Partnership Supports Equipment “Trial” Program

Two women standing next to semi truck with printing on side: Partners for World Health

Brigid Chessie, PT, Clinical Manager, and Amanda Kunkel, PT, DPT, Clinical Director, at the Portland distribution warehouse of Partners for World Health

To run an operation like Partners for World Health (PWH), a non-profit based in Portland that re-distributes medical supplies, getting supplies is only half of the equation.

“We are always thrilled to receive donations. Our team here is incredibly capable when it comes to tracking the influx of medical supplies and DME donations, from wound care supplies and walkers to wheelchairs and complex medical devices. Once items are received, our focus then lies in getting supplies into the hands of people who can really use them, whether individuals who live next door or communities across the globe. Sending containers abroad is a big part of our mission, though we want everyone to know we are also here for any Mainer who is in need of medical supplies, whether an individual, nonprofit, business, or community partner. Securing donations is the first step, but moving supplies out the door is just as important,” said Erin Lamparter, Medical Support Program Coordinator for Partners for World Health.

Improving Health Across the Globe

‘Across the globe’ is no hyperbole—far from it. Shipments are sent to where they are most needed, often in impoverished areas or communities, such as Liberia, or those hit by particularly hard times, such as Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria laid waste to much of the island in 2020. With two warehouses in Portland, PWH processes thousands of items every year to live up to their slogan, “Local Effort. Global Impact.” When MHCAH reached out about the potential for collaboration, our inquiry was met with enthusiasm.

A PWH team member told a MHCAH social worker about a grant that PWH had received which required partnership to assist in the disbursement of items. Before long, PWH and MHCAH had developed a plan to provide MHCAH with a supply of rehabilitative therapy devices and equipment for use in patient trials. Amanda Kunkel, MHCAH Director of Therapy, looks forward to seeing the program succeed.

“Many times, therapists are making recommendations to patients and caregivers regarding equipment that would assist them to be safer while mobilizing in their home and the community. Durable medical equipment can be extremely expensive. The equipment from PWH will allow our clinicians to bring a device into the patient’s home to use during therapy and determine whether the device best suits the patient’s needs. This will help patients avoid unnecessary financial burden. PWH was kind enough to supply us with enough equipment that each of our home health divisions has the equipment necessary to make this successful.”

– Amanda Kunkel, MHCAH Director of Therapy

MHCAH rehabilitative therapy team members were able to go through PWH’s two warehouses and “shop” for items they felt could be most useful for home health patients. By the end of the day, around $1,000 worth of items were ready to be distributed.

“This will allow our therapists to have the tools they need to accurately assess what equipment ─ whether it be a walker, rollator, or a shower chair ─ a patient needs to safely perform the activities that allow them to remain in their homes,” said Amanda.

MHCAH Rehabilitation Therapy Services

Our experienced therapists help patients regain strength after surgery, improve mobility and function, and maximize independence to live safely in the comfort of home. Patients also may get help in making changes to their home to lower the risk of falls.

Learn more about rehabilitation therapy at home.