Some supplies that SOS receives are not suitable for shipment overseas. Instead of going to waste, SOS saw the opportunity to expand its mission to enhance global health to include addressing health disparities present in our regional community. SOS pioneered the Local Health Program to increase access to healthcare, support education and improve quality of life for the underserved. This is accomplished by providing medical supplies and resources to schools (from K-8 science classes to university level medical programs), health clinics in low income communities, and social service organizations tending to the needs of marginalized populations. As part of our local delivery of “health and hope”, we even direct supplies to animal hospitals and shelters caring for abused and abandoned animals.
Education and Training
Donations to schools that provide hands on learning can enhance a student’s education and provide training for employable skills after graduation. SOS works with nursing schools, colleges and universities, and public school systems to provide supplies that can be used for experiential learning that supports increased learning. Understanding the positive impact that education and employability have on health, SOS helped establish the first Certified Nursing Assistant program in West Louisville, bringing job-skills training in a growing field right to a community with high unemployment and transportation barriers. By providing medical supplies for the classrooms, nursing students graduate more competent and confident in their abilities. By educating future healthcare workers on the medical surplus created and the medical need globally, SOS instills a passion for sustainability and service in students who are tomorrow’s leaders.
West Louisville Initiative
SOS addresses health disparities in regional low-income communities by bringing resources beyond medical supplies to support increased access to care, training of health professionals and education of community members. In 2019, SOS created a focus of this work in West Louisville which has a high percentage of families living below the federal poverty level and limited healthcare resources. SOS has partnered with Certified Nursing Aid training programs, free or reduced cost health clinics and social service organizations across West Louisville to address poverty, under-employment and lack of medical care in the most vulnerable neighborhoods in our city. You can visit our Blog to see stories of impact from the West Louisville Initiative.
Animal Welfare Initiative
Some supplies at SOS can no longer be safely used on humans but are suitable for veterinarians, animal shelters and animal hospitals in our region. SOS partners with Louisville Metro Animal Services and the Kentucky Humane Society, as well as similar organizations regionally, to provide expired medical supplies that can be used to provide care to animals we love.