|Volume 20, No. 1 – Winter 2012||
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Chief Mission Officer
Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County
Through a partnership with the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS) and its Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative (DATI), Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County (Goodwill) has launched a project to provide access to gently–used durable medical equipment (DME) for Delaware residents with disabilities who might not otherwise be able to acquire such equipment.
Stemming from the Delaware Recycles and Reuses Assistive Technology Project, this initiative expands access and creates a system to connect individuals in need with reconditioned DME. According to Zanthea Nichols, director of Workforce and Business Development, the Goodwill/University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies partnership is helping to utilize shrinking health care dollars, creating new job training and employment opportunities for the community, and promoting green initiatives of recycling and reuse through the program, which will keep unwanted equipment out of Delaware landfills.
“This initiative has multiple benefits to the community we serve,” Nichols said. “Those who need durable medical equipment, but cannot afford to buy it new, now have an affordable source for the equipment that will improve mobility, independence and overall quality of life. We have partnered with Chimes of Delaware, serving people with developmental disabilities and other specialized needs, to enable their clients to obtain valuable work experience.”
Through an agreement with the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance, the project reclaims equipment that was purchased with Medicaid funds and is no longer being used by the recipient. In addition, the project processes donations of gently–used items collected from the community at all area Goodwill locations. These donated items—wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, commode chairs, hospital beds (manual and electric, adult and pediatric), bath and shower assists, canes and crutches—are sorted, sanitized, repaired and reconditioned. Goodwill maintains an online database to inventory the full range of available equipment at www.goodwillde.org/DME and has opened a freestanding retail store at 311 East Lea Boulevard in Wilmington, Del. where the refurbished medical equipment is sold to the public.
Nichols said Goodwill is also working to identify and expand partnerships with local assisted living and nursing facilities to make them more aware of the equipment recycling project. For more information about Goodwill’s DME refurbishment initiative, contact Project Coordinator Jason Burns at 302–463–1465 or at email@example.com. Information is also available on Goodwill’s website at www.goodwillde.org/DME.