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Bluewater Health sending obsolete equipment, supplies to El Salvador

Obsolete inventory from Bluewater Health is collected by volunteers from SOL for LA for restoration and use in a health care clinic in El Salvador.

Obsolete inventory from Bluewater Health is collected by volunteers from SOL for LA for restoration and use in a health care clinic in El Salvador.

SARNIA - Bluewater Health is reaching out to support the health care needs of the poor and disadvantaged in El Salvador.

As part of its transition from two hospitals in Sarnia to one, the organization has conducted an inventory, safety audit and needs assessment of every piece of equipment, technology, and furniture. Only that which is of excellent quality, meets current Canadian health care standards for infection control and other safety measures, and continues to be needed by the hospital to provide expected levels of service, will make its way to the new facility.

Equipment, furnishings and supplies that no longer meet these safety and quality requirements, has gone beyond its life cycle, is date-expired, can't be repaired or is no longer needed, is being donated to Support of Lambton for Latin America (SOL for LA) for use in El Salvador.

SOL for LA is a locally-run NGO (non-governmental organization) under the leadership of Sarnia residents Mario and Dolores Quintanilla. The non-profit organization is backed by Lambton College, Paroisse St. Thomas D'Aquin, Lambton Elderly Outreach, and the Rotary Club of Sarnia. Their mission is to collect food, used medical equipment and computers to send to rural elementary schools and hospitals in El Salvador and other countries in Latin America. The organization works in partnership with Canadian Food for Children. This project further helps humanity globally, by creating a greener environment by putting into use, items which might otherwise have ended up in a landfill.

"This is a win-win-win partnership," said Sue Denomy, Bluewater Health president and CEO. "Bluewater Health needed a disposition plan to remove these obsolete items from the Mitton Site by fall; SOL for LA gains an immediate influx of needed equipment and supplies; and most importantly the people of El Salvador will benefit from greater access to treatment and a brighter future, perhaps not otherwise possible."

Larry Lafranier, the hospital's director of materials services and capital procurement, said SOL for LA began to take possession of some items last month.

He added "With a team of volunteers including Sarnia Rotarians, they are manually removing identified items and packing shipping containers. Once off-site, they undertake necessary repairs and cleaning to the items. The first shipped container has already left Canada for El Salvador to be put in service there as soon as possible."

Lafranier said Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill Industries, and Rayjon have also received similar support from Bluewater Health in this and past years.