Medical supplies see second life with nonprofit

Posted at 10:58 PM, Dec 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-10 01:06:44-05

Baylor Scott & White held an open house for their Second Life Resource Center in Waco on Friday.

The resource center is a warehouse, home to excess and expired medical supplies from the Baylor Scott & White hospitals. The items are sent to the warehouses, then shipped or picked up by non-profit organizations.

John Woods, President of Upright Africa, is a doctor teaching procedures and techniques to medical professionals in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Woods plans to live in Congo for 10 years. It's his dream to touch 10 million lives. Returning to the Waco Second Life Resource Center, he is able to share some of the success the program is having.

"We do a lot of surgeries, this year we've done just about 500 surgeries," said Woods. 

The resources he receives for free drastically cut down the costs of the procedures his organization performs.

Because of this, Woods says he walked into the resource center as, "a kid in the candy store or it's like Christmas morning to come over here and see all these things."

With the access to free supplies, they are able to expend their resources into directly helping people.

"You're talking from helping five or ten people to 500 to a thousand people," Woods said. 

The warehouse recently relocated from the Emergency Area at Hillcrest Hospital across the street. Organizers say it is that much easier to supply nonprofits, missions and humanitarian groups with medical supplies. 

The Resource Center is a part of the Faith In Action Initiatives.Their aim is to mix medicine with ministry. Chaplain and Strategy Coordinator Matthew Hoffman said that while some items are called 'expired' they are safe and still usable. 

"A lot of things that come in because of advancements in medical treatment and medical care. As our hospitals get new equipment- well maybe that ultrasound is still good the day before they got the new one," Hoffman said.  

Director of Faith In Action Initiatives Don Sewell would rather see the products go into the hands of good people rather than landfills. 

"A lot of stuff goes to the, uh, big trash bins and that's a horrible statement to make but many hospitals around the country are not as conscientious as we are," Sewell said. 

The materials are available to both local and global non-profits. Those approved can come in and pull items from the shelf or have containers shipped to them. For President of Youth With A Mission Ships, Brett Curtis, this is vital to their work. Volunteers are docked aboard a ship on the coast of Papua New Guinea and the supply vessel ensures they can do medical work in fields such as optometry and dental work. 

"A 40-foot container will see us three or four months of activity and that's a tremendous boost to any non-profit," Curtis said. 

Copyright 2016 KXXV. All rights reserved.