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Out of fire comes charity

Charlton clinic sending equipment to Africa

Following a July arson fire, Charlton Family Practice is back in business at the former Fallon Clinic building and donating some still-useable equipment from the fire-damaged facility to medical facilities in Africa. Just seeing all of these things leave to go to a landfill or incinerator, Id be crying. Its so senseless, office manager Kathy Harrington said. (click for larger version)
October 06, 2010
CHARLTON — In the myth, the phoenix comes to life out of its own flames.

But in the case of Charlton Family Practice, those flames will actually help other medical facilities come to life in Africa.

On July 7, arson forced the local medical facility to seek a new temporary home at the vacant Fallon Clinic building. Once the flames were out, the bulk of the site's equipment was still in working order. Under state and federal law, however, it can no longer be used medically in this country.

"It really has a very strong odor," said office manager Kathy Harrington. "But smoke smells so much nicer than some of the other smells in those countries."

Her son Tim came up with the idea of sending the gear overseas, because he'd been to Kenya on an 11-day College of the Holy Cross "immersion trip" this spring. While there, the students visited several medical facilities partly funded by a group called International Partners in Mission.

"I thought they were probably among the best [facilities] that Kenya has, and I remember we were in one of the operating rooms and it looked pretty archaic to me," he said. "It wasn't at all sleek-looking."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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