Medical Surplus Recovery

While "Medical Surplus Recovery" is a fairly new term in Catholic health care ministry, there is no doubt that it is a practice used since the founding of Catholic health care. Sisters and brothers made due with the limited resources provided by their religious orders/communities, industries and physicians, etc., to serve the sick and poor. Today, there is a major change in providing unused or surplus items to those in the developing world: the intermediary organizations that collect and disperse surplus materials are called Medical Surplus Recovery Organizations or MSROs. Sometimes they are a part of the health system, and other times they are not-for-profit partners of our hospitals and systems, but regardless, we must make sure that our mission is being actualized by the operations of the MSRO.

CHA WEBINAR - Surplus Medical Donations: A Decade of Progress and A Roadmap for the Future

CHA Medical Surplus Donation Study: How Effective Surplus Donation Can Relieve Human Suffering

This 18-page report presents findings from a 2010 study of how CHA-member organizations can alleviate human suffering in the developing world through a responsible medical surplus donation program. The report also highlights medical supply and recovery organizations that collect and distribute surplus and offers preliminary guidelines for working effectively with these organizations.

Review or download a PDF of the CHA Medical Surplus Donation Study
Order a hard copy
Listen to a recording from the 2011 webinar about the study findings


Assessing and Selecting High Quality MSROs

To help Catholic ministries better utilize MSROs, or start a search to collaborate with one, CHA has developed several resources and conducted research studies available on this page.

View the CHA Assessment Resources

This tool, the Electronic Assessment Tool, goes with the questions for assessment as included on pages 17-36 of the booklet, "First Do No Harm — Assessing and Selecting High Quality MSROs."

Access the tool


Responsible Redistribution of Medical Supplies & Equipment: Leading Practices for Hospitals & Health Systems

Responsible Redistribution of Medical Supplies and Equipment

This resource shares the findings of a 2012 research study to determine high-impact leading practices every hospital and/or health system should adopt when starting or enhancing a medical surplus recovery program. While not prescriptive, we believe these practices will help fulfill the mission of our collective global outreach efforts — answering God's call to foster health, act with compassion and promote wellness for all persons and communities, with special attention to our neighbors who are poor, underserved and most vulnerable.

Responsible Redistribution of Medical Supplies and Equipment


MSRO Network Code of Conduct

In March 2012, through the generosity of a grant by the Gerard Health Foundation, the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) engaged the Partnership for Quality Medical Donation (PQMD) to share leading practices and catalyze collaboration between their members, medical surplus recovery organizations (MSROs) and key stakeholders of the medical surplus industry. As a result, this Code of Conduct is the first significant milestone in a plan that leads to MSRO standards and eventually an opportunity for MSROs to be accredited.

Download the document