Harris Teeter Inc. has joined forces with Carolinas HealthCare System’s International Medical Outreach (IMO) Program, and Chiquita Brands International Inc. to promote sustainable, quality health care and education in underserved communities worldwide.
The three Charlotte, N.C.-area companies aim to facilitate the transportation and delivery of medical and computer equipment donations abroad. Backed by Harris Teeter and Chiquita, the IMO Program, a partnership with the Heineman Foundation of Charlotte, will distribute equipment and supplies more effectively to hospitals and clinics in Honduras, Guatemala and Panama, and to public schools in Guatemala.
Harris Teeter and Chiquita are providing free land and sea transportation of medical equipment from the IMO warehouse location in Charlotte to facilities in Central America. The first containers were loaded at an employee volunteer event on April 10 for shipment to Guatemala, where the supplies will go to adult and pediatric Intensive Care Units at a regional hospital in the city of Quetzaltenango.
“Harris Teeter has a proud history of working with the International Medical Outreach Program,” said Catherine Becker, communication manager for Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, adding that the effort would “help IMO further its humanitarian mission to promote better living standards and sustainable health care both here and abroad.”
“Improving, supporting and giving back to the communities in which our employees work and live is very important to Chiquita,” noted Ed Lonergan, the supplier's president and CEO. “This is a natural collaborative effort between three Charlotte-based companies and a great avenue for all of us to help others globally.”
To date, IMO has aided thousands of patients in 28 countries, particularly in Central America. During 2012 alone, the program donated 390 pieces of medical equipment, worth $4.1 million if bought new, to almost a dozen countries.
Harris Teeter employs about 25,000 associates and operates stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia.