Methodist's Home Medical Equipment Reuse and Recycle Program Makes a Difference

Published: June 1, 2021

When patients suffer illnesses or injuries, Methodist Health System physical and occupational therapists work to help them on the road to recovery. Sometimes in that recovery phase, patients need assistance from home medical equipment in order to return home.

Unfortunately, home medical equipment can be pricey, and it isn’t always covered by insurance – if a patient has an insurance provider. So when it’s equipment needed temporarily as patients gain strength and heal, it’s a bill many simply can’t afford to pay.

If they're unable to afford necessary medical equipment, many patients recovering from  stroke, amputation, orthopedic surgeries, cancer or other illnesses are not able to discharge to home safely or be independent with caring for themselves.

Medical Equipment Free of Charge

Medical equipment in a storage room

The Methodist Equipment Loan Program provides patients in need with access to free home medical equipment through a recycle-and-reuse program, enabling them to focus on recovery at home.

The program – run by Methodist staff and student volunteers – collects donated home medical equipment, ensures it’s cleaned per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standards and in good working order, and then loans the equipment free of charge to those who need it most.

In 2020 alone, the program loaned out 599 pieces of equipment, saving patients an estimated $63,000.


What Type of Equipment Is Available?

  • Manual wheelchairs and power chairs
  • Walkers, crutches and canes
  • Shower chairs and tub benches
  • Beside commodes, toilet risers, and toilet safety frames
  • Dressing equipment

Inventory may vary depending on availability.


How Is Medical Equipment Loaned?

Medical equipment in a storage room

Because the Methodist Equipment Loan Program is run by volunteers, it has no set hours.

To reserve or pick up equipment, the patient or family member must call to inquire about availability and set up an appointment. Based on the patient’s need, the equipment can be borrowed for up to six months.

While there is no cost to borrow the equipment, monetary donations are accepted to help offset the costs of maintaining the equipment and building the program.


Donating Medical Equipment

The loan program is only possible because of donations. There are two ways to help:

Donate your equipment. If you have home medical equipment in working condition that is no longer being used, consider donating it to the program. If you're able to donate medical equipment, you'll be provided with a charitable donation receipt and have the pleasure of knowing that you are helping to improve the independence and safety of a patient in need. 

Make a monetary gift. Donated funds are used to repair and sanitize used equipment and to purchase additional equipment to meet patient needs.

If you would like to make a donation or are in need of home medical equipment, contact the Methodist Equipment Loan Program by calling (402) 807-3062.

About the Author

Hannah Wieger OTR/L, CLT, is a Staff Occupational Therapist in Acute Rehab at Methodist Hospital. She is also coordinator of the Methodist Equipment Loan Program, loaning home medical equipment to no cost to patients in need.

See more articles from Hannah Wieger, OTR/L, CLT
Photo of Hannah Wieger, OTR/L, CLT