Donating Time, Talent & Supplies Across the Globe - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on July 20, 2015

Donating Time, Talent & Supplies Across the Globe

Debbie Urbanek, RN at Wheaton Franciscan – Wisconsin Heart Hospital Campus, had a dream for as long as she can remember: to one day volunteer in a Third World country.

This past April, with 62 pounds of donated medical supplies in hand and all the courage she could muster, her dream came true when she headed off to Nepal.

“I needed to know how other cultures live, how they view life, how they practice their spirituality, and what they value," Urbanek said. "I was afraid to go by myself but I went anyway.”

Surviving a Terrifying Earthquake

Urbanek is encouraging others to follow her lead but advises to expect the unexpected. Her courage, years of medical training and experience are what got her through a terrifying earthquake that made headlines around the world and killed more than 8,000 people while she was there.

“When the earthquake hit, I was in the city of Pokhara. Pokhara is the same distance from the epicenter as Kathmandu but fortunately the city I was in did not see the same level of devastation,” Urbanek explained.

She said the people in Nepal were in desperate need of basic medical supplies even before the earthquake. Wheaton is a member of the Illinois-based Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach (HSMO), and the reason Urbanek had access to medical supplies. Wheaton’s Values of Respect and Stewardship compel it to assist developing countries with their growing health care needs.

Medical Equipment Donations Help Communities Worldwide

Wheaton donates tens of thousands of pounds of unused medical equipment and supplies each year to be repurposed within communities across the globe. In a single year, Wheaton donated almost 73,000 pounds of equipment and medical supplies, valued at more than $188,000.

Urbanek says the medical staff in Nepal was incredibly grateful for the supplies she brought. Her experience there has had a profound impact on her life after she saw firsthand how those surplus medical supplies meant the difference between life and death.

“I see the world through different eyes now and will continue to spread the word and help as much as I can,” she added.

Learn more about Mission Outreach and how we reach out to the underserved.


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Donating Time, Talent & Supplies Across the Globe