Our mission is to facilitate the distribution of surplus medical resources where they are needed. As such, our programs have both a local and international focus.
Locally we provide prescription medications for low-income clients who are uninsured (or under), durable medical equipment, medical supplies, ostomy supplies, blankets and hygiene kits for the homeless.
The key to World Medical Relief’s success throughout its history has been the recycling of usable medical equipment, supplies, instruments, and medications that have been collected from area physicians, hospitals, clinics, and individuals. The agency has the ability to utilize these items in its services and programs that help people all over the world.
Another crucial element of World Medical Relief is the help of volunteers. Volunteers can be found primarily in the medical supply sorting center; in all over 1,700 annually.
In 1953, Irene M. Auberlin established World Medical Relief, Inc. to address the physical and medical needs of Korean War orphans. This cause greatly inspired Mrs. Auberlin, a Detroit housewife, and she began collecting usable items from her friends and fellow church members to send to these children. She also persuaded area business leaders to donate goods and services, including medical supplies and equipment, and to assist in shipping them overseas. Over the years, WMR has given medical aid to thousands of medically-underserved people in over 130 developing nations worldwide.
For many years, WMR continued its international goal of helping people with medical and pharmaceutical needs throughout the world. While always focused on local concerns, the organization identified a local need for a prescription program in 1966. United Foundation now United Way for Southeastern Michigan), approached WMR to develop the Prescription Program for Seniors, a prescription assistance program for low-income senior citizens who had no prescription insurance, were ineligible for Medicaid, and had little or no financial means to obtain their prescription drugs. With United Foundation’s support, World Medical Relief obtained a State of Michigan pharmacy license, opened a pharmacy, hired a pharmacist, and began dispensing prescription medications to these individuals. In 2007, we expanded the program to include people ages 18 and older. To date over 1.3 million prescriptions are dispensed.