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February 17, 2010 > Washington Hospital Sends Medical Supplies and Equipment to Haiti

Washington Hospital Sends Medical Supplies and Equipment to Haiti

Just a matter of seconds - that's all it can take for devastation to strike a country. According to the International Red Cross, the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti last month affected more than 3 million people.

Among the widespread damage to the capital city of Port-au-Prince, the facilities necessary to be able to respond to troubled areas have been destroyed or heavily damaged. This includes all the hospitals in the capital, leaving a heavy emphasis on outside help from countries all over the world.

To help with the medical relief effort, Washington Hospital has teamed up with MedShare, a local nonprofit organization that collects surplus medical supplies and equipment from more than 20 Bay Area hospitals and then ships the materials to developing countries across the globe. Since the earthquake, MedShare has already sent 13 shipments to hospitals and clinics throughout Haiti.

"We can have the greatest amount of impact by centralizing our support with an organization already on the ground and formally linked into the relief effort," says Angus Cochran, Executive Director of the Washington Hospital Foundation. "By working with MedShare, our supplies will make it to those in the greatest amount of need in the shortest amount of time."

Over the last 10 years, MedShare has shipped 37 containers of medical supplies and equipment to Haiti. Thanks to having long-term partnerships with hospitals and non-profits in Haiti, MedShare was prepared to ship supplies immediately after the earthquake.

"After the quake hit, we went into full emergency mode," says Chuck Haupt, MedShare Western Region Executive Director. "We knew that triage supplies such as gloves, sutures, surgical instruments, orthopedic equipment and items for wound care would be in high demand."

On Tuesday, February 9, Washington Hospital delivered its first shipment to MedShare's distribution center in San Leandro. The shrink wrapped pallets included a variety of medical supplies including bandages, IV start kits, surgical scrubs and gloves, oxygen masks, blankets, crutches and more than 40 other medical items that are needed most in Haiti right now.

In the coming weeks, Washington Hospital will send a second shipment of medical equipment to MedShare that will include blood pressure monitors, wheelchairs and hospital beds.

"What makes this relief effort work more efficiently is our ability to have our contacts in Haiti tell us exactly what they need," adds Haupt. "By responding to specific needs, we are shipping medical supplies that will make an immediate impact and help save lives. Our mission is to partner with people to bring help and health to the world."

If you would like to learn more about MedShare, please visit www.medshare.org

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