Global Links

Rating: 4.95 stars   300 reviews

Issues: Environment, Health, International

Location: 700 Trumbull Dr. Pittsburgh PA 15205 USA

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.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

See How 3Hrs Can Help

More Info

EIN 52-1629060
412-361-3424
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

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!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the extraordinary depth of knowledge they showed about hospital operations when they met with my hospital's senior management team.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Contributing to such an obvious good.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Visionary, hard working, and willing to self-reflect and improve.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand its national footprint!

Ways to make it better...

like any nonprofit. how to grow resources so it can expand its impact and scope.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

developing countries where entire clinics have been transformed by Global Links donations of diagnostic equipment, examining room furniture, and cases of medical supplies.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the exceptional people that work in the organization--staff, board and volunteers. It truly is a family!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, professional, thoughtful, and hardworking.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

replicate its model of capturing medical surplus in cities across the nation.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

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!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the amount of materials sent to other countries.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

brag more about the great things I was doing - with and through volunteers.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

an opportunity to volunteer with like-minded folks who have a lot to give.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic, energetic, dedicated and happy!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy more trucks to pick up donations, have more staff to interact with more donors in more states and allow the staff to take well-deserved vacations (probably to volunteer at the clinics they donate to!).

Ways to make it better...

they had a bigger site to accommodate more volunteers!!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the space they need vs. have. But they are very frugal with their budget so the resources go where they are needed and not spent on "frills" (like an elevator). But the steps keep the staff and volunteers in great shape!

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am very proud to be associated with an organization that has stayed true to its mission with such dignity and respect for themselves and others.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Knowing that we have ensured that hospitals and clinics are better equipped to cope with the demands of the public health services in the island.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

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.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they show us the results of our recylcing products

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Guyana -- you should have seen the difference that new beds made in the district hospital I visited! And in Cuba: suture for eye surgery, dialysis machines, so much more.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working there. Great people. Great environment. This was my first job out of grad school and I learned a tremendous amount there.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

My colleagues were the best part of working there, and I particularly enjoyed working with the diverse groups of volunteers on Saturday mornings.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand their collection mechanisms to additional cities. Post people overseas to identify key supply gaps where the purchase of a specific supply or piece of equipment is indispensible.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1999-1-01

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the immediate and direct results of their work in Latin America through photographs and footage. Witnessing the conditions in these hospitals, and the impact that the donations are making, is unforgettable.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Ways to make it better...

every city on the planet needs an organization like Global Links.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

hospitals in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Learning about new places and working with Kathleen Hower.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

inspiring!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-10-01

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

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

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

visiting all of their local facilities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep it the way it is.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the feeling that someone less fortunate somewhere is being helped.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind and helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the lives of people in developing countries.

Ways to make it better...

Keep it the way it is.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Getting the word out about what they do.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Lets help them help others!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The truck loads of medical supplies that they regularly ship to needy clinics worldwide.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to make it bigger.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their consistent & efficient follow-up and expressions of appreciation, even when I am being difficult.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional and pleasant.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Accommodate more of the volunteers that I would like to send them and accept and recycle even more of the potentially harmful "waste" generated by UPMC and other large hospital systems.

Ways to make it better...

Global Links could accept more volunteers. "My volunteers" love going there to work and I usually have to turn a number away.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Getting the fuller cooperation from arrogant hospital administrators. Need for more space and more staff.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Great job Global Links! We need more non-profits that are run as efficiently as you are.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

 
Flag review