In my last post I wrote about the challenge of bringing a new program on board which, as I wrote, doesn’t necessarily color within the lines. MedShare represents a great opportunity to put our surplus medical supplies to great use in 3rd World countries. Stuff that we can’t use, and therefore discard, can save a life in a poor country.

As I concluded in the last post, there was light at the end of the tunnel, with Bob Waste suggesting that we simply change the “donation request” to a “sponsorship”, and have a check cut for such a sponsorship to MedShare. Off we go? Not.

This may be a bit of TMI, but it serves to illustrate some of the intricacies, and, therefore, challenges of our system. Traditionally it has been easy to simply prepare a check request for a sponsorship, which is a good thing since Community Relations sponsors a couple of hundred events and activities a year. I can just imagine what a hassle doing a purchase requisition for each sponsorship would be. Well, guess what happened. Campus Accounting decided that they needed to track sponsorship via the purchase requisition process, and apparently told us that we had to do the same. This slammed the brakes on for a number of sponsorship requests, not just mine. Our purchase req system is not designed for sponsorships, and our Purchasing folks, rightly so, said that purchase req isn’t the right way to do this.

After a bit of back and forth, the two sides got together a few weeks ago, while I was off at the CleanMed conference. The upshot? Campus didn’t know that our Purchase Req system didn’t mirror theirs. They were holding fast because they thought it did. Apparently they agreed to let us handle sponsorship our way, in the check request process. All is now good.

Now MedShare has our sponsorship check in hand, Bill Corbett has processed a purchase order, and we are seconds away from being good to go. My intern, Joanne, and I talked with our MedShare rep, Shannon, the other day to get a handle on logistics and to lay out a plan to put things in motion here.

We have several (30-40) pallets of surplus medical supplies in the warehouse, all of which came back from PHS exchange cart restocking. The warehouse is anxious to get this space back. I just received an e-mail from Shannon, telling me that they have a trucking company that will backhaul these pallets of goods to them, pro bono, so we should get the warehouse freed up next week.

The kick-off meeting is being scheduled for May 20, and the following day we’ll receive shippers which we can fill with accumulated supplies for shipment to the MedShare warehouse. Then we’ll figure where to place the collection barrels, while, at the same time, contractor badges will be processed for the MedShare driver and operations manager.

No small amount of work, and it really did take a village to get this thing going. But, this time, we really are ready to go. Pretty exciting!

Do something GREEN today!
JD