In 1996 several Duke medical students began collecting usable surplus from Duke Hospital to donate to various charities doing overseas work. In 2004, interested staff, students and administrators reviewed the safety, compliance and liability issues associated with this effort and the Health Center approved a more formal process for handling surplus supplies. At that time the program adopted the name “REMEDY at Duke”, using the REMEDY model developed at Yale University currently in use at many hospitals throughout the United States.

In 2006, the entire surplus program at Duke Health was redesigned so that the Health System could manage its surplus more efficiently, lower operational costs, reduce waste and better support local and global communities. REMEDY is one part of that ongoing effort and also collaborates with the Duke University Global Health Institute (GHI), the School of Medicine’s Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health (HYC) and the School of Nursing’s Office of Global and Community Inititiatives (OGACHI).

REMEDY at Duke is an all-volunteer program run by Duke staff and students who have an interest in global health, environmental sustainability and community service.  While REMEDY is not administered by the Duke Health System, it works closely with the offices of Procurement Services, Materials Management, Sterile Processing, Perioperative and Inpatient Services, to promote its mission.

As of 2024, REMEDY at Duke has made over 400 donations to 50 different countries. We collect the equivalent of about two tractor trailer loads of supplies a year that would otherwise have been discarded.  This is accomplished with the help of approximately 200 volunteer-hours annually​. While the exact value of all this recovered surplus is difficult to determine, it would represent hundreds of thousands of US dollars if purchased new​. However, the value to those patients who benefit from these donated supplies is unmeasurable.


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