Students at UCSF operate an effective and sustainable initiative to collect and distribute unused medical and surgical supplies to underserved communities.
Based on the well-known Recovery of Medical Equipment for the Developing World (REMEDY) instituted by the Yale-New Haven Hospital, Remedy at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) began in 2004. Several challenges exist for the student-run group, yet the model they follow helps overcome obstacles and keep the group sustainable.
Students and hospital staff work collaboratively to constantly monitor which materials can be safely recycled from unused surplus at UCSF. Costs associated with shipping the materials pose significant challenges. Remedy at UCSF seeks third-party organizations as well as nonprofit organizations with similar intentions to send supplies abroad. Medical students have even brought supplies with them when they volunteer at clinics overseas.
Remedy at UCSF continues to reduce unnecessary medical waste and provide supplies for underserved areas in need. Maintaining a student-run organization has its challenges, yet the benefits they provide make a real-world difference.