Sealed and packaged items that were replaced at Centura-Avista Adventist Hospital can safely be used at a clinic along the Amazon River due to regulatory differences between the U.S. and Peru.
“We are so thankful, so grateful.”
The hundreds of plain-looking cardboard boxes that filled a gymnasium in Denver were a treasure in the eyes of Dr. Juan Carlos Castro. As director of a clinic on the Amazon River in Peru, Dr. Castro does not always have access to critical supplies he needs.
“There are so many patients that are poor and cannot afford medical services, and we have to keep our costs as low as possible,” Dr. Castro said through a translator.
When Colorado’s most destructive wildfire burned near Centura-Avista Adventist Hospital in December 2021, it caused smoke damage to the building, but also created an opportunity. Thousands of unopened hospital supplies had to be set aside and replaced before the hospital reopened in January. However, regulatory differences in Peru meant some of the sealed and packaged supplies could safely be used to treat patients there.
“There was a lot of good value in the original supplies, and Centura leaders knew it would be good to donate them to partner hospitals overseas,” said Greg Hodgson, Director of Global Health Initiatives (GHI). The Centura program works to improve lives around the world by providing high-quality health care in developing countries.
The salvaged supplies from Avista included expensive surgical equipment. Dr. Castro said just one box would be incredibly helpful for Clinica Adventista Ana Stahl, his clinic in the Amazon.
In January, he and a partner flew to Colorado for a week to sort through the massive amount of supplies that were removed from the hospital and stored temporarily in Denver. Those selected for the clinic were to be shipped later to Peru, and Dr. Castro had to be careful in selecting items that would clear Customs. He said he found many that would help him treat and improve the lives of his patients.
“The caregivers at Clinica Adventista Ana Stahl are doing amazing work, and I am honored that our clinical supplies can safely help those in a more remote part of the world,” said Isaac Sendros, CEO at Avista Adventist Hospital and executive sponsor of Centura’s partnership with Adventist clinics in Peru.
“It is a blessing that even though we live thousands of miles from each other, these items can assist in our joint mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ and nurturing the health of the people in our communities," Sendros said.
Through Centura’s Catholic and Adventist sponsors, GHI has developed long-term partnerships with caregivers in countries that include Peru, Nepal and Rwanda. As part of the program, Centura doctors travel to provide medical care and teach physicians as well.
Dr. Castro said, “Not only does Centura provide these supplies for us, they also provide us with resources to help us grow the quality of health care we are providing.”
“Having [a partnership] like this, it is so important because it saves our hospital so much money so we can provide the services to people who cannot afford them,” Dr. Castro said.