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Volunteers needed to solicit, collect area medical supplies

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Aspen coordinator for Project C.U.R.E. says that volunteers are sorely needed to assist the nonprofit in securing donations throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Centennial-based organization solicits and collects medical supplies and distributes them to foreign countries where the need for such equipment is determined to be great. Haiti was a target area following the devastating earthquake in 2010; other countries that have received aid from Project C.U.R.E. in recent years include India, Nepal, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Ghana.

Alison van Sax, who has been working with local health care facilities for about three years to obtain unneeded medical equipment, said that with more help, Project C.U.R.E. can expand to the lower Roaring Fork Valley. She can be reached via email at avandoorninck@yahoo.com.



Hospitals and medical clinics often discard equipment and supplies that have gotten old or no longer fit its systems, van Sax said. Usually the items are still functional and can find a use by health providers in countries that haven’t sufficient resources to purchase large amounts of equipment and supplies on their own.

“That’s where I come in,” she said. “If they have this perfectly usable stuff, they need to get rid of it and Project C.U.R.E. can take it and send it where it’s needed. Otherwise, it’s going to the landfill.”



Currently, van Sax secures supplies from Aspen Valley Hospital and the Aspen Senior Center; Aspen Orthopaedic Associates in Aspen and Basalt; the Midvalley Ambulatory Surgery Center in Basalt; and Heritage Park Care Center in Carbondale.

The types of items that Project C.U.R.E. accepts vary greatly, ranging from operating room equipment such as surgery kits, lights, ventilators and monitors to laboratory supplies like blood analyzers, microscopes and incubators. Van Sax said she either picks up the donations herself or arranges for their transport to the organization’s 85,000-square-foot warehouse near Denver.

“I’ll get a call from the airport saying, ‘Someone left a wheelchair and I don’t know what to do with it.’ I’ll take it,” she said.

For large items, such as hospital beds, she coordinates pick-up and delivery through a special arrangement between Project C.U.R.E. and America’s Furniture Warehouse.

The nonprofit was founded in 1987. Van Sax said since its inception, the organization has never lost equipment or supplies to piracy, theft, manmade accidents or natural disasters. Project C.U.R.E. only sends items to places where a particular need has been determined, a system that ensures that supplies won’t be wasted, she added.

asalvail@aspentimes.com


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