Old medical equipment finds new life at Anoka Tech

When HealthPartners personnel packed up the old RiverWay Clinic on Second Avenue, Anoka this past fall, they uncovered used medical materials and equipment that still had life in them.

Students in Lisa Sailor’s medical assistant program practice procedures using found exam tables and stools donated to Anoka Technical College by HealthPartners. Pictured here are Susan Nelson and Kelli Graleske (checking blood pressure), Andrea Anderson (waiting for an ear exam), and Brandy O’Dell, Maranda Hayes and Melissa Lundgren (prepping a patient for a procedure).Photo by Sue Austreng

Students in Lisa Sailor’s medical assistant program practice procedures using found exam tables and stools donated to Anoka Technical College by HealthPartners. Pictured here are Susan Nelson and Kelli Graleske (checking blood pressure), Andrea Anderson (waiting for an ear exam), and Brandy O’Dell, Maranda Hayes and Melissa Lundgren (prepping a patient for a procedure).Photo by Sue Austreng

Eager to resuscitate and revitalize the found equipment, Bob Serreyn, HealthPartners’ operations manager of supply chain services, made sure the equipment made its way into classrooms at Anoka Technical College.

“This stuff is great. It’s quite a gift and will help our students so much,” said Lisa Sailor, instructor in the medical assistant program at the college.

In all, some $12,000 worth of blood pressure cuffs, swabs, syringes, stretchers, exam tables, cabinetry, sinks, and stools was given to the college this past December.

The donation of medical equipment from a closing medical facility to a facility training new medical personnel is part of HealthPartners’ twice-yearly recycle-a-thon, Serreyn said.

“When we were cleaning house at the old RiverWay Clinic we found a few items that were still good but that we didn’t want to move into the new building. It just made sense to recycle them, to put the equipment to use at the college, where they could use it to educate and train new medical personnel in their programs there,” Serreyn said, describing the packing and cleaning that took place as RiverWay Clinic moved from Second Avenue to its new location at 601 Jacob Lane, Anoka.

Sure enough, instructors at the technical college were happy to accept the equipment.

“This is huge for us – anything donated is huge. It just helps our students so much. This is quite a gift – 100 percent a gift,” Sailor said.

In addition to use in the medical assistant program, the items are also being put to use for laboratory training in the college’s practical nursing and surgical technology programs.

Jim Clark, dean of academic affairs at the college, described the value of HealthPartners’ gift.

“This HealthPartners donation to Anoka Technical College is another example of the tremendous support they provide us in our efforts to develop a high quality health care workforce,” Clark said, adding that HealthPartners regularly partners with the college “in student clinical training, serving on our program advisory boards, providing this kind of equipment and financial support, and ultimately hiring our graduates.”

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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