For under-resourced countries around the world, healthcare professionals and caregivers are faced with daily equipment and supply shortfalls that cause delays in providing care to patients.1 Everyday needs such as PPE and surgical equipment are lacking, forcing critical decisions by care teams that much of the developed world can only compare with their experience during the height of the pandemic.
Project C.U.R.E. is the world’s largest distributor of donated medical equipment and supplies to resource-limited communities, touching the lives of patients, families and children in more than 135 countries. Each week, on average, Project C.U.R.E. delivers three to five semi-truck-sized containers packed with the medical equipment and supplies to local hospitals and clinics in desperate need.
Since 2010, Stryker and Project C.U.R.E. have been working hand in hand—a relationship that’s now being taken to the next level as signature partners. “We started with Stryker in the orthopaedic tools division, receiving drills, saws and other essential items for surgical procedures. That original relationship continues, and it has grown to include beds, sterilization equipment, gurneys, supplies and other items,” says Douglas Jackson, CEO of Project C.U.R.E. “Going forward, we’ll continue expanding our partnership along other product lines and divisions.” Stryker has recently elevated Project C.U.R.E. to "signature partner" status, which will mean monetary donations to support their efforts in addition to the ongoing product donations supplied.
Stryker employees have a passion for volunteerism. A group of employees are working together to compile medical supply shipments for an upcoming Project C.U.R.E. trip.
Of the 313 million surgeries done around the world each year, only 6% of them occur in under-resourced countries.1
This isn’t because the need is smaller. “They just don’t have the tools,” says Janet Thompson, Director of National Procurement at Project C.U.R.E. In America, showing up at the hospital and being laid on a tarp seems inhumane, but in many countries, they just don’t have better options, which is why the impact of a single Stryker bed is off the charts. “The tools are not there, but on the flipside, the talent is there,” says Janet. “There are surgeons and healthcare professionals who just need these tools to take care of their communities.” This is what drives the relationship between Stryker and Project C.U.R.E. “And it’s not just better for the patient,” adds Douglas. “You just changed the entire world for a nurse. You don’t have a 100- pound nurse moving a 250-pound man. It’s a miserable day for someone working a 10-hour shift. That equipment revolutionizes healthcare, not only for the patient, but the provider, too.”
Together, we collaborated on record numbers of product shipments across a wide range of Stryker specialties. Every one of Project C.U.R.E.’s 188 cargo shipments was touched by Stryker in some way, with 38 countries served and countless lives saved. “Each shipment that goes out includes supplies from Stryker,” says Janet.
With the tragic onset of war in Ukraine, Stryker and Project C.U.R.E provided emergency beds and stretchers to the places they were needed most, like Kyiv City Children’s’ Hospital #1. Neurovascular supplies and implants were delivered to hospitals where trained surgeons were waiting. Trauma surgeons and facilities in the most hard-hit areas of Ukraine were provided with surgical drills, for orthopedic and neurological procedures.
Stryker selects signature partners who help advance access to healthcare and healthcare technology globally. We’re currently collaborating to provide products where needed, including opportunities to support survivors of the earthquakes in Turkey and the surrounding region.
“I was in Guantánamo, Cuba. 500,000 women live in that district,” says Douglas. They had one mammography machine—and it was broken.” Douglas asked the doctors what happened if a woman came in. “If we suspect breast cancer, we do a radical mastectomy on both breasts,” the doctors said. “And if they need more treatment, we send them to Havana.” Out of all the women the doctors had sent to Havana, zero returned.
This is one of countless stories that motivates Stryker and Project C.U.R.E. to keep working together, solving challenges and meeting monumental needs.
“We are going to make this happen,” says Douglas. “Stryker and Project C.U.R.E. make a great partnership because we share a similar determination. It comes down to saving lives and changing lives. And that really isn’t possible without partners like Stryker.”