The Kansas Equipment Exchange (KEE) program asked residents in Hiawatha, Atchison, Topeka and Overland Park if they had durable medical equipment (DME) taking up space in the garage such as a wheelchair or a home care bed that was no longer needed. And would they donate their unneeded equipment to help a Kansan with disabilities who needs DME but can’t afford it? And in each city in just two days in June, residents responded with a resounding “Yes, we do and Yes, we will!”
KEE coordinator, Sharon Morton and Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK) director, Sara Sack joined with co-sponsors Northeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging and Medicalodges Atchison on Saturday, June 20 for donation events in Atchison and Hiawatha. The following Saturday, June 27 KEE teamed with American Care Equipment and ResCare HomeCare in Overland Park and Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging in Topeka for the final two collection events. Family, friends and staff created a festive atmosphere for each event. Topeka television station KSNT Channel 27 also was on hand to cover the story for the 5:00 and 10:00 news.
Donations included 14 manual wheelchairs, 17 power chairs, 13 scooters, 10 hospital beds, five Kid Karts, 12 shower chairs, six transfer benches, CCTV, ramps and much more, with a grand total of over 125 items! Donated equipment is still being picked up but to date, equipment collected has been valued at over $100,000.
Since April 2003, reusing donated equipment has saved Kansas taxpayers nearly $3 million through the KEE program. KEE is a cooperative program between Kansas Health Policy Authority (Kansas Medicaid), the University of Kansas and Assistive Technology for Kansans.