When hundreds of U-M Health System faculty and staff were working to make the transition from the old Mott Hospital to the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital last year, another group of dedicated staff had a different goal in mind—making sure medical supplies and equipment, furniture and even art at the old hospital didn’t go to waste.
For more than 10 years, the U-M Health System has partnered with World Medical Relief to provide much needed medical supplies to those in need throughout the world. The partnership allows UMHS to effectively recycle medical items of no value to the organization while providing crucial equipment to those who would otherwise not have access.
The volunteer organization picks up supplies from the Health System on a monthly basis and distributes them to different international relief efforts including everything from private homes to hospitals and clinics in developing countries.
While the carts of managed/usable medical supplies were transferred from former Mott to the new C&W facility, many “loose” medical supplies remained in patient exam, treatment and procedure room cupboards and drawers. UMHS Support Services staff recognized a unique opportunity to recycle those supplies and invited World Medical Relief to tour the hospital.
Guided by Vickie Thompson, the organization found many items needed for surgery, urology, respiratory procedures and more. They toured a total of six floors, searching every cupboard and drawer. The result was truckloads of materials that could go toward helping patients in need. Thompson also helped identify other departments at UMHHC that might be able to use left-behind equipment and supplies.
In addition to medical supplies, the team discovered a wide variety items that could be of use to the needy – jackets, sweaters and shoes were donated to St. Andrews and Salvation Army. Artwork and furnishings were sent to Property Disposition and old computers and IT equipment was repurposed or donated with the help of MCIT.
The two-week process of cleaning out Mott was an endeavor that was well worth it, says Frank Krupansky, material services director at UMHHC.