The Resource Group and Ascension Global Mission Work to Redistribute Quality Surplus Goods


June 04, 2018 by The Resource Group


In his Laudato Si’ encyclical letter, Pope Francis tells us that “we have to realize that a true ecological approachalwaysbecomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hearboth the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

In response to this call for justice, The Resource Group wanted to responsibly redistribute quality surplus medical supplies and equipment to low-resource countries that need it, and it worked with Ascension Global Mission to find a way.

A critical aspect of the process involved finding an accredited medical surplus recovery organization (MSRO) to ensure the right products get to the right people in the right place at the right time. Susan Huber, Senior Vice President, Governance, and President, Ascension Global Mission, identified MedSurplus Alliance, an alliance of accredited MSROs, as an organization with aligned values, and worked with The Resource Group to secure a contract with the organization. With the contract in place, The Resource Group developed a program to record and value the donations, track receipt, and provide a means for associates to request supplies for personal mission trips sponsored by churches and other organizations.

Geoff Nielson, Area Operations Director, The Resource Group, has used his supply chain operations, logistics and distribution background to work with St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Haiti to ensure that Ascension’s excess supplies and equipment are available to care for patients there. He recently visited Haiti with other Catholic health ministry leaders to tour additional facilities and identify more ways Ascension can help.

“We were there to better understand the supply chain challenges and their vision for success. We want to learn what solutions have been tried, what has worked, what has not worked, what has not been tried and why,” Geoff said. “We also spent time providing guidance on areas that they could make immediate improvements like storeroom organization, ordering patterns and distribution techniques focused to their specific issues.”

St. Vincent, part of Ascension Indiana, was one of the first to make donations through the accredited MSRO. Currently, seven Ministry Markets have either begun developing or are in the process of implementing donation plans. It is anticipated that the remaining Ministry Markets will have started the process by the end of June.

“This initiative not only speaks to how we are living out our Mission, it also speaks to the collaboration we share among Ascension Healthcare and Solutions divisions,” Susan said. “The need is great, and we are privileged to extend our resources to those who are vulnerable both at home and abroad.”

“The situation in these countries is dire, but there are passionate people doing everything they can to provide healthcare to their communities. Anything we can do to help makes a difference,” Geoff said. “Having access to lifesaving supplies can be the determining factor for some of these facilities to keep their doors open.”