MedShare Responds (Again) to the Coronavirus Outbreak in China

By Patricia Salber, MD, MBA | Published 2/10/2020 0


Photo source: iStock

The WHO designated the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by the deadly Coronavirus on January 30, 2020. At that time, there were more than 9,900 confirmed cases and 213 confirmed deaths. On February 10, 2020, a week and a half later, the number of cases had risen to 40,000 worldwide and the death toll has passed 1000.

Most of the cases are in mainland China. However, cases have been reported in more than 28 countries, including the U.S. Because of the rapid spread of the virus, these statistics may soon be outdated. Check on the CDC’s coronavirus page for the latest updates.

MedShare Responds (Again)

 On February 6, the WHO declared a shortage of N95 masks as well as isolation gowns. This personal protective equipment is critically important in helping to prevent the spread of the disease.

 MedShare, an Atlanta-based humanitarian aid organization dedicated to global health, is partnering with The Coca-Cola Foundation and The UPS Foundation to send 1.8 million respirator masks to China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to view an ABC news segment as well as a story about a joint press conference to announce the donation that was held today (February 9, 2020).

An urgent need for personal protective equipment

 As the coronavirus outbreak intensifies, there is an urgent need for personal protective equipment, including respirator masks and isolation gowns that can help prevent further spread of the virus.

In addition to the 1.8 million masks, MedShare will also be supplying 80,000 isolation gowns, for a total value of $780,000.

This latest relief effort follows the initial shipment of 800,000 masks that MedShare sent to Hubei Province, China on February 1, 2020. This brings the total number of masks supplied by MedShare in response to the coronavirus outbreak to 2.6 million with a total value of more than $1.2 million.

Partnering with The Coca-Cola Foundation and The UPS Foundation

 The Coca-Cola Foundation is supporting this humanitarian relief effort with a $500,000 grant. UPS and The UPS Foundation will provide in-kind air and ground transportation of the supplies to China.

In a press release on 2/10/20, Helen Smith Price, President, The Coca-Cola Foundation was quoted as saying,

“We are all concerned about everyone impacted by the coronavirus outbreak in China. We are using our resources to provide protective supplies for hospitals in China. As a longtime partner of MedShare, we are proud to support their critical relief efforts in impacted communities.”

The shipment of relief supplies will arrive in Shanghai on Friday, February 14. It will then will be delivered to both Shanghai and Hubei Province.

MedShare is working with Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation and Shanghai Charity Foundation to distribute the supplies in Shanghai. The largest portion of the supplies will be provided to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and Children’s Hospital of Fudan University. These hospitals are designated for coronavirus treatment in Shanghai. The supplies for Hubei Province will be distributed through our partners at Project HOPE.

Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer stated,

“In collaboration with our relief partners earlier this month, UPS’s global freight forwarding network delivered more than 2 million masks to relief workers in China. This new effort with our partners at MedShare and other organizations providing support will bring that total to 4 million masks. For the individuals receiving this aid, this could mean everything.”

The Importance of Partnerships

As part of its disaster preparedness planning, MedShare works closely with its partners throughout the year to collect available surplus supplies. This allows them to be equipped to provide aid in times of need.

MedShare is well-positioned to respond to the coronavirus global health emergency as a result of the generous support of its partners at Henry Schein and ASP Global. These companies prepositioned products with us specifically for disaster relief efforts.

According to Charles Redding, MedShare CEO and President,

“This effort wouldn’t be possible without the strong partnerships we’ve built both in the U.S. and around the world. Through these partnerships, MedShare is able to provide relief and have a meaningful impact by helping medical personnel who are fighting on the frontlines to contain the coronavirus.”

 In an earlier version of this story, Redding also noted his prior experience in the region, saying,

“I’ve lived and worked in China, so I realize that as much as we all want to help, the key is infrastructure. We are glad to work with the kind of partners who can deploy supplies where are needed most.”

MedShare will continue to work with its partners on the ground in China to assess the need and support the effort to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

About MedShare

MedShare MedShare is a 501c(3) humanitarian aid organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people, communities, and our planet by sourcing and directly delivering surplus medical supplies and equipment to communities in need around the world. For more information, please

If you want to contribute to MedShare, coronavirus response efforts and learn more about our work to support this global health emergency, visit the MedShare’s coronavirus donation page.

Call to action

If you’d like to get involved, there are several ways that you can help to support our efforts. 

  • Please share this news within your network and circle of influence
  • Volunteer to help sort and pack medical supplies 
  • Contribute to our Disaster Relief Fund or Coronavirus Response Efforts 

Patricia Salber, MD, MBA


Patricia Salber, MD, MBA is the Founder. CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of The Doctor Weighs In (TDWI). Founded in 2005 as a single-author blog, it has evolved into a multi-authored, multi-media health information site with a global audience. She has worked hard to ensure that TDWI is a trusted resource for health information on a wide variety of health topics. Moreover, Dr. Salber is widely acknowledged as an important contributor to the health information space, including having been honored by LinkedIn as one of ten Top Voices in Healthcare in both 2017 and 2018.

Dr. Salber has a long list of peer-reviewed publications as well as publications in trade and popular press. She has published two books, the latest being “Connected Health: Improving Care, Safety, and Efficiency with Wearables and IoT solutions. She has hosted podcasts and video interviews with many well-known healthcare experts and innovators. Spreading the word about health and healthcare innovation is her passion.

She attended the University of California Berkeley for her undergraduate and graduate studies and UC San Francisco for medical school, internal medicine residency, and endocrine fellowship. She also completed a Pew Fellowship in Health Policy at the affiliated Institute for Health Policy Studies. She earned an MBA with a health focus at the University of California Irvine.

She joined Kaiser Permanente (KP)where she practiced emergency medicine as a board-certified internist and emergency physician before moving into administration. She served as the first Physician Director for National Accounts at the Permanente Federation. And, also served as the lead on a dedicated Kaiser Permanente-General Motors team to help GM with its managed care strategy. GM was the largest private purchaser of healthcare in the world at that time. After leaving KP, she worked as a physician executive in a number of health plans, including serving as EVP and Chief Medical Officer at Universal American.

She consults and/or advises a wide variety of organizations including digital start-ups such as CliniOps, My Safety Nest, and Doctor Base (acquired). She currently consults with Duty First Consulting as well as Faegre, Drinker, Biddle, and Reath, LLP.

Pat serves on the Board of Trustees of MedShare, a global humanitarian organization. She chairs the organization’s Development Committee and she also chairs MedShare's Western Regional Council.

Dr. Salber is married and lives with her husband and dog in beautiful Marin County in California. She has three grown children and two granddaughters with whom she loves to travel.

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