Access to medical equipment and supplies is crucial for the health and well-being of millions of individuals across the United States. Unfortunately, obtaining these necessities can often be financially challenging for those without adequate health insurance coverage or experiencing economic hardship.
Recognizing this need, numerous charities that help with medical equipment have emerged, focusing on providing financial assistance, charity care, and donated supplies to those who need them most. In response to the growing demand for durable medical equipment, assistive technology devices and mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and even shower chairs or commodes.
They work in partnership with their community partners – including mission hospitals -to source surplus medical supplies generously offered by manufacturers or through individual donations.
In this article we’ve compiled a list of ten remarkable organizations dedicated to distributing much-needed donated medical equipment while promoting affordable healthcare options in accordance with programs like the Affordable Care Act.
Project C.U.R.E, founded in 1987, has grown to become the world’s largest distributor of donated medical supplies and services. Annually supported by over 30,000 volunteers, they deliver essential medical equipment to more than 135 countries weekly. A legion of healthcare professionals also travel with the project annually to provide crucial care for communities.
Funded through various sources such as U.S government grants alongside philanthropists and corporations’ generous donations; their credibility is underscored by being consistently ranked amongst top American charities.
Among their programs includes ‘C.U.R.E Cargo’, distributing sizable amounts of donated medical resources into underprivileged areas globally based on specific needs assessments carried out per area ensuring tailored aid delivery for maximum impact.
MedShare is a not-for-profit humanitarian aid organization that sources and distributes surplus medical supplies to communities in need globally. Dedicated to enhancing healthcare capacity and sustainability, the organization also extends biomedical equipment training and service to medical professionals serving underprivileged populations.
Specializing in recovering excess life-saving medical supplies and equipment worth over $240 million, MedShare has rerouted an impressive 17.5 million pounds of unused medical products from landfills. The materials have been donated by hundreds of hospitals and corporations.
Promising contributions include MedShare’s disaster relief program for emergency situations, primary care for disease prevention and management of non-communicable diseases, maternal & child health program focusing on childbirth-related deaths reduction in underserved countries, disease control & prevention program prepared for timely responses during disease outbreaks and critical biomedical equipment training & repair services alongside its core donation functions.
Global Links is a Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization established in 1989, focusing on enhancing healthcare provisions for communities in need. The charity collaborates with government officials, healthcare professionals, community organizations, and leaders to develop projects that align with public health objectives both internationally and domestically.
By redistributing surplus materials from the US healthcare system, Global Links aims to improve access to quality healthcare resources for underprivileged populations.
Med Surplus Alliance
The MedSurplus Alliance, led by Executive Director Lori Warrens, is a dedicated charitable organization with a mission to advance equitable access to healthcare through the provision of quality medical products across 57 countries. Through effective collaboration and inspiration among cross-sector donation partners, this alliance focuses on enhancing the quality of donated medications and medical supplies in developing nations. In 2021 alone, accredited members contributed over $183 million worth of essential healthcare resources.
Afya is a unique charity organization dedicated to supporting communities in need by customizing shipments of medical supplies and equipment. They work closely with healthcare providers to ensure that each shipment contains only necessary items, making a significant impact during medical emergencies. In recent years, they have extended their services to various countries including Ghana, Guinea, Uganda, Saint Lucia, and the Dominican Republic.
Furthermore, Afya offers durable medical equipment for elders and disabled individuals while providing training for caregivers to optimize proper usage. Recent areas of operation include Cape Town Townships of South Africa and Fort Dix-Afghan Refugees in Puerto Rico.
SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society)
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is a dedicated charity organization, primarily focusing on providing comprehensive medical support and assistance in crisis-stricken areas such as Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Bangladesh, and Egypt. SAMS caters to the needs of patients irrespective of their religious affiliations, race or ethnicity. With an unwavering commitment to alleviating suffering and saving lives, they offer support for over 110 medical facilities while aiding 3,000-plus personnel across various regions.
Med Wish International
MedWish International is a charitable organization dedicated to bridging the gap between medical abundance and scarcity. As environmental stewards, they partner with healthcare facilities to divert usable medical surplus from landfills. Their staff and volunteers work diligently to sort, check, and pack valuable donations.
With a focus on assisting medically marginalized communities locally and internationally, MedWish connects their inventory of medical supplies and equipment to the critical needs of vetted recipients across 115 countries since 1993.
Easterseals is a renowned non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities and their communities by promoting full participation and equity in society. One notable service is the Equipment Loan program for Iowans living with long-term or short-term disability who don’t live in a licensed care facility.
This program provides access to refurbished medical equipment such as manual and power wheelchairs, walkers, shower benches, hoyer lifts and hospital beds at minimal cost. The aim of the programme is not only supporting the affected but also facilitate independence by providing vital tools needed for day-to-day activities.
This initiative operates purely on donated durable medical equipment that’s maintained in good condition to ensure functionality upon lending. Application process includes acquiring a prescription from an experienced practitioner along required fees.
Convalescent Aid Society
The Convalescent Aid Society (CAS) is a unique non-profit organisation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents throughout Southern California. Since its inception in 1923, CAS has been providing free loans of durable medical equipment (DME) to those in need. Over 14,000 clients are currently benefiting from this service, enabling them to maintain their mobility and independence.
Their mission focuses on prolonging mobility and promoting sustainable use of medical equipment without any cost burden on their clients. To facilitate its operations, CAS primarily relies upon private donations, foundation grants and endowments.
Moreover, they ensure all loaned DME items are sanitised properly using state-of-the-art autoclaves compliant with hospital standards. This ensures maximal safety while reusing donated DME items.
InterVol is a remarkable charity that focuses on repurposing unused medical supplies in an effort to reduce waste and aid underprivileged communities. The organization, renowned for its Recovery of Unused Medical Supplies (RUMS) program since 1989, currently partners with multiple health systems recovering and donating large quantities of medical supplies each year.
Establishing collection bins at over 100 clinical locations, InterVol also collaborates closely with individual donors who directly contribute unused medical supplies. Through rigorous sorting and packaging procedures handled by dedicated volunteers, the prepared donations are then stored in warehouses ready to meet demand.