WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The surgical services staff at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown made a significant donation of recycled supplies to the Humane Association of Warren County Monday.
The hospital has been collecting surgical wraps used to keep the instruments sterile before surgery for months. They then donated them to the Lebanon-based animal shelter for use as mats on surgical tables during spay and neutering procedures.
“They sit on the shelf, and then once we go into the operating room and we open up the instruments, they go into the trash," Atrium Medical Center Director of Medical Services Julia Keesee explained. “They never have patient contact.”
Keesee adds the staff had been looking into ways to recycle the surgical pads for some time.
Many hospitals recycle the pads as sleeping bags or ponchos for the homeless. Some return them to companies that use them to create materials used to make park benches.
The staff at Atrium considered how they wanted to recycle the mats and decided their love of animals would inspire their donation.
“We are all big dog lovers, cat lovers. Our admin here even has a horse," Keesee said. "We all just really love animals, and it is something that really touched all of us.”
Monday the hospital received a visit from someone that understands first-hand the importance of every donation to an animal shelter.
The dog, named Trooper, lost his rear legs, tail and one eye after being hit by a train as a puppy. His recovery caught the attention of the community and local media.
Trooper stopped by Atrium as a thank you for the donation. He was swarmed by staff the second he rolled into the surgical wing.
“Anytime we do not have to buy a supply, whatever it is, that money is saved and put right back into the care of the animals," Humane Association of Warren County Executive Director Joanne Hurley said.
Hurley explains many county residents assume the shelter receives tax dollars to cover costs, but that’s not the case.
“No, we are a non-profit,” Hurley said. “We have to come up with all of the funds we need to operate.”
Hurley says the mats are welcome and notes they are an upgrade to the typical supplies they use at the shelter.