharing how he used to view the homeless in a negative light until he visited the Atlanta Mission and listened to their stories. “This man could have been me,” he kept saying, urging the crowd to put ourselves in this young man’s shoes. Practicing empathy in this way allows us a new understanding of our surroundings such that we see the person and not the problem.

In this light, Foxworthy explained life isn’t all about personal choices. Sometimes, we are dealt a difficult hand and just need a little help to get us back on our feet. This closing testimony reminded me of the purpose behind working with MedShare and the Faiths Act Fellowship this year. Even if we don’t have all the money, power, or knowledge in the world, we can make a positive difference if we open our hearts to each other’s stories and lend a helping hand.

To read other Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellows blog posts, visit their website here.

MedShare Ships Five Containers in Final Days of August

Here at MedShare, we’ve been busy bees preparing and sending off shipments! In fact, in the last few days of August, we sent 5 containers out. This is amazing in terms of staff efficiency, especially when compared to the fact that in 1999, we shipped only one container the whole year! Even more incredible, of course, is the impact it will have in recipient countries.

Read along to find out where these containers were shipped…

1. Ghana

Volunteers listen as Mme. Nell Diallo speaks about the region of Kumasi, Ghana

  • Ship date: August 24 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: Southeast
  • Recipient Country: Ghana
  • Recipient: Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi
  • Total Pieces: 1,071
  • Total Weight: 12,696 lbs
  • Items of interest: electric beds, bandaids, surgical drapes, tissue forceps, ventilator, OR celiing light, spinal needles

2. Ecuador

  • Ship date: August 25, 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: Southeast
  • Recipient Country: Ecuador
  • Recipient: Municipio de Limon-Indanza
  • Total Pieces: 1,038
  • Total Weight: 12,698 lbs
  • Items of interest: surgical towels, insuline syringes, P.E.T. carts, pulse oximeters, iodine, patient beds

3. Libya

Container preparing to leave our warehouse

  • Ship date: August 26, 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: Southeast
  • Recipient Country: Libya
  • Recipient: Libyan Red Crescent
  • Sponsor: Hope Relief International
  • Total Pieces: 1,245
  • Total Weight: 10,637 lbs
  • Items of interest: ambu bags, suction catheters, orthopedic surgical instruments, plates, and screws, sphygmomanometers, thoracic draines, bandages, exam table

4. Ethiopia

  • Ship date: August 31, 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: West
  • Recipient Country: Ethiopia
  • Recipient: Nejo Hospital
  • Total Pieces: 962
  • Total Weight: 10,110 lbs
  • Items of interest: ostomy kit, ortho screws and plates, surgical masks, IV extension sets, stretcher, suction pumps, Microscope
  • More information: http://www.medshare.org/media/news/146

5. Guatemala

  • Ship date: August 31, 2011
  • MedShare Distribution Center: Southeast
  • Recipient Country: Guatemala
  • Recipient: Hospital Materno Infantil Juan Pablo II
  • Sponsor: Kimberly-Clark
  • Total Pieces: 1,387
  • Total Weight: 15,342 lbs
  • Items of interest: nasal cannulas, urinary catheters, ventilator, feeding tubes, gloves, nebulizers, OR light

To view all MedShare shipments, click here.