After a national competition, The Sherwin-Williams Company has awarded its annual signature grant to MedWish International. The $50,000 grant will create the Sherwin-Williams Children’s Health Fund (SWCHF), designed to expedite the shipment of medical supplies from Northeast Ohio to children worldwide.
MedWish International is a Cleveland-based non-profit organization committed to the recovery, repurposing and redistribution of donated medical supplies and equipment healthcare providers routinely discard. Working with over 50 hospitals, private practices and medical device companies, MedWish recovers 1.5 tons of medical supplies every day. One of the challenges MedWish faces is supplying doctors and nurses in the world’s poorest and most underserved countries, recipients often cannot afford all the fees associated with each shipment. The SWCHF will provide subsidies of up to $7,500 per 40-foot shipping container to supply worthy projects in developing countries throughout the world.
"Funding from Sherwin-Williams will make it possible to distribute 105 tons of medical supplies, such as ultrasound machines to ensure healthy births, microscopes for early detection of life-threatening diseases, and gloves and masks to protect patients and their caregivers," said Dr. Lee Ponsky, president and founder of MedWish. "Thanks to the generosity of Sherwin-Williams, all of these supplies and much more will be made available to children around the globe."
"The Sherwin-Williams Foundation is very pleased to support the inspirational work of MedWish," said Chris Connor, chairman and CEO of The Sherwin-Williams Company. "Their mission of reaching out to children around the world with life-saving supplies shows how a Public-Private partnership can offer a helping hand to children in need. Over our 146 year history, Sherwin-Williams has always reached out to the communities where we do business. The driving force of the Sherwin-Williams Foundation is our commitment to enhancing education and children’s health and safety."
MedWish has already used the SWCHF to subsidize its first shipment of 2012: over 20,000 lbs. of life-saving supplies are heading to Honduras. The shipment contains 144 items, including: 24 beds and night stands, an ultrasound, three mobile x-ray machines, four exam tables, 24 infusion pumps, a mammography machine and two operating room tables.
"This shipment will improve health and save lives for thousands of people in Honduras," said Brian Smith, a MedWish Board member who arranged the shipment through the nonprofit Helping Hands for Honduras. Smith is the director of strategic project development at the Cleveland Clinic. "Ultrasound helps improve maternal health, mammography provides faster detection and treatment of cancer, and the two dozen beds will make a huge difference in ensuring every patient is comfortable."