MERP

The UPMC Horizon Community Health Foundation is partnering with Buhl Park for an explosive Halloween Bash that includes Menagerie! Rock on with this group of diverse musicians that present a unique blend of songs by the best classic rock, blues, metal, and modern rock artists of the past four decades. Fluid guitar, intricate bass, spirited drumming, and soulful, powerful vocals are all hallmarks of a Menagerie performance.

Tickets for the Halloween Bash are just $35 each and includes appetizers, a drink voucher and a $25 tax-deductible donation to UPMC Horizon Community Health Foundation’s Medical Equipment Recycling Program and Buhl Park.

Buy your tickets today and join us at Tiffany’s Banquet Center on Friday, October 27th from 7pm-11pm if you dare!  Tickets can be purchased at the Buhl Park Casino, Mark’s Music and Quaker Steak and Lube, or by clicking the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/buhl-park-upmc-horizons-rockin-halloween-bash-wmenagerie-and-horns-tickets-37817803067

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!

needs cleaned pile croppedIt 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.

walkers greenville croppedIn 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.

IMG_6765In 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!IMG_6431

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.

 

BOO BALL FLYER BANNER

BBcropedOur 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.

BOO BALL FLYER PANELProceeds 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 BOO BALL 201303function.

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!

 

 

IMG_3503The 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 Max croppedprovided 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!”

picnic bd1Kateri Linn, MERP Coordinator said, “It was great to see so many of our committee members, recipients and those who promote our program.  The support for MERP is unbelievable!”

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.

 

GRANDMA AND CHILD

Thanks to your donations, in December 2014 we loaned medical equipment to our 10,000th person!

Patricia is one of those 10,000. She was shoveling snow, slipped on the ice and broke her kneecap. “I needed surgery and the copays were outrageous. On top of that, I needed equipment when I was discharged. My insurance wouldn’t cover it,” explained Patricia. Her physical therapist came to MERP and got the equipment she needed before she even left the hospital. “It was very efficient! I filled out paper work and the therapist came back with an extended tub bench, a walker and a bedside commode. I only needed the equipment for eight weeks, so it would have been a waste of money for me to purchase it. I’m so glad MERP exists!”

Jeffrey, another one of MERP’s 10,000 recipients, is only 24 years old. “I was playing soccer with my friends and I guess I’m not as young as I thought!” Jeffrey fell over the ball and broke his ankle in three places. “Surgery was extensive and my recovery long. I needed equipment so I could continue to work, but I couldn’t afford to buy it. MERP loaned me everything I needed. I was embarrassed at first because I’m so young, but they joked around with me and it was cool!” Jeffrey needed his equipment for three months. “When I returned the shower bench, they said it was going to be checked and cleaned and would help someone else that same day. What a neat program!”

YOUR equipment and monetary donations continue to help people like Patricia and Jeffrey. Because of YOUR commitment to MERP, we have now assisted over 10,000 people! Thank you!