Colorado Plains Medical Center helps HELP International

October 18, 2015

Marcia Hale, OB nurse at Colorado Plains Medical Center, pushed a wheelchair piled high with boxes to the hospitals entrance.  It was the last load of containers filled with unused or outdated medical supplies that would soon be making an international trip to Uganda.

Hale, along with co-worker, Debra Tolson, spent the past several months gathering hospital medical supplies from various departments throughout the facility, including housekeeping, surgery, wound care, and obstetrics that are being donated to H.E.L.P. International to use in various improvised third world countries.

H.E.L.P International is a non-profit group with the mission of eliminating poverty through sustainable, life-changing development programs that include earthquake relief, microfinance impact assessment, family gardening, language development, and public health services.

It is estimated that the hospital’s contribution totals more than $3,000.

“Hospitals have strict regulations on how long they can keep certain products, including items such as soap, tubing, or needles.  Expiration dates aren’t just applicable to medications.  It is a shame to throw these items in the landfill when they still have a useful life,” notes Tolson.

Although this is the first time that CPMC has donated items to H.E.L.P. International, it isn’t unusual for the staff to repurpose or give unwanted supplies to other organizations.  For example, outdated infant formula is donated to area vet clinics and animal shelters along with worn bedding and newspapers.  During the Haiti disaster, CPMC also sent several supplies with volunteers responding to the earthquake’s aftermath.  When the hospital updates its equipment or furnishings, often times the items are donated to mission agencies or local training facilities, such as the college.

In monetary donations alone, CPMC contributes approximately $60,000 annually to various community and charitable organizations.

“Working for an employer who cares about people, not only on the inside, but on the outside, is extremely rewarding,” adds Tolson.  “Caring about the community is more than just a job for many of us at CPMC – it is what we aspire to do every day.”