Medical School Teams with MedShare to Send Medical Supplies and Equipment to Zimbabwe
June 24, 2008

Karen Gordon
MedShare
(770) 323-5858, ext. 218

Richard L. Cameron
Mercer University
(478) 301-5500



Dr. Mike Smith, a medical professor, and the Mercer University community have come together to raise the funding for the sending of a 40-foot container of medical supplies and equipment with Atlanta-based non-profit MedShare International. The medical products will benefit the Sanyati Baptist Hospital in Sanyati, Zimbabwe, a government-owned hospital that has trouble meeting the demands of its patients because of very limited medical supplies.

The container, which left MedShare on June 19, includes items specifically chosen for the hospital by Dr. Mark Byler, a voluntary physician at the hospital in Harare and also an adjunct professor at the Mercer School of Medicine.

In the summer of 2007, Smith and two other Mercer representatives took an exploratory trip to Zimbabwe, taking along commonly-needed supplies in their suitcases from MedShare and AmeriCares. When they realized how much of an impact the supplies had on the patients there, they knew they had to sustain the relationship with the hospital. The sending of the 40-foot container precedes a second medical trip to the region originally scheduled for later this year, when Dr. Smith, Dr. Harold Katner and Dr. Byler were to have worked with three Mercer medical students on a four-week rotation that was to have included two weeks  at Sanyati Baptist Hospital.

The relationship with MedShare and Sanyati Baptist Hospital is a component of Mercer on Mission, which encourages Mercer students to travel abroad to experience other places and cultures. The MedShare container is expected to arrive some time in August.

About MedShare International:
MedShare, an Atlanta-based non-profit organization, bridges the gap between surplus and need to improve healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to those most in need. Since its inception in 1998, MedShare has donated over $50 million in medical supplies and equipment to needy medical institutions in 72 countries.

About the Mercer University School of Medicine:
Celebrating its 25th year, Mercer University's School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. The School only accepts Georgia residents into its medical degree program. Students entering Mercer University School of Medicine will be graduated from a school that utilizes a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. In June 2007, the University announced it would expand its two-year clinical program at Memorial University Medical Center into a second full, four-year doctor of medicine program by fall 2008. The School also offers master's degrees in public health, family therapy, and nurse anesthesia.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges - liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals - Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.

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