MedWish International hosted its annual gala for 240 guests on August 27, at BLDG 17 on Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland. Founded by Dr. Lee Ponsky nearly 30 years ago, MedWish has been at the forefront of providing immediate and long-term humanitarian aid to people in need. Their efforts make an impact on those around the corner and around the world.
WKYC-TV 3News anchor Sara Shookman served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Krissy D. Gallagher, MedWish Executive Director Britta Latz, and Betsy Werbel all spoke of the incredible work MedWish does to recover, repurpose, and redistribute medical supplies around the globe to save lives. At the same time, they’ve preventing these same supplies from ending up in landfills.
This year, the organization sent containers of medical supplies to Ghana, as well as Albania,
Uganda, Haiti, and Mexico. They also helped those impacted by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Since March of 2022, 50 shipments amounting to more than 72,000 pounds of aid have been distributed to the war-torn nation. In 2021, 625,000 pounds of supplies were diverted from landfills.
The organization honored Dr. Akram Boutros, President and CEO of MetroHealth for his leadership, community impact, generosity and support of the MedWish mission. Honorary Chair Rob Durham accepted the award on his behalf. Jennifer Sieg, an undergraduate student at Case Western Reserve University pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering received the Kayla N. Schwartz award for her humanitarian efforts. And Marta Kelleher
received this year’s Humanitarian Award in recognition of her efforts to provide humanitarian aid to those in need in Ukraine.
The event helped to raise $220,000 to continue with its mission to save lives. Musical performers included singer-songwriter Taylor Lamborn and pop-rock duo Birds in the Boneyard.
For more information on MedWish, visit medwish.org. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREA C. TURNER