In the early 1990s, a Houston surgeon, Dr. Patricia Brock Howard, and a pediatrician colleague, Dr. Margaret Goetz, traveled to El Salvador on a medical mission. They were distressed by the conditions under which the local healthcare providers had to work.
Upon returning to Houston, Texas, Drs. Brock Howard and Goetz, along with a group of other concerned individuals, established a recycling program that would channel unused medical equipment and supplies -- everything from x-ray machines to band-aids, to qualified healthcare providers who desperately needed them. Medical Bridges was established in July of 1997.
Today, it is estimated that the United States medical community generates nearly $9 billion of surplus product every year simply because the materials have been opened but never used or the items are outdated by U.S. standards and are replaced by the newest available technology. At the same time, countries all over the world are in urgent need of medical equipment and supplies.