Springfield Regional Medical Center is donating about $250,000 worth of equipment to help a fire-damaged hospital in South America stay open.
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital lost much of its equipment and building space after flames destroyed its emergency department and operating wing, in addition to several offices. While staff have been rebuilding, they’ve been in desperate need of equipment to fill the news spaces: beds, monitors and machines, said David Davis, warehouse manager with Global Links, a medical relief and development organization that helps hospitals in need.
“All that stuff is very expensive to buy on the market,” he said. “We move (hospital) surplus into relief aid.”
Global Links has partnered with Mercy Community Health Partners, which operates Springfield Regional, to donate the surplus equipment from the former Community and Mercy hospitals to St. Joseph Mercy in Guyana. The project has been five months in the making.
Three tractor trailers were filled with electric beds, emergency crash carts, hydraulic gurneys, operating room tables and lights, anesthesia machines, patient monitors, storage cabinets, IV poles and bedside stands for transport to the coast, and then to a cargo ship.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Paul Hiltz, president and market leader for Community Mercy Health Partners. “These (items) are the combination of the two hospitals here in Springfield. We relocated to the new campus and had some excess, older equipment, and we don’t want that equipment to go to waste.”
While the equipment is not state-of-the-art, like the equipment used in the new Springfield hospital, it’s all in good shape and compatible with the systems and setups in Guyana. Any items that hospital can’t use will be donated to medical institutions in other areas, such as Honduras and Haiti, Davis said.
“I think this is going to be a tremendous boon to the hospital and their resources,” he said.
Locally, there are only a few pieces of equipment left from the old hospitals in need of a new home. Hiltz said it’s good a little piece of Springfield is going to be put to good use thousands of miles away.
“I think it’s something all of us in Springfield can feel good about,” he said.