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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Health, International, International Development, International Relief, Public Health, Recycling

Mission: Global Links is a medical relief and development organization dedicated to supporting health improvement initiatives in resource-poor communities and promoting environmental stewardship in the US healthcare system. Global Links’ collaborative efforts include: -Redirecting still-useful materials away from US landfills to support public health programs in targeted communities throughout the Western Hemisphere -Sharing expertise and technical knowledge with international and domestic partners -Educating partners, volunteers, and the community on issues of global health and environmental stewardship

Results: Since 1989 Global Links has provided 100 countries with materials worth more than $186 million.

Target demographics: Global Links collaborates with officials, administrators and community leaders to ensure our programs support the work of skilled healthcare professionals and help improve the quality of care for their patients. We work with hospital staff in Western Pennsylvania and beyond to develop sustainable practices for surplus collection and recovery.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of patients who have access to higher quality medical care as a result of Global Links' strategic partnerships. 50+ healthcare facilities in the US with whom we partner to achieve more environmentally responsible operations.

Geographic areas served: Global Links supports health improvement initiatives in resource-poor communities, primarily in the Western Hemisphere. Global Links collaborates with US healthcare institutions and the community to recover hundreds of tons of high-quality surplus medical materials every year that would otherwise be sent to landfills.

Programs: Global Links’ International Medical Aid Program partners with public health authorities to strengthen health systems for measurable impact in the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Our Community Partners Program supports fellow nonprofit organizations in the US that benefit from our materials and experience. Our Environmental Stewardship in Healthcare Program educates a compassionate network of healthcare professionals who work to share surplus with colleagues in resource-poor communities and provides a socially and environmentally responsible alternative to sending still-useful surplus materials to landfills.

Community Stories

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I first met Global Links through my favorite mentor who sits on their board. I have many pet causes, but I knew that if my wonderful mentor supported it, then I knew it was worth taking a second look. My next encounter was as a consultant helping Global Links re-design their operations to minimize waste and maximize how they used every minute and every dollar. I was impressed with their desire to make the most of every resource they had to continuously expand their reach and impact. I also appreciated their focus on understanding their customers' actual needs. Rather than exporting surplus medical supplies, they come from the perspective of allowing customers to "pull" what they need and import only what can actually be used. Now, I am a loyal donor and supporter. I have lived in third world countries and have seen the need that Global LInks is helping to meet. I appreciate that they collaborate with host countries--in a professional, respectful way. Because I have worked briefly with the organization, I give confidently knowing that my dollars are honored and used carefully--to bless the lives of patients and health professionals alike in a way that promotes the spirit of re-use and recycling.

Previous Stories
12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I met Global Links about 3 years ago and fell in love with its mission at once. I got to know the staff and organizational culture when I first trained several staff members in process improvement techniques adopted from Toyota and then coached their team through a large-scale streamlining of their entire value stream. It gave me a deep understanding of what they have been able to achieve in filling a perfect gap between waste and need. It also gave me an appreciation for the hard working staff willing to examine their own work with a critical eye and try to improve how they do what they do instead of resting on the laurels of past successes. Now, I am a liaison at St. Clair Hospital and we about to partner with Global Links to become one of their regular donors. I am thrilled to have a chance to work with this worthy nonprofit again!

13

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

At the Global Links headquarters facilities in Pittsburgh, inspirational quotes are displayed on the volunteer wall above the large conference table where much of the sorting of medical supplies takes place. This familiar quote by Margaret Mead is among them,"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." And that's exactly the spirit which inspires Global Links' staff and volunteers to help improve health for thousands of people living in developing countries. Their mission is daunting--to improve healthcare in developing countries where even the most basic of medical supplies are in short supply. Their method is unique and environmentally friendly--to share surplus medical supplies, equipment and furnishings from US hospitals with hospitals and clinics in developing countries. Instead of taking up space in a landfill, these medical materials are saving lives. The story that I always remember, and it's a common occurrence, is that women in labor often have to share a bed! And because of lack of space and furnishings and staff, women are often sent home the same day after giving birth. These are the families that Global Links helps around the world. Global Links is a worthy cause backed by an excellent and hardworking staff, board and volunteers.

16

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Global Links has sponsored several Pittsburgh Health Corps, AmeriCorps members over the past 5 years. This is a wonderful site to coordinate volunteers, keep usable items from our overflowing landfills, and get valuable equipment to people in dire need of it. The staff is dedicated, energetic, knowledgable and tons of fun to be around. They also provide an opportunity for individuals and professionals to volunteer and spend time together to make this world a better place for us all. Keep up the great work? No service!!

14

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Jamaica Medical Assistance Committee has had the good fortune to be associated with Global Links for over twenty-five years. Together we have assessed the needs of the hospitals and clinics which fall under the ambit of the local Ministry of Health in Jamaica and have been able to respond to their requests for medical equipment and supplies. The equipment, including office furniture is always in good condition and are durable, which alleviates the need for constant replacement. The staff at Global Links led by Kathleen Hower are unfailingly helpful and always willing to go the extra mile. It has truly been a pleasure to be associated with this Company and we are very grateful for the efforts made on our behalf to ensure that we have appropriate equipment and supplies to respond to demand island-wide. Celia Barnes Coordinator The Jamaica Medical Assistance Committee 39 Hope Road, Kingston 10 Jamaica, West Indies

19

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is one of the best non profits I have worked with. Their work is meaningful and touches a large group of individuals in need. They do an outstanding job of circling back with the community so that we are able to see the work they are doing. They've re-energized our staff into looking at things we may no longer use-being of value to others.

17

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a responsible organization that I am very enthusiastic about. For various reasons, the US medical system creates a lot of waste of perfectly useful and valuable items. While many organizations have thought to collect and send some of these materials overseas, Global Links has found a very effective and efficient way of doing so. They describe it better on their website than I can here, so I will just point out that I also like the way that the process depends on volunteers. In this way thousands of Pittsburghers engage in the issue of preventing waste in the US and improving health overseas. I would also like to mention that this was a wonderful place to work.

23

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have only been working with Global Links for a short time, but have been impacted not only by the dedication and passion of the staff for the people that they serve and the planet that they strive to protect, but also by the careful attention to detail in how their operations are managed and organized. In every aspect of operations, they strive to minimize waste and employ best practices. It is clear that they are committed to making sure that every donation received, whether medical equipment or financial gift, is maximized to generate the greatest benefit to those in need. It is an honor to be a part of what they are accomplishing.

23

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked at Global Links prior to attending veterinary school. I started as a volunteer and then was an employee. As an employee, I was in charge of procurement from local hospitals and medical organizations. I was impressed with every level of this organization. As a volunteer and an employee, I was inspired to not only decrease medical waste in the United States but to have an awareness of and desire to help those in need in developing countries. The spirit of global links lives on in me and always will. It's a wonderful organization with leaders who live the mission. In a recent trip to Mexico to work on a spay/neuter project, I thought about how my experience at global links opened my eyes to the various ways we can all give.

23

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wonderful company that deserves accolades for their efforts. Very organized and professional. I would recommend their program to everyone possible. Great job Global Links!

18

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an administrator in Community Relations at the University of Pittsburgh. One of my responsibilities is to place volunteers from among our 13,000 faculty and staff with local non-profits. Since my experience with Global Links began in 1995, they have consistently supplied well-planned and meaningful voluntary service activities, with a strong educational component, to groups of University staff, faculty and graduate/professional students with near monthly frequency. Global Links is environmental to the extent that they recycle massive amount of medical supplies & equipment that would be otherwise headed for landfills.