Grainger Engineering alum helps deliver medical equipment with Project CURE

August 16, 2023

Cassandra Smith

Healthcare workers are heroes who save people’s lives every day. They heal the sick and bandage the wounded, but what if they do not have the necessary tools to do those things? A Grainger Engineering alum is working with an organization that helps bring lifesaving equipment to countries in need.

Brian Eberle in front of a container loaded for the Dominican Republic.
Brian Eberle in front of a container loaded for the Dominican Republic.

Brian Eberle graduated in 1980 with a degree in general engineering. He has been putting his education to use by performing needs assessments for Project CURE. They bring donated medical equipment and other services to more than 135 countries.

There are several warehouses across the country that pack and ship ocean containers filled with the goods. It takes a lot of help to get those packed, that is why they have more than 30,000 volunteers annually. Eberle volunteers at the project’s headquarters near Denver. He said that location ships out around 50 containers a year. Sponsors such as church groups, individuals, and government entities cover the cost of shipping the containers, which can cost around $20,000-30,000.

Before the equipment makes its way to its destination, there needs to be an assessment of what that area needs. That is where Eberle comes in. He has gone to places like Jamaica, Nigeria and most recently western Rwanda to perform needs assessments. He looks for adequate electricity and other elements to see what needs to be done and how they can help with their donations.

Eberle said the work they do is critical to the health of communities. After he went to Jamaica, Project CURE delivered an anesthesia machine. The hospital he visited had three emergency rooms but only had one working machine. They also delivered a fetal monitor. “The doctor did not have a working fetal monitor, so he was doing a lot more c-sections than he wanted to,” said Eberle. This equipment is getting a new life while improving the lives of others.

Eberle receiving the Everyday Hero Award from Katie LaSalle, weekend anchor for Denver 7 News. 
Eberle receiving the Everyday Hero Award from Katie LaSalle, weekend anchor for Denver 7 News. 

“This equipment would have ended up in landfills...not helping anyone,” said Eberle. The equipment comes from medical facilities that had no need for them for a variety of reasons such as purchasing new equipment or changing manufacturers. Taking the discarded but still working equipment aids Project CURE’s mission to address medical resource shortages around the world. Last year, Eberle and another volunteer were presented with the “Every Day Hero” award from a local tv news station for the group’s charitable deeds.

The relationships built during his time volunteering has also put this program on the map for Eberle. “I’ve met some wonderful people...all with the same goal of helping others,” he said. Not only is Eberle helping people, but he is also learning about the communities he assists. While in Rwanda, he was told that the last Saturday of the month was reserved for community projects. “The entire country shuts down,” he said. They use the morning for beautification and other efforts.

 

 

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