PM&R Donates Medical Supplies to MEDworld

Don’t throw away those sterile, leftover medical supplies! (We didn’t.)

Staff in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation recently donated much-needed medical supplies to the developing world.

“Our PM&R outpatient clinic had supplies in excellent condition that were surplus from a clinical trial,” says Ursula Lavelle, RN, CRRN. “The supplies were sterile, but not usable in our institution because of their ‘surplus’ status.”

Lavelle sought the advice of colleague Teresa Mosser, office manager and administrative assistant to the chair in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Mosser had donated through MEDworld (Medical Equipment for the Developing World) with another department and had participated in medical relief missions to the Dominican Republic.

“From my experience with medical mission trips, I can truly say that these supplies are a blessing to people in other countries,” Mosser says.

According to MEDworld, every year U.S. hospitals throw away millions of dollars worth of unused medical supplies while in many impoverished countries thousands of people die due to lack of such supplies. Since its creation in 1999, MEDworld has donated over one million medical supplies, an approximate value of $5 million.

“Thanks to Teresa Mosser who coordinates our MEDworld connection, we have initiated the collection of clean medical supplies in our PM&R outpatient clinic, and will regularly bring these to MEDworld to benefit others,” Lavelle says.

The PM&R outpatient clinic recently donated surplus lab kits containing items for specimen collection, storage and transport, as well as dressing supplies.

MEDworld is a volunteer organization created by UNC physicians, medical students and hospital staff. The organization promotes community service on a global scale while improving staff morale and reducing hospital waste. Go to www.med.unc.edu/medworld for more information.