Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Mass. called IRN for a simple mattress replacement. About 180 new hospital bed mattresses coming in; about 180 “gently used” mattresses going out and available for IRN’s surplus program, where they are one of our high-demand items.
When we arrived to scope the project, Good Samaritan’s Scott Kenyan asked if IRN could handle “some other stuff.” We said “We’ll try”, and Scott led us to an on-campus warehouse packed with enough “other stuff” to outfit a clinic. It was a classic hospital scene: stuff that was “too good to throw away”, but once it hit the warehouse it was out of sight, out of mind, and gone. The warehouse was a one-way dead-end street. Occasionally Scott had to call in a dumpster when new “other stuff” pushed older “other stuff” out the back door, but that was the only way anything ever escaped.
Like nearly all hospitals, Good Samaritan has no extra space for anything, much less a dead-end warehouse. Scott knew that square feet are the most valuable asset on a hospital campus. He desperately needed the room for shipping and receiving and live storage. And he realized that just about every time one of his staff had to touch any of the stuff in the warehouse, he might as well have been burning a hundred-dollar bill. It was time to make a change.
Over two days in early December, IRN filled three trailers with Good Samaritan’s dead-end stuff. There was something of everything: hospital beds, stretcher pads, IV poles, wheelchairs, trash barrels, tables and chairs, desks and file cabinets and storage cabinets (see Table). And there was usable equipment: TVs, an incubator, wheeled stretchers, a sterilizer, a nearly new copying machine complete with instruction manuals. The goods were shipped to IRN partner Food for the Poor in Jamaica, where they have been distributed from FFTP’s warehouse to hospitals and clinics in Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean.
The story doesn’t end with one cleanout. Reviewing his own and IRN procedures, Scott determined that his most cost effective option to manage Good Samaritan’s day-to-day accumulation of surplus is to call for an IRN pickup every time he has a half-truckload or so ready to go. That way he eliminates his need for storage space, minimizes handling, and pays about as much as if he just tossed stuff in a dumpster. And he can fulfill the mission embedded in Good Samaritan’s name, providing invaluable supplies and equipment for communities where they are desperately needed.