In 2015, when Mohan Sudabattula was volunteering in the pediatric prosthetic and orthotic services department of a local hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, he made a keen observation: younger patients would often outgrow ‘medical braces’ very quickly, sometimes within two weeks, and would need a replacement soon after. It made the young Indian American student think of the three places where these braces, still in great condition, would end up: straight to the landfill, incinerated, or sit in the closet of a patient who no longer needs them.
This sparked an idea to use these devices for other patients in need. With that thought in mind, Sudabattula started work on creating a program to solve the problem and Project Embrace was born.
Project Embrace is a non-profit “dedicated to reducing global health inequalities” by collecting slightly used orthotic materials to reuse for communities in need abroad.
The group collects slightly used exterior medical devices that provide either bodily support or mobility aid for its user to be reused for patients in low- and middle-income communities. Such devices include crutches, walkers, slings, braces, and orthotic materials.
Sudabattula began Project Embrace at the age of 20 as a student at the University of Utah. Currently, he is a third-year (of five), pursuing honors with his three majors in biochemistry, philosophy, and health, society, and policy.
In 2017, the NGO made its first donation to the Vegesna Foundation, a non-profit medical orphanage home in Hyderabad, India.
While Sudabattula is the organization’s CEO/founder, the role of its chief operations officer is held by Gabrielle Hoyer, a junior at the University of Utah, pursuing a B.S. degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in computer science.
People can donate their medical donations privately by contacting Project Embrace through their website.
For more information, visit projectembrace.org.