Contact: Daniel Murphy
Release: September 2009
Heritage Valley Health System is partnering with Pittsburgh-based Global Links to recover items that are being removed from service, but will be recovered, rather than discarded, as part of an international humanitarian aid effort to supply critically needed equipment to hospitals in developing countries.
Rather than discard more than 350 mattresses that were replaced by a newer model at both campuses, Materials Management staff worked with Global Links to recover the old mattresses, which will help restore dignified, sanitary conditions to hospitals and senior care homes in Cuba, where last year’s hurricanes caused extensive water damage to medical facilities throughout the country. Many hospitals on the island were forced to dry their mattresses in the sun in order to reuse since the alternative was to have no mattresses on their beds.
“It’s wonderful that Heritage Valley can join forces with Global Links to make sure that patients in some of the poorest countries in this hemisphere can have a safer, more respectful experience when they visit the hospital”, says Global Links’ Executive Director Kathleen Hower. “Because of our partnership with Heritage Valley, we are able to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to disposal for the hundreds of mattresses that will not be reused within the system.”
“Heritage Valley is pleased to partner with an organization such as Global Links,” said Norm Mitry, president and CEO of Heritage Valley Health System. “One of our corporate values is responsibility, which covers not only professional and personal responsibility, but also social responsibility. The ability to recycle these mattresses and know that they will be put to good use makes this partnership an easy choice. We hope to set an example for other local companies who may also be able to recycle materials related to their businesses.”
Hospital mattresses damaged during hurricanes are dried in the sun for continued use at hospitals in Cuba last fall. Impermeable mattresses being replaced at Heritage Valley will replace these mattesses in the near future.
About Global Links:
- Pittsburgh-based, international relief and development organization celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009
- Over 350 sea containers of surplus medical equipment and furnishings shipped to 22 countries since 1989
- Materials recovered by Global Links in 2008 that otherwise would have been discarded: 200 tons
- 34 sea containers of critical medical material aid sent in 2008 to Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua.
- Goal for 2009: 40 sea containers to 10 countries
- In 2008, 167 individuals and 77 groups donated over 6,000 hours of their time and packed over 5,400 boxes of medical materials to be donated to hospitals in developing countries. In addition, local medical professionals volunteer their time to help identify and prepare much of the biomedical equipment and surgical instrumentation received by Global Links.
- 6000 hours of volunteer service donated annually
- Less than 3 percent spent on fundraising and administrative costs
About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System provides comprehensive healthcare for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with more than 400 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its two hospitals, Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley; in physician offices; and community satellite facilities. For more information about Heritage Valley Health System, please visit www.heritagevalley.org.