A Medical Device Daily

Acusis (Pittsburgh) a provider of medical transcription solutions and provider of transcription services to clinics, hospitals and large physician practices throughout the U.S., said it has donated $600,000 to Global Links (also Pittsburgh), a non-profit organization that recovers unused healthcare supplies, equipment and furnishings for distribution to hospitals and clinics in developing countries.

“This donation from Acusis moves us closer to securing a much-needed, larger warehouse and office space in Pittsburgh,“ said Kathleen Hower, executive director of Global Links. “By combining our current warehouse in McKeesport and office space in Bloomfield/Garfield, we will be able to realize far greater operational efficiencies and opportunities for growth.“

Expansion of Global Links' operations benefits both Pittsburgh companies and recipients in developing countries, Hower said. With an expanded infrastructure, Global Links will have the potential to process more items from additional local sources and ship them, when and where they are most needed. Literally tons of medical surplus supplies from the region end up in landfills or incinerators, needlessly adding to the pollution problem and the cost of healthcare, the organization said.

“With this donation, Acusis is calling on our neighbors in the local healthcare community to unite in support of the reclamation of all medical surplus from our region through Global Links,“ said David Iwinski Jr., president and CEO of Acusis. “Global Links is one of our region's incredibly valuable assets. We believe that many additional healthcare organizations in our community, including hospitals, physician practice groups, pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers, can join together with Acusis to help Global Links achieve its mission.“

Although Global Links' outreach may not be widely known, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO; Washington), the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland), has conveyed to Global Links that because of its work and the contributions it receives in Pittsburgh, it is emerging as a model internationally for the effective collection and distribution of surplus medical supplies.

Hower noted that this recognition is primarily due to the care that Global Links takes to send recipients in the world's poorest countries only what they need. Even with the best of intentions, inappropriate donations to hospitals in need can be more of a burden if the recipients must return, redirect or dispose of unusable materials. Hower added that in 2005, PAHO would more formally recognize the work of Global Links in Pittsburgh.

“Through careful cost containment and with the help of volunteers, Global Links is able to translate an investment of $600,000 into an average of $12 million worth of medical aid each year, which is a 20-fold return on investment,“ said Bill Benter, Acusis chairman. “This demonstrates how contributions to Global Links can make a tremendous difference in saving lives every day. It is our hope that more local companies in our industry get involved with this very important organization.“

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