Overseas mission — Nepal
CHOP Orthopedic Surgeon David Spiegel, MD, has volunteered in Nepal for two decades, performing surgeries and training local surgeons. When he heard about the country’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake in April 2015, he immediately thought of his friends there and the challenges they faced in treating the thousands of injured.
He quickly made plans to go to Nepal. Leaders at CHOP contacted him about how the Hospital could help. Nepalese surgeons indicated that lack of supplies was a major concern, and they emailed a list of essential items.
CHOP’s Supply Chain department began gathering 1,000 pounds of surplus supplies, including more than 80 surgical packs, and arranged to ship everything to a hospital in Nepal.
While Spiegel did make the trip and help with medical care, “the story isn’t about me,” he insists. “The main thing is how CHOP responded by sending supplies so the surgeons could continue to treat patients who needed their help.”
CHOP’s generosity, and that of our employees and patient families, has bolstered nonprofits’ ability to serve their clients and allowed children locally and beyond to enjoy the start of the school year and holidays with donated items.
In addition to the shipment to Nepal, in 2015 CHOP also donated used supplies and items no longer in use, such as exam tables, IV poles, furniture, scrubs, suture materials, wheelchairs, respirator masks, crutches, diapers, infant formula, shoes, and other miscellaneous medical supplies. Recipients included Mission Relief, FELMAUSA, International Children’s Heart Foundation, National Greyhound Adoption Program and Elephant Sanctuary.
Donations of gently used and excess supplies are also part of the Hospital’s EcoCHOP initiative, which has resulted in 1,546 tons of recycled materials, a 43 percent recycling rate — well above the national healthcare benchmark of 15 to 25 percent. CHOP reduced its medical waste for the eighth year in a row to 1.25 pounds per adjusted patient day, about half the benchmark of 15 percent.
The CHOP Care Network Kennett Square primary care practice shares the belief, along with community partner Kennett Area Community Service Program, that no one should go without basic necessities. To support that mission, the office collects donated food items from staff and patient families and delivers boxes to the local food cupboard, which serves more than 3,400 people a year. The office also collects new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.
Staff from the CHOP Care Network Specialty Care and Surgery Center Voorhees participates in a Thanksgiving food drive to ensure families can enjoy the holiday. Last year, 15 Hematology/ Oncology families received all the ingredients for their holiday meal, which included a “virtual turkey” — a picture of a turkey colored by our patients, placed in a roasting pan and “stuffed” with a grocery store gift card.
In December, the Voorhees staff organized its annual patient and family holiday party for more than 350 people. They received support from longtime partners: veterans from the South Jersey Marines Toys 4 Tots program; student council members from St. Paul’s School in Burlington, NJ, who serve as elf assistants; and members of the West Deptford Women’s Club, who staff Santa’s Toy Room, complete with Santa himself. Families from as close as Camden and as far away as Cape May attended. The event also served as a reunion for Voorhees patients who were being treated at CHOP's day hospital at the same time years ago. Some patients became supportive friends attending one of the six residential camp programs for medically complex children that staff work with every summer.
In an effort to ensure that children living in West Philadelphia homeless shelters start the school year with a backpack full of school supplies, the Multicultural Professional Network (MPN) has organized a drive for school supplies each August for six years. Employees across the institution donate items, which members of MPN collect and deliver to the shelters.