Nonprofit with South Sound roots still shipping medical supplies around the world

The News Tribune

Sunday, March 26, 2016

After two decades of practicing medicine in Puyallup, Dr. Michael Spiger decided in the mid-1990s to take what, at the time, he thought would be a brief sabbatical.

He never returned to practice.

Instead, he became consumed by what he describes as “one of the loves of my life.”

Ron Scott

Ron Scott volunteers in the GMA warehouse twice a month, always on Tuesdays. He's been coming since October of 2015. He helps us with things like refilling the water jugs, sweeping and taking out the trash. When Ron is done working, there is a noticeable difference in the cleanliness of the warehouse.

Ron comes each week with his job coach, Stephanie Black. She guides him through skills training and makes sure he understands and can complete a task.

Ron is looking for a part-time job in the South King County area. He would like to continue to grow his resume and improve his skills. Ron will be supported by Stephanie or someone from SKCAC Industries and Employment Services for as long as necessary.

If you or someone you know could use some part time help, please contact us. We are excited to play our part in helping Ron find employment.

Brain Surgery?! Not on My Bucket List!

One of our partners, Bruce Hein, was in Cambodia a few months ago shortly after local medical teams received a container from Gateway Medical Alliance. Bruce was in the hospital speaking with the deputy director, Dr Sophy, and a medical team.

They excitedly told Bruce to follow them, while handing him a gown and gloves. He gowned up and they took him into a functioning operating room.

"All of these things were donated by Gateway Medical Alliance!" they said. Bruce looked around the room and saw that he was surrounded by an IV pole, a crash cart, lights, drapes, gloves, surgical tools and much more.

Not only was the operating room sufficiently equipped, they had pulled him in during an operation! Bruce stood in the room wearing flip flops and scrubs while a person had brain surgery. "That was not on my bucket list!"

Dr Sophy told him that the patients in the area would surely die without the operations they were performing. They had a 97.5% survival rate and 95% of those patients were fully recovered within 3 months.

Bruce had the opportunity to see firsthand how the supplies and equipment were helping the doctors save lives. This is just one example of the how Gateway Medical Alliance is meeting the medical needs of the poor and disadvantaged around the world.

June Letter

Dear Friends,

This past year, I have had the opportunity to visit multiple medical facilities in the Puget Sound area with friends and family members. One of those visits with my daughter for a follow up appointment after her recent shoulder surgery. That afternoon when we arrived at her doctor’s office we were greeted by a warm and friendly receptionist who checked us in for Jessica’s appointment. Then as we entered into the examination room the room was stocked with all the supplies and resources needed for her appointment and the doctor.

Yet, in April, while visiting in Morocco our team learned of a woman who had been waiting in her hospital room for over a week for the one and only scope in the hospital to be repaired. During each of our visits to the university hospital our team was able to talk and encourage the patient and family members who were waiting for the repair. As you can see this teaching hospital was not equipped or prepared with the necessities to treat their patients.

As our hospitals and clinics in Western Washington develop a surplus of supplies and equipment Gateway Medical Alliance is able to collect these resources and bless other facilities around the world with these goods. But even before the goods can be shipped a group of faithful volunteers each week serve in the warehouse to prepare each item and box for the next container. For Gateway Medical Alliance to be able to send these containers it also requires others to support the organization financially with one-time and monthly gifts. These gifts cover our lean budget that covers our shipments and daily operations.

As I conclude I would like to share with you a final story that was recently shared to us in our warehouse. While Bruce was recently visiting a hospital in Cambodia he was asked to enter a room and to gown up to enter the surgical room. When he entered the room he saw a patient on the table having brain surgery in a room equipped with the resources for the procedure. Then the doctor explained to Bruce that most of these supplies and equipment were provide by GMA in our first container to Cambodia last year.

Gateway Medical Alliance is changing lives around because of your support and contributions. I would like to invite you to join us this summer by making a financial gift to continue Gateway’s work to the improve the lives of the poor and disadvantaged around the world. If you have questions or would like to learn more about GMA, please feel free to call me.

Serving Together,

Greg Plett
Executive Director

Report: Real Hope for Haiti

Container # 74, Shipped on September 9th, 2015

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful and useful supplies that were recently sent to Haiti. Casey Zachary, my brother, has so many wonderful things to say about your organization and work. Being on the receiving end of this well organized and well packed container, I have to say that I fully agree. I have been working full-time in Haiti since 1998 and this is one of the best donations that we have ever received. I was astounded to see each box labeled with the contents and amounts. The items in each box matched together well. This made it so easy to find the items we needed and get them to the areas that needed them the most. Unpacking and organizing was a breeze and cut off hours of sorting work on our end of things. We greatly appreciate all the volunteers that worked so hard to pack and organize. This left us more time to do more hands-on patient care.