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Spreading Health and Helping the Planet

MedShare and Kaiser Permanente join forces to bring surplus medical supplies to those in need

February 19, 2014

A photo of three volunteers sorting surplus medical supplies with the MedShare logo at the bottom of the image Volunteers sort through surplus medical supplies at the MedShare warehouse in San Leandro, Calif. Supplies that would have otherwise gone into landfill will be sent to local and international safety net clinics and hospitals.

A rural clinic in Kenya receives surplus medical supplies and is able to support pregnant women with a clean, safe birthing environment.

Workers at a hospital in Haiti no longer need to wash and reuse medical gloves and instruments and are able to provide quality medical care to patients using the clean and sterile medical items delivered to them.

A free clinic in Atlanta receives refurbished hospital beds and is better equipped to support those in need from the surrounding community who come seeking care.

These are among the hundreds of success stories that illustrate the tremendous impact of MedShare, a nonprofit organization working to improve healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to underserved communities, both in the United States and developing countries across the globe.

Medical waste from hospitals in the United States accounts for more than 2 million tons of material added to landfills each year. Much of this discarded material is unused, unexpired medical supplies and usable biomedical equipment.

MedShare gathers this material and repurposes or refurbishes it for use in safety net clinics in local communities and in hospitals and clinics in the developing world, where there is a tremendous shortage of vital medical supplies.

Since 2008, when MedShare opened its San Leandro, Calif. offices, Kaiser Permanente has been a key partner in providing the organization with surplus medical supplies and volunteer staff. Many Kaiser Permanente doctors, nurses and clinicians have helped to redistribute these supplies to hospitals and safety net clinics around the world.

Making an impact

  • MedShare has diverted over 2 million cubic feet of medical supplies out of landfills since it opened 15 years ago.
  • MedShare has equipped more than 2,100 medical mission teams with 2.5 million tons of supplies from their MedTeam Stores.
  • MedShare reaches 103 developing nations around the world.
  • Over 700 Kaiser Permanente volunteers have worked with MedShare.
  • Over 83,000 lbs of supplies and equipment from Kaiser Permanente hospitals have been repurposed and distributed to safety net clinics, as well as to hospitals and clinics overseas.
  • MedShare has two locations nationally — one in California and one in Georgia — and is expanding in 2014 to the New York/New Jersey area.

To learn more about MedShare, visit