Submitted photo: Sam Carr, John Wolpert and Rex Martin (left to right) load retired surgical equipment, donated by Highpoint Health.  The equipment is being contributed to the Brase Clinic in Kenya.

Kenya Bound: Hospital donates retired surgical equipment

Highpoint Health recently donated surgical equipment and related items retired from service to the Brase Clinic and Vision Center in Migori, Kenya.  

The equipment, which was no longer used by Highpoint Health, was welcomed by the medical and clinical staff of the Brase Clinic.

The equipment transfer was the idea of Susie Martin, FNP, a Family Nurse Practitioner with Highpoint Health Physician Partners, who cares for the residents of Shady Nook Care Center and Pine Knoll Assisted Living.  

She approached Michael Schwebler, Highpoint Health President and CEO, this spring about donating the retired equipment to the Brase Clinic. Schwebler approved the donation and Martin researched which items would be available for transfer.

Highpoint Health donated a bronchoscopy cart; several General Electric DinaMaps, which monitor patient vital signs during and after surgery; several surgery buckets; a phacoelmusification machine for cataract surgery and a Hewlett-Packard vital signs monitor.  Also donated for the Brase outpatient clinic were two large analog scales.

Martin is a friend of Steve James, CRNA, a retired nurse anesthetist and the founder and CEO of the Brase Clinic.  The clinic and hospital serve more than 1,700 patients annually.  James and his organization also have built an orphanage, a grade school, a working farm and a sports complex.  

She then recruited her husband, several friends and co-workers to assist her in transporting the equipment.  Connie Cecil, RN, MSN, CNOR, Highpoint Health Surgical Services Director, and the hospital’s Biomedical Engineering Department helped facilitate the transfer of equipment.  

Others who assisted were Matt and Sandra Jones, the owners of Shady Nook Care Center; Rex Martin, Susie’s husband; and Rex’s friends John Wolpert and Sam Carr, the husband of Highpoint Health Human Resources Manager Eva Carr.  Martin took the last step by taking the equipment in his truck and a trailer to Wayne, Mich., near Detroit, where the items were loaded onto a supply ship headed to Nairobi, Kenya.

“I am grateful to Mr. Schwebler for giving me the green light to proceed with this project.  I also want to thank Connie Cecil for her help,” explained Martin.  “Connie and I took photos of the equipment in storage and she communicated directly with Steve James to clarify what equipment the Brase Clinic could use.  She then compiled the list and Biomed checked everything for operational status, parts and worthiness.”

“Connie was an integral part of this endeavor,” said Martin. “Since she is extremely knowledgeable of the OR and all surgical equipment, she was able to identify which items were available and in working order.  We couldn’t have pulled off this project without her valuable guidance!”

“We also are grateful for Sam, John and my husband, Rex, who helped us move the equipment, and for Matt Jones, who allowed us the use of his trailer,” she said.

“None of this would have been possible without the expertise and generosity of everyone involved,” said Martin “I am sure the equipment will be much appreciated by the medical professionals and their patients in Kenya.”