Thursday, August 6, 2009

Recycling Health

On our way to a few days in Oregon, my sister Kathy Roben and I stopped in Lacey to visit CHUMA, Catholic Health United for Medical Assistance, where we met with Mark Koenig, System Director for Providence Health International and Ray Reyes, Manager for CHUMA International (Photo, left to right: Mark, Pete, Ray and Kevin, the CHUMA stalwarts).

CHUMA is a big warehouse of donated medical supplies and equipment ranging from elastic bandages to surgical drapes to staple extractors. These supplies, mostly donated from hospitals and healthcare systems, are sorted, packed and sent out to health programs in developing countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Cuba and Tanzania, where they will be well used to serve patients in need.

While CHUMA normally does not receive or process medications, they have made an exception for PazSalud; they've taken in shipments of medications from the Catholic Medical Missions Board (CMMB), have prepared them in plastic tubs for our mission trips, and have delivered them to our SeaTac hotel the night before the mission group travels. They are great partners, and I was so glad to meet them and get a tour of their impressive operation.

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