Unused medical supplies finding new use with Project Cure

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

Billions of dollars of unused medical supplies end up in US landfills each year but volunteers on the Western Slope are helping to send those supplies to countries that need it the most.

In a warehouse in Grand Junction volunteers for Project Cure collect medical supplies from across the Western Slope, equipment that might otherwise have ended up in the trash.

"Having a set of crutches and getting it all the way over to somebody who's so poor they can't afford a pair of crutches that's a pretty incredible thing," says Jay Mashburn, volunteer and organizer for Project Cure on the Western Slope.

Jay says, "The pieces that really make this whole thing work really well is it goes to specific places that have a specific need."

After seeing the need for medical supplies firsthand Jay and his wife Rebecca opened the only Project Cure collection site on the Western Slope in 2008. "When we lived in Nepal there were people who couldn't walk so somebody else carried them around," says Jay.

Project Cure ships a semi–truck load of equipment to its Denver center every three months where the supplies inside get sent around the world.

"We usually come out every other week drop off stuff for them," says Matt Steel with G & G Medical. Steel says before they learned about the donation site many of their client’s returns or extras were simply thrown away. "We get it back and a lot of times it ends up going to the dump which is unfortunate," says Steel.

Project Cure takes anything from medical tubing to high tech machinery. "Some of the high dollar stuff like ventilation machines and ultra sound machines," says Jay. After it's collected volunteers sort and organize the supplies before they are shipped out.

And for the Mashburns it's a way of helping people who need it the most while protecting the environment at the same time. "These are people who live on a dollar a day in a lot of countries who can't afford these medical supplies, really simple things," says Jay.

Anyone who wishes to donate can contact Cheryl at 683-6576.

Project Cure will have an open house Nov. 5t from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at their warehouse located in the GJ Tech Center for anyone to come and visit.

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  • by A fan of Project Cure Location: Grand Junction on Sep 25, 2009 at 09:17 PM
    Jaimee, the main reason these supplies are being shipped out of the U.S. is because they are expired. The U.S.F.D.A. has regulations that healthcare professionals are required to follow and in those regs, it is illegal to provide expired supplies to ANYONE. The countries Project Cure is helping don't have to follow the U.S.F.D.A.'s regulations since they are not part of the U.S. If these supplies could be used in our city or country, they would be!
  • by Jaimee Location: Grand Junction on Sep 24, 2009 at 06:13 PM
    I find it offensive that we have people right here in the United States, oh hell right here in Grand Junction can benefit from these supplies that could be donated to places like the acute care or the marillac clinic to reduce costs and allow these places to help more people because they don't have to purchase as many supplies, and these people are shipping these things out of the US. Don't get me wrong I am all for helping people but if we can't even help our own citizens then who are we to help other countries.
  • by Dennis Location: Cookson, OK on Sep 24, 2009 at 05:57 PM
    We visted Grand Junction a couple of years ago and helped load two pickup trucks with medical supplies for the Project Cure group. We were shocked to think these supplies would have otherwise gone to the land fill! We also visited Jay and Rebecca Mashburn when they were working as an engineer and doctor in Nepal. These folks are doing some very constructive things for the community and the world.
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