UPMC Horizon’s 30th Annual Memories in Lights took place in the lobby of the Greenville Campus on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018. Participants remember or honor loved ones by purchasing an angel for the memorial tree. This fundraiser raised over $1,500 for MERP. Thank you for supporting us!
The Medical Equipment Recycling Program in Farrell has been in its new building at 707 Sharon-New Castle Road for almost a year now and the comments have been favorable. “The new MERP is so clean and neat,” said one comment card. Another claimed, “I had such a hard time getting into the old MERP because there was a long, steep ramp to the door and the parking was always terrible. The new location has parking right outside the door and the building is so easy to access!”
The new location boasts a large, clean and nicely decorated waiting area and three manned desks for helping people who need to borrow or return equipment. The cleaning and refurbishing now takes place behind closed doors, so the smells of cleaning chemicals and the sounds of the steaming machine are not a distraction to the employees and volunteers trying to help people who need our services. Finally, we have a large room for UV sterilization and a wash room that has a large roll-in cleaning area, plus the equipment washing machine. The workshop is being organized with shelving and drawers, labeled parts and a “needs repaired” area separate from the “ready to loan” area. The setup makes it easier for those working the front office to know what equipment is clean and ready to be loaned and what equipment still needs refurbished. It’s much easier to give directions to the new MERP, and because of its great location more people are happening upon it and obtaining the equipment they need to live more independently. Building upon over 20 years of success and partnerships, MERP has now loaned 28,456 pieces of medical equipment valued at nearly $3.5 million to over 21,000 people.
The UPMC Horizon Community Health Foundation partnered with Buhl Park for an explosive Halloween Bash at Tiffany’s Banquet Center with Menagerie!
Proceeds from the event benefited the Medical Equipment Recycling Program and Buhl Park. Watch for this great event next Halloween!
We are excited to announce the Farrell MERP is moving to a new location. In July, the MERP behind UPMC Horizon’s Farrell Campus will be moving to its new location on the corner of Sharon-New Castle Road in Farrell. If you have visited the Farrell MERP within the last few years, you noticed how crammed it was! “We simply outgrew the facility we were in about two years ago and had to start renting storage containers and storing equipment outside,” explains Kateri Linn, the MERP Coordinator.
The new building at 707 Sharon-New Castle Road in Farrell, PA, offers over 7,000 square feet of space, plenty of room for an appropriate cleaning area, workshop and intake area. Kateri explained, ‘The walls are finally going up and we can visualize how much space we are going to have for equipment repairs, cleaning and storage and it is exciting! We can’t wait to get moved in and start operating out of our new space!” Now, more than ever, we need the financial support of our community. Please consider a donation today!
It was a very impressive year for the Medical Equipment Recycling Program. At a time when insurances are covering less equipment, we are thankful to community donations that have enabled us to help even more people.
MERP loaned 2,989 pieces of equipment to 2,114 people in 2015, a 39% increase over 2014’s recipient numbers. The total value of the equipment we loaned this year is $671,690.
With your donations, we loaned 305 wheelchairs, 576 shower/tub chairs, 103 hospital beds and 42 lift chairs.
Additionally, we made over 175 pickups and deliveries in 2015, assisting those who cannot get to MERP.
We cannot do it without YOUR support. Please consider donating today. Equipment can be brought to either MERP location. Call us at 724-347-6377 to make arrangements. Financial support assists us with refurbishing expenses. Please consider a generous gift today by clicking the Donate Now button!
In comparison, the totals for the entire year of 2014:
MERP loaned 2,142 pieces of equipment valued at $303,476 to 1,538 people.
A team from St. Mary Medical Center visited this past fall to tour both MERP facilities. St. Mary Medical Center is a 373 bed facility located in Langhorne, PA, just outside of Philadelphia.
In 2012, a MERP coordinator and the UPMC Horizon Hospital director of volunteer services gave a
presentation about our MERP program at a national conference. The St. Mary Medical Center staff just so happened to be at the conference, heard the presentation and thought, “We could do that too!” They were so excited about our MERP program’s successes that they returned to Langhorne and immediately began the long process that would lead to their own medical equipment re-use program. Four years later, they are almost ready to loan out their first piece of equipment! For now, their medical equipment re-use program will be run out of their St. Mary Thrift Store right in the downtown. A grand opening is scheduled for February 1, 2016.
They wanted to visit our facilities so they could see our processes and ask questions. During their
two-day visit, many ideas and suggestions were exchanged. “This is going to be a very beneficial
partnership for both parties. We are extremely excited that another hospital wants to emulate what we have developed!” stated Kateri Linn. We wish them much luck in this exciting endeavor.
We found a really great machine that might actually help MERP staff and volunteers to get out from under that mountain of uncleaned medical equipment! The equipment washer is like a giant dishwasher made specifically for medical equipment.
In November, we found a facility in our area using one of these
machines, and we just had to go take a look! MERP representatives traveled to St. Paul Homes in Greenville to look at their equipment washer, the same brand of washer we are seeking.
The washer has been used at St. Paul’s for years, assisting them in the cleaning and sterilizing of their resident’s wheelchairs. They were kind enough to start it up for us, so we could see it in action!
The main reason we have to put someone on a waiting list is that although we have the equipment, it is not yet cleaned and sanitized. This machine would definitely help us to alleviate some of our waiting lists! We are hoping to raise the funds and possibly secure some grant funding to purchase our own equipment washer sometime in 2016.
Our annual Boo Ball isn’t just an important fund raiser for the foundation, its fun. AND it was on Halloween this year! Ghouls and zombies, clowns and hippies danced to the funky sounds of Rudy and the Professionals. Princesses and witches nibbled on hors d’oeuvres while waiting for the chance to have fortunes read by a psychic reader.
Proceeds from the Boo Ball are used to help fund the Foundation’s signature program, the Medical Equipment Recycling Program (MERP). This program loans medical equipment to those who can’t afford to purchase the equipment they need to function.
The Boo Ball party ended with a costume contest, the winners receiving massive UPMC Horizon chocolate bars. If you couldn’t be there this year, you won’t want to miss it next year! Thank you to our sponsors and attendees for supporting MERP!
The Mercer County N.A.A.C.P awarded MERP the Community Service Award at their Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. The event was held at the Park Inn on Friday October 2nd. MERP Coordinator, Kateri Linn attended the banquet to receive the award and was accompanied by MERP volunteers, Jeannie Kennedy, Gayle Miller and Maryann Miller.
“We are so proud of MERP and all the accomplishments that led to the receipt of this great honor,” said Kateri. MERP loaned equipment to its 10,000th recipient in 2015 and we look forward to continuing to serve Mercer County and the surrounding areas for years to come. Thank you to the N.A.A.C.P for honoring our program and for continuing to support our mission to provide medical equipment to anyone in need in our region.
We celebrated our 10,000th recipient with two picnics this fall. Over 200 people came to enjoy lunch provided by UPMC Horizon and to listen to the music of Max Schang on guitar! Three lucky attendees won prizes.
“We are celebrating the fact that we have now, this year, helped over 10,000 people in this area to obtain needed medical equipment,” explained Jackie Bonier, Executive Director of the UPMC Horizon Community Health Foundation. “The Foundation is pleased to support this program and is committed to helping the next 10,000 people and beyond!”
Jodi and Tully White, have spent the last 13 years volunteering to fix lift chairs attended the Farrell picnic. “We enjoy volunteering behind the scenes to make MERP a success!” Jodi said.
We are grateful to all the staff, volunteers and donors who are to be credited for the success of MERP.