Volunteers send medical supplies to Ebola-stricken regions

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz. -- We're hearing less about Ebola in the US these days, but the disease is still spreading rapidly in other countries. That's why one group is packing up thousands of dollars' worth of medical supplies to send there, as part of Project C.U.R.E.

On Thursday, dozens of volunteers from Dignity Health and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center spent the morning packing up $450,000 worth of medical supplies to send to those in need.

The supplies were all donated by Dignity Health, and are being packed by hand into a 40-foot container. That container will be shipped out to Sierra Leone, one of the regions hit hardest by Ebola.

"In Sierra Leone, we're seeing an uptick of Ebola," says Kate Mabardy of Project C.U.R.E. "So it's really important that we're responding."

Project C.U.R.E. has relied on Dignity Health for more than 17 years to provide supplies and donations for global health issues.

"Dignity Health has been a really big supporter of Project C.U.R.E.," says Marisue Garganta, Director of Community Health Integration and Community Benefit at Dignity Health. "For more than 17 years, we've been sending our usable supplies to places like Sierra Leone and Africa. This is a great opportunity for us, because we're going to go where the Ebola is actually happening."

In Sierra Leone, the battle against Ebola is accelerating daily as the disease continues to spread, with 533 new, confirmed diagnoses the week of Nov. 16 alone. More than 4,500 people in West Africa have already died from the disease, according to the World Health Organization.

The supplies being sent include gauze, masks, syringes, scrubs and hand sanitizers. Even bed linens and mattresses are being shipped out. "All of those supplies that you and I take for granted in our hospital setting are now going to go," says Garganta.

"Being able to do this is part of the ministry of Dignity Health," Garganta added. "To serve the poor, to advocate, to care for them, no matter where they're at."

About Project C.U.R.E
Project C.U.R.E. is the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries around the world. Project C.U.R.E. maintains large distribution warehouses in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Tennessee, and smaller collection centers in 15 U.S. cities. Project C.U.R.E. is the recipient of the GuideStar Exchange Silver Seal, the Charity Navigator Four-Star Rating and ranked by Forbes as one of the 20 Most Efficient Large U.S. Charities. For information, visit projectcure.org.

About Dignity Health
Dignity Health, one of the nation's largest health care systems, is a 20-state network of nearly 9,000 physicians, 56,000 employees, and more than 400 care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the poor and under-served.  In FY14, Dignity Health provided nearly $2 billion in charitable care and services. For more information, please visit www.dignityhealth.org.