Christiana Care has donated dozens of pallets carrying goods worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to Project CURE. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment), which sends the supplies to resource-limited facilities worldwide.

“It’s an example of serving our neighbors, which includes those in Wilmington and, when we can, those much farther away,” said Susan Gadonas, director of Purchasing for Christiana Care Health System. “Locally, our neighbors look to us to be responsible stewards of valuable resources, which includes reusing and recycling equipment we no longer can use or need.”

The list of donated goods is as diverse as a modern hospital’s supply chain, including disposable supplies, durable goods and medical instruments, such as drills. In 2016 alone, Christiana Care donated 27 pallets of disposable medical gloves, nine pallets of surgical masks and thermometers. All told, the donations were worth more than $160,000. These donations also save thousands in hauling and disposal fees while sparing landfills tons of waste.

Addressing medical needs around the world

Project CURE partners with organizations in the developing world to ensure donated supplies meet needs and are put to good use.

“In some of the places we work around the world, if you don’t bring your own gloves, they can’t treat you,” said Jan Mazotti, director of communications, marketing and public relations for Project CURE. Consumable supplies are often in short supply in rural hospitals, and gloves are a frequently requested item. Before delivering a child, some women stop to pick up plastic bags to be used as gloves, he said.

Some overseas hospitals are driven to use medical equipment for procedures for which they were not intended. For example, a hospital in the eastern European nation of Moldova used dental drills to perform neurosurgery before it received donated surgical drills, Mazotti said.

Durable equipment such as hospital beds are also highly sought after. These are often donated to urban hospitals, as rural ones often do not have the robust electrical systems necessary to accommodate beds with sophisticated electronics. Christiana Care recently donated 31 hospital beds to Project CURE. that were still in working order but had outlived their usefulness here, according to Deborah Rey, Christiana Care’s senior contract manager for capital purchasing. They were immediately routed to fill an urgent need existing in Nigeria.

“Our donation program started because we didn’t want to waste medical supplies, and we found a partner who we trust to get them in the hands of people who truly need them,” Gadonas said. “Christiana Care Health System is proud to ensure that its medical supplies and equipment have a productive second life by working with Project CURE.”