BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland Medical System is donating more than 200 pallets of lifesaving COVID-19 equipment and supplies valued at more than $4.6 million to countries in Southeast Asia, including India and Sri Lanka, where the current pandemic conditions are much worse than in the United States.
The items being donated, all of which was purchased by UMMS during the 13-hospital System’s COVID response, includes ventilators, masks, gloves, gowns, sanitizer, CPAP machines, oxygen concentrators and stethoscopes.
“Every day, we look at how we can provide medical care and address the needs of communities beyond the four walls of our hospitals,” said Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of UMMS. “In this case, we are going way beyond our communities, to nations who are in desperate need of equipment and supplies to help save lives and control the pandemic. Team members from our hospital and campus communities encouraged us to consider a donation, which shows the character of our staff and their dedication to caring for those in need.”
During the first few months of the pandemic, the supply chain for products related to the COVID-19 pandemic was severely impacted, which created worldwide shortages of many items such as PPE, ventilators, COVID tests, and other supplies. UMMS made a strong commitment to its patients and workforce not to be in the position many other health systems were experiencing, and the System engaged in a worldwide sourcing effort to acquire necessary products.
“These items were purchased at a time when the supply markets were very unstable, and we were focused on securing as much equipment and PPE as possible to ensure we were ready,” said Patrick Vizzard, Vice President of Supply Chain Management for UMMS. “Now, 16 months into the pandemic, supply lines have become more open in the United States healthcare market. While the pandemic still continues across the planet, various countries are struggling to achieve necessary levels of care to combat COVID, and we’ve decided to donate excess supplies to help with the needs of less fortunate countries.”
UMMS is working with Project C.U.R.E. (https://projectcure.org/), the world’s largest distributor of donated medical equipment and supplies to resource-limited communities across the globe, and with the International Medical Health Organization (https://theimho.org/), a grassroots global health nonprofit organization that seeks to improve and develop healthcare services and infrastructure in under-served regions worldwide, on the logistics to transport the items from Maryland.
“Project C.U.R.E. is extremely grateful to UMMS for their generous support of our work to provide critically needed supplies,” said Douglas Jackson, PhD, JD, President and CEO. “These are unprecedented times, and the demand for medical relief has never been greater. Certainly, Project C.U.R.E. could not accomplish our work without the partnership of compassionate, determined organizations like UMMS.”
“We are most thankful to the University of Maryland Medical System for their very generous donation of much needed life support equipment to be used in the hospitals of Sri Lanka for COVID patient care,” said Kanaga N. Sena, MD, Vice President of the International Medical Health Organization.