by Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | August 27, 2012
From the August 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
The TriMedx Foundation will host its 7th annual Mission on the Greens golf tournament September 24, at the Bridgewater Club in Carmel, Ind. All proceeds help send biomedical technicians to developing countries to repair broken medical equipment.
TriMedx, the health equipment management company, formally established the TriMedx Foundation in 2004, after being contacted by Hospital Sacre Coeur in Haiti about donated medical equipment that had been badly damaged during travel. Right away, TriMedx saw an urgent need for functional medical equipment in underserved areas and has since supported 80 mission projects in 21 countries across the globe.
“Getting the equipment is not necessarily the difficult part, it’s what do you do when you get it,” says Mary Owen, director of the TriMedx Foundation.
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Doctors and nurses frequently visit poor nations to provide much needed care, but biomedical technicians are pretty much nonexistent, according to Owen. The World Health Organization reports that roughly 70 percent of medical equipment in these countries is unusable, so equipment repair services and medical technology support that volunteers provide becomes a direct link to adequate health care services for individuals.
According to Owen, the kinds of equipment in need of repair can range from basic lab equipment that diagnoses life-threatening diseases like AIDS and Malaria, to high-end X-ray machines donated to large mission hospitals from an OEM like Philips.
The target sites are hospitals and clinics that are the primary medical service in the area, and ideally they have a U.S. sponsor that can help with support and travel logistics. “We want to serve those organizations that are serving the poor. This year alone we’ve been to Tanzania, Kenya, Haiti and Honduras and we continue to evaluate requests as they come in,” says Owen.
The golf outing that helps fund these annual trips, sponsored this year by First Call Parts, has attracted as many as 31 foursomes in the past. According to Owen, there’s been some first-time interest this year from various biomedical association groups to come out and play.