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Stryker employees in Japan set up a central response center in Stryker's Tokyo office to coordinate aid to hospitals and communities throughout the country in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011.

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Innovation that Heals Communities

“Stryker delivered trauma devices immediately. If we had not had these supplies, we would have had great difficulty in treating patients.” — Dr. Masafumi Uesugi 

After the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan in early 2011, Stryker rushed to help the many Japanese communities in dire condition. At designated emergency center Tsukuba Medical Center Hospital near Tokyo, chief orthopaedic surgeon Masafumi Uesugi needed immediate supplies to help the patients being treated at his hospital. He turned to his Stryker sales reps to get them.

Stryker was one of the first medical device companies to deliver supplies to the Tsukuba Hospital and to other customers. “The natural disaster meant that patients needed immediate attention — so I knew we needed to set up an emergency team,” Stryker Japan President Kay Deguchi recalled.

Despite lacking water and heat in their own homes, Deguchi’s team members worked quickly to establish a round-the-clock response team at the Tokyo head office. Thinking creatively, sales reps obtained special passes to use the freeway and get gasoline, driving urgently needed instruments and equipment to hospitals.

Stryker businesses and employees worldwide responded to this natural disaster by sending critically required products to hospitals in Japan and donations to the American Red Cross and Japan Red Cross. “If there are people in need, we know we can help them,” Deguchi said. “It’s in our DNA — we care for each other, and we care for our customers.”

Left: Dr. Masafumi Uesugi, chief orthopaedic surgeon and director of rehabilitation at Tsukuba Medical Center Hospital in Japan.

Right: The medical team at Tsukuba Medical Center Hospital rushes to meet a medevac helicopter transporting a trauma patient who has been brought from a hospital 50 kilometers away for special care.