Wellmont Health System’s service area has expanded beyond the borders of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia – all the way to Amalapuram, India.
The Rev. K.S. Joseph Memorial Hospital, a 28-bed, primary care facility in the country’s eastern region, is the most recent recipient of donated supplies and equipment from Wellmont.
“I like to joke that it is our sixth hospital,” said Jim Moore, Wellmont’s system director of facilities. “They are a 28-bed hospital because we’ve given them 28 hospital beds. There’s no certificate of need process over there – they can use as much as we can send.”
Wellmont often donates surplus equipment and supplies to King Benevolent Fund, a non-profit charity that helps distribute the equipment and supplies to communities in need worldwide. To date, Wellmont has made donations to 17 different countries – from Afghanistan to Zambia.
“We end up with surplus equipment when we update with new technology,” Moore said. “We make sure it can’t be used by any of our other facilities and, if it can’t, we give it to King to be distributed or I bring it with me to India. It sure beats throwing it away.”
Moore recently returned from a trip to India to visit the hospital and ensure the donated equipment there is operating properly. He also plans to make annual trips to better assess the facility’s needs.
“Right now, there is a great need for ophthalmology equipment – a lot of people there have cataracts,” he said. “Beyond that, it’s obstetrics. There’s always a huge need for that type of equipment.”
Moore and his wife have been involved with mission work in India for years, joining their church and Manna Ministries International in creating and funding children’s homes for orphans.
“The Lord put the Indian people in our hearts,” Moore said. “Every time I go, I’m reminded of how blessed we are in this country, and how grateful I am for the technology and people we have here at Wellmont. And I’m reminded that the little things we do here can save lives and have a significant impact on people in other parts of the world.”