Louisville-based global health organization SOS collects and redistributes surplus medical supplies to provide critically needed supplies and health resources to their partners locally and around the world. The organization began supporting medical education and local social service agencies several years ago and recognized the needs that could be met by directing more resources to local partners when COVID hit and the need became even more urgent. SOS donated more than $1 million worth of supplies to help fight COVID in our own community in spring 2020. In the past twelve months, the SOS Local Health Program has grown significantly to meet the growing need and has donated more than $1.8 million worth of medical supplies to over 300 local clinics, social service organizations, animal welfare agencies and educational institutions.
This growth and increasing focus on supporting more local partners created the opportunity for a new full-time position at SOS. Portia Watson, new Local Health Program Manager, oversees all program activities directly impacting local health. SOS partners with over 100 hospitals and medical institutions to recover surplus medical supplies and equipment, diverting more than 500,000 pounds from landfills annually. In addition to growing its Local Health Program, SOS increased its response to international partners by 30% this past year with over 50 shipments of supplies and equipment sent to health partners in Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean.