Maria Butt, (foreground), Sustainability Coordinator, and Haidar Mashlab, previous Sustainability Coordinator, pose for a photo with a past Operation Green collection. (Photo: UHN)

UHN's Energy & Environment team is calling on the organization's frontline workers to help support relief efforts in Turkey and Syria by donating near-expired and surplus supplies to the countries in crisis.

Southeastern Turkey and northern Syria were rocked by a pair of earthquakes last week – one of 7.8 magnitude followed by another less than 12 hours later at 7.5 magnitude – which have killed more than 33,000 people and left tens of thousands injured. It's the region's deadliest earthquake in more than 80 years.

The Energy & Environment team's Operation Green – a UHN-wide program that collects surplus, unused, or expired medical supplies to donate to countries in need – is adding an extra collection this month to help with the urgent relief efforts.

"This is sustainability, this is making sure we don't waste, but it's really getting supplies to people that need them around the world, paying it forward," says Lisa Vanlint, Manager, Environmental Sustainability, Energy & Environment, part of the Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations (FM-PRO) Department.

Due to the immediate need, this collection has a quick turnaround: all items must be collected on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Arrangements need to be made with by 3:00 pm Tuesday.

"I didn't know we had opportunities to take part in something this big … that serves not just our own community, but globally as well," says Maria Butt, Sustainability Coordinator with Energy & Environment, who will be travelling across UHN sites Wednesday to collect the donations.

"It's such a huge impact, so it feels really good."

Once donations are collected Wednesday, partner organization Not Just Tourists, which organizes the shipments with overseas non-governmental organizations, will pack boxes on Thursday.

UHN's Transportation team will deliver the shipment to the airport on Friday.

"We can't accept any expired supplies, so we are looking for things that are near-date or something we wouldn't be using anyway," says Lisa. "Perhaps we've changed our standard product and these are leftover, or it's not a regularly used item, we want to donate these still good supplies."

Here's how UHN departments can donate to the Operation Green collection for earthquake victims:

  1. Identify if you have the items below and contact by 3:00 pm Tuesday, Feb. 14 to arrange a pickup time.
  2. Look through supply cabinets for surplus or near-date items that are still good, but should be donated to ensure use.
  3. Sort and separate out the trauma and emergency medical aid items.
    If you have expired items (or non-trauma/emergency medical aid items) save them for the next Operation Green collection happening February 28.
  4. Place the donations for the collection in a box labeled "Operation Green-Turkey"

Items needed for Operation Green collection for earthquake victims (all items must be non-expired):

  • Surgical Suture
  • Chest Tube
  • Chest Drainage Set
  • Endotracheal Tube
  • Trauma Board
  • Oxygen Cannula (Nasal)
  • Oxygen Cannula (Mask)
  • Serum Set
  • Serum Hanger
  • Stretcher Cover
  • Sponge
  • Pad
  • Bandage
  • Neck Collar
  • Stabilization Equipment
  • Plaster/Splint Set
  • Heater Blanket
  • IV Cannula
  • Three-way Cock
  • Drip Set
  • Blood donation set
  • AirWay
  • Ventilator Breathing Circuit
  • Anesthesiology Breathing Circuit
  • Transport Ventilator Circuit
  • Tourniquet
  • Foley Catheter
  • Plaster
  • Urinary Catheter
  • Ambu Bag
  • Ambu Set
  • Injector
  • Skin Stapler
  • Nasogastric Tube
  • Hemostat
  • Laryngeal Mask
  • Tissue Adhesive (Skin/Surgical)
  • Bone Wax
  • Cautery Pen
  • Aspiration Kit
  • ECG Electrodes
  • Gloves
  • Surgical Gloves
  • Cotton
  • Patient Diaper
  • Body Bag
  • Insulin Needle
  • Injector Needle Tips
  • Gauze
  • Lancet Tips
  • Elastic Bandage
  • Bacterial Filter

Operation Green runs every month. Some of its recent recipients include Ukraine and Somalia. Contact to find out more, or get on the monthly collection reminder list.

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