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Rutgers students lead new chapter for nonprofit medical surplus recovery organization

Blueprints For Pangaea Greater New Jersey distributes excess medical supplies to overseas and local communities in need. – Photo by Myriam Zilles / Unsplash.com

A new, student-run chapter of Blueprints For Pangaea, a nonprofit organization that aims to redistribute unused medical supplies to regions in need, has launched at Rutgers.

Blueprints for Pangaea Greater New Jersey (B4P GNJ) President Siddhant Ganapath, School of Arts and Sciences junior, Finance Lead Allen Li and Operations Officer Brandon Ying, both Rutgers Business School juniors, explained the chapter's goals in a statement.

They said the chapter allocates excess medical supplies to local areas and overseas, helping partnering hospitals to reduce their environmental footprint and expenses, and aims to build community goodwill.

“Since we obtain medical resources via donation, we can, in turn, offer them to foreign hospitals at massively subsidized prices, thereby enabling affordable, higher quality patient care overseas,” they said.

B4P chapters at universities across the U.S. partner with affiliated university medical centers to collect surplus medical supplies, which are then transported and stored at the organization’s warehouses, Ganapath, Li and Ying said.

The quality and integrity of the supplies are verified by nonprofit partners, and when a sufficient quantity has been collected, they get prepared for transport to communities in need worldwide, they said.

They said that B4P GNJ has previously partnered with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and collected more than $1,000 worth of medical supplies, including syringes, gloves and catheters. These supplies were then donated to Elizabeth Nursing and Rehabilitation Center during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in December 2020.

The chapter held its first general interest meeting on Nov. 30 and currently consists of four executive board members and 12 general members, Li, Ying and Ganapath said. They said they hope to recruit at least a few new members each semester to help accomplish their goals.

B4P GNJ has experienced difficulty getting approved by Rutgers as an official University group, they said.

“Because of the way Rutgers insurance works (the University insures themselves against themselves, strangely enough), the mission of our organization was deemed too risky and we were not approved as an official Rutgers organization,” Ying, Li and Ganapath said. “Thus, we are operating independently which provides hardships.”

They said that B4P GNJ has recently established a partnership with Saint Peter’s University Hospital and hopes to visit biweekly to obtain supplies. The group’s goal is to have at least one shipment of supplies by the end of winter break.

In regard to future plans for the chapter, Li, Ying and Ganapath said B4P GNJ hopes to partner with local churches and charity groups as well as international organizations.

They said the organization is also working to start a regular schedule of supply pickups and shipments, raise funds for purchasing storage space, expand leadership positions and partner with larger hospitals such as Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

“As a medical surplus recovery organization, we support efficiency in the medical supply chain by collecting unused supplies, storing and shipping with the support of nonprofit partners that help reduce the cost of the process,” Ganapath, Ying and Li said. “If possible, we’d like to not only help countries overseas but aid the New Brunswick community as well.”


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