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Not everyone is able to go on an international service trip, but we can all take simple steps to make a difference. Providence St. Peter Hospital Oncology CNA Dee Benton was inspired when she witnessed the actions of oncology housekeeper Chong Tinsley.
“For the past few years, Chong has kept a cabinet in soiled utility to put the unopened medical and personal supplies rather than tossing them out,” said Benton. “When the cabinet fills, she takes the supplies down to the loading dock to be sent to the Providence Health International Warehouse.”
Benton got involved in the recycling in 2011, and earlier this year had the opportunity to see these items help people firsthand when she went on a service trip Cambodia to help orphans.
“Bringing only a small suitcase of these recycled supplies to the orphan homes made a huge impact in their lives,” Benton said. “They have such a small amount of resources for a huge need. The overwhelming gratitude of the people changed her forever.”
Now, Benton has taken a position on the float pool at PSPH and is promoting this type of recycling hospital-wide.
“Each day when a patient is being cared for, we are mindful to bring only supplies needed into the patient’s room. Unfortunately, extra supplies still accumulate, and upon discharge often get thrown away,” Benton said. “This project takes such minimal effort but makes an impact on so many lives. Locals, shelters and world-wide missions can get supplies from the warehouse to meet the needs of many, and we are decreasing the amount of landfill waste, and thus providing a brighter future for us all.”
Benton even crossed all the T’s and dotted her I’s by talking to supervisors, infectious disease and the Mission Warehouse. Now almost every unit at PSPH has its own cabinet set up and at least two employees per unit willing to monitor the supplies.
“As Providence employees we strive daily to walk in the Core Values of our beloved company,” Benton said. “This is an amazing opportunity we have to exercise all five values in a simple resourceful act.”
What can you do? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. Live the Mission and our Core Values by doing your part:
1. Check the room before bringing in more supplies.
2. When a patient discharges from a room that is not isolation precautions, collect all unused medical and personal supplies and place them in the cabinet.
3. Encourage your co-workers to do the same, and take pride in the fact that YOU are changing the world.
For more information about the Providence Health International Warehouse, contact Kevin Brown, operations manager, at (360) 493-5640.
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