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News and Media

MedPLUS Connect Wins Do Something Growth Grant

MedPLUS Connect has been selected as a Do Something Growth Grant Winner. The Do Something Growth Grant will be used to purchase converters and adaptors for equipment being sent in shipments this summer. This will make it possible for equipment to be used in Ghana, where outlets and voltage are not the same as outlets and voltage in the United States. The grant will also be used to purchase supplies needed in unloading the shipments. Along with the grant, MedPLUS Connect has been given access to Do Something Grant Alumni Support. This support includes one-on-one advising, monthly alumni calls on things ranging from public relations training to fundraising, and additional training opportunities. For more information on Do Something, please go to www.dosomething.org. We are so excited to be recognized by Do Something and look forward to using these funds to advance health in the Upper West in Ghana!

Greetings from Ghana!

Over the past few months I have been traveling to and throughout Ghana making preparations for another shipment to Lawra district and additional shipments to other districts in Ghana. I just returned from my most recent trip which took place in January-February! After spending a short period of time in Accra, I traveled to the Upper West. My first stop was to Weichau. With no running water, I took my first ever bucket baths! Weichau, like Lawra, is located in the Upper West. Weichau is a smaller, newer district and is home to a health center and some CHPS compounds. I am currently working with hospital representatives along with Peace Corp member Sinae Hong (who works with the hospital) to prepare a shipment for this summer. I am excited that we should be able to send some supplies to this area soon!

After visiting Weichau, I headed on to Lawra. I am pleased to tell you that Lawra District Hospital has been putting the supplies that were included in the shipment this past summer to good use! The beds were made up with fresh linens and placed in the rooms in the wards and the supply rooms contained boxes we packed and labeled. They have already used all of the iodine swabs we sent and very soon will reach the end of the gloves we provided! While in Lawra, I met with the new Medical Director, Dr. Sandaare, and the Chief Executive of the District Assembly, Honorable Samson. We are making good progress in preparations to send an additional, badly needed shipment to Lawra District this summer. I also spoke and met with many of the nurses and staff of Lawra District Hospital and I would like to join them in sending our thanks and appreciation for everything that you have done to support our work.

I wrapped up my trip in Accra with meetings at the Ministry of Health. The Ministry is very excited about our work and is interested in providing funding for the two shipments to Ghana this summer! While we have much more work to do, such as gathering the final supplies for the 2-3 shipments that will go out this summer and raising the funds we will need to operate for the next 5-7 years before we become self-sufficient, it has been very exciting to see MedPLUS Connect take off over the past few months!

Once again, thank you for your continued support!

Emily Nix
Executive Director, MedPLUS Connect

Over $1 Million Worth of Medical Supplies Successfully Delivered

MedPLUS Connect successfully delivered over 22,000 pounds of medical supplies to the Lawra District Hospital in June 2009. Lawra is a rural town in Ghana, surrounded by farming villages. The Lawra Hospital is staffed by a hard-working group of nurses and doctors, struggling to provide quality care to a patient base of 46,000 people. The hospital lacks everything from exam gloves to EKG machines.

The staff of the Lawra Hospital greeted the shipment with excitement and enthusiasm. The shipment's value exceeded $1,000,000 USD, and included supplies ranging from sutures and gloves to hospital beds and an autoclave. These supplies will provide doctors and nurses with the tools to increase the quality of care provided at the hospital. Further, supplies will allow the hospital to direct funds previously dedicated to paying for supplies to improving facilities and expanding their children's ward. Extra supplies were distributed to three other district hospitals and eight sub-district health centers who will be recipients of future MedPLUS Connect shipments.

MedPLUS Connect Wins $16,000 at the Carolina Challenge

After four rounds of intense competition in April 2009, MedPLUS Connect was awarded first place in the social track of the Carolina Challenge Entrepreneurial Competition, the John Stedman Social Entrepreneurship Award. MedPLUS Connect also won the $1,000 People's Choice Award determined by audience vote for a total of $16,000. The Carolina Challenge is a rigorous business plan competition where judges are looking for the best ideas combined with teams that have the breadth and depth of skills and knowledge to successful launch and expand on their ventures. Board member Lauren Slive joined Director Emily Nix and fellow board member Emma Lawrence in expressing their excitement about MedPLUS Connect's success. "We are very passionate about making this happen," says Slive. "We eventually hope to be able to help any hospital in a developing country with a significant budget". To read more about MedPLUS Connect in the Carolina Challenge, click here.

District Commissioner Pledges Support for MedPLUS Connect

In addition to coordinating the shipment of medical supplies to Lawra Hospital over the past summer, MedPLUS Connect directors enjoyed the opportunity to discuss expansion plans with numerous government officials and hospital administrators who have expressed optimism about this opportunity to positively impact hospitals in Ghana. MedPLUS Connect leaders are especially fortunate to have the support of the Minister of Land and Resources and the District Commissioner of Lawra, Ghana. The Honorable Abu Samson, District Commissioner of Lawra, remarked that "the money that we are going to save from the supplies that MedPLUS Connect has given to us and our sisters can be used for other projects. You can see that we are trying to renovate our general ward. Money that is being used for that would have gone into logistics (involved in purchasing non-donated medical supplies). [We are able to do a lot of good with money we save] so I think this is doing us a lot of good."

MedPLUS Connect Now on Youtube

Coming Soon

MedPLUS Connect Receives $10,000 From UNC School of Medicine

After watching founders Emma Lawrence, Emily Nix and Lauren Slive passionately pitch their venture and plans to expand, Dr. Etta Pisano made possible a $10,000 grant from UNC School of Medicine. The grant is to be used toward employee compensation. The grant makes possible the position of a full-time executive director over the next two years. Such a position will allow MedPLUS Connect to move forward with plans to expand its model to include new hospitals as well as larger and more frequent shipments of medical supplies. To read more about UNC School of Medicine, click here.

MedPLUS Connect Attends CGIU

Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, President Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting for students, national youth organizations, and university officials to discuss solutions to pressing global issues. In 2009, Emma Lawrence, Emily Nix and Lauren Slive applied to the Clinton Global Initiative University as students with a commitment to start MedPLUS Connect. The three co-founders were accepted and subsequently attended the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference in Austin, Texas February 13-15, 2009. This year, MedPLUS Connect has been invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference in Miami as a national youth organization. The conference will take place April 16-18, 2010. MedPLUS Connect will also be responsible for a table at CGI U Exchange. MedPLUS Connect is honored to be invited to participate in this conference. To learn more about Clinton Global Initiative University, please go to www.cgiu.org.