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Allen Hospital donating medical equipment to third world countries

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – Allen Hospital in Waterloo is donating medical supplies and equipment to third world countries.

Things can change quickly in the medical field, especially when it comes to technology. Allison Ringheden, the property and asset manager at Allen, said while equipment is phased out, it’s still usable.

For the past two years, Allen has teamed up with a nonprofit organization called Matter, which aims to make healthcare more accessible. They rely on donations from hospitals like Allen to help people in 40 developing countries.

Throughout the year, Allen collects items, such as: bandages, linen, wheelchairs, hospital beds, anesthesia machines, incubators and bassinets to donate. They load semi-trucks full of inventory to ship to Minneapolis. That equipment is then sent to third world countries.

“It’s important to UnityPoint Health to show other people they matter and to make sure we’re taking care of the world,” Ringheden said. “Instead of paying to get rid of something, if we can donate it and help someone further in the cause, that’s a win-win.”

Ringheden said the hospital avoids throwing away usable equipment. She said it costs money to do so, and it doesn’t help others who may need it.

“We were able to cycle out 24 older wooden manual beds that we were able to send over to countries like Liberia, where they don’t have power, so those are like unicorns and rainbows to other countries,” she said.

The hospital told KWWL they always inspect their supplies before they donate them. Ringheden said they make sure equipment meets standards and is safe to pass along.

MercyOne in Waterloo also contributes medical equipment and supplies to the program. They partner with Allen to give shipments to Matter.

In the past three years, Matter has shipped more than 150 truckloads to countries around the world.

For more information on Matter, you can click here.

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Olivia Schmitt

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