Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, March 25, 2011

U-M Health System collecting supplies for medical relief in Japan

U-M and the crisis in Japan: Response, reaction >>

Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, many areas of the university have come together to offer assistance with particular aspects of the relief effort. Faculty, staff and trainees at the U-M Health System have rallied around an effort to provide medical supplies, bottled water and other items.

UMHS is working with World Medical Relief, a Detroit-based charity with which it also worked during the Haiti earthquake relief effort.

In the last week, more than 5,000 gallons of water and two full shipping pallets of medical supplies have been brought to the Hospital and Health Centers' Materiel Services department or picked up by its staff. Another 25,000 bottles of water from Health System stores also are being contributed. Given the recent concerns that have arisen about the quality of drinking water in some areas of Japan, these water donations are especially timely.

Now, World Medical Relief has told UMHS of another urgent need that Japan is facing: diapers for both infants and adults, and infant formula.

A new collection effort has begun to gather these items, in addition to continued efforts to bring in bottled water and medical supplies that cannot be used in the Health System's clinical environment or that individuals have at home.

Members of the rest of the university community also are invited to contribute diapers, formula, cases of bottled water and unneeded medical supplies. Crutches, canes and dressings are some examples of supplies that are needed. Medications cannot be accepted.

Even as the need in Japan is in the spotlight, Haiti still is in need too. World Medical Relief continues to respond to needs from Haiti and has a shipment headed there next week.

Bring items to the University Hospital warehouse on floor B2, Room B2F300, or call 936-6166 to arrange for a pickup. Water donations also may be left in the Cardiovascular Center near the second-floor courtyard entrance and in the second-floor connector between University Hospital and the Comprehensive Cancer Center near the coffee kiosk. Offsite locations may send medical supplies via courier or can arrange for water, diapers, formula and medical supplies to be picked up.

For questions about what supplies might be eligible, please call 936-6166 at any time.