MercyOne Turns Hospital Materials into Sleeping Bags for Homeless

posted on Thursday, February 13, 2020 in Investor Highlights

MercyOne Waterloo Turns Medical Supplies into Sleeping Bags for the Homeless

On this chilly cold day in the Cedar Valley a story like this will instantly warm your heart. This is such an amazing idea from Dr.Scott Stoeger at MercyOne and team that helped put these sleeping bags together from hospital materials that would go unused. We love seeing Cedar Valley businesses giving back to the community and those in need, thank you Dr. Stoeger and team at MercyOne for time, efforts and thoughfulness! 

Orginial article written by Adam Amdor, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator for MercyOne

Sterilization wraps (pictured below) are used to protect medical supplies before the equipment is used in surgery. Normally these blue, single-use materials would be thrown away. But after seeing the idea in another part of the country, MercyOne breast surgeon Dr. Scott Stoeger worked with a team of colleagues to turn these operating room materials into mats and sleeping bags for the homeless. The work has become known as the "Blue Mat Project."

MercyOne team turns hospital supplies into sleeping bags for the homeless"We've been able to take larger wraps and sew them into sleeping bags," said Dr. Stoeger. "They are thermal and water resistant, so will hMercyOne team turns Hospital Materials into Sleeping Bags for Homelesselp a lot, especially in the colder seasons.

In addition to sewing on his own, Dr. Stoeger held team gatherings at his home (pictured right) to assemble more than 60 mats and sleeping bags. The group also purchased inexpensive pillows to complete the bundles. "Several hospitals across the country have done similar projects with the mats, but you need to have something to put your head on," he said.

With dozens of bundles now assembled, Dr. Stoeger has made his first donation to Peoples Community Health Clinic in Waterloo (picture above). "I am so grateful for the creativity and compassion of Dr. Stoeger and that he thought of our patients," said Christine Kemp, Peoples Chief Executive Officer. “The concern we have for our homeless patients does not end when they walk out our doors. To know we're able to provide them with a mat and pillow that can survive cold, wet elements brings us some peace of mind. We know these items will be greatly appreciated by those who use them!”

Dr. Stoeger also plans to donate mats and sleeping bags to the Catholic Worker House and Salvation Army.

"Dr. Stoeger and members of the Waterloo and Cedar Falls surgical teams and endoscopy collaborated to bring this project to life," said Mary Jo Kavalier, site administrator of Cedar Falls Medical Center. "This project defines MercyOne and our mission to serve others."

MercyOne team turns hospital material into sleeping bags for homeless