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Cornelius Company Pledges Lab Equipment to Haiti

Sheldon Manufacturing Inc. plans to donate tens of thousands of dollars-worth of its products to earthquake-torn Haiti over the next 18 months.

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Sheldon Manufacturing aims to be part of reconstruction effort in quake-torn area

By Nancy Townsley

If they build it or rehab it, Sheldon Manufacturing Inc. will come.

That is, the Cornelius company – which makes “constant temperature” lab equipment such as incubators and freezers – plans to donate tens of thousands of dollars-worth of its products to earthquake-torn Haiti over the next 18 months.

Officers are only waiting for word that a rebuilt hospital or laboratory will be waiting to receive the life-supporting equipment as the island country begins what’s expected to be a protracted recovery and reconstruction period.

“We’re in contact with a number of charities that have people on the ground over there to find out how and when we might be of the most help,” Catherine Sidman, a Sheldon project manager, said Tuesday.

Sheldon’s equipment could be vital to the Third World nation for blood banking, vaccine storage, infectious disease control, wastewater treatment and diagnostics. Dan Sheldon, president of the 40-year-old firm, is partnering with other laboratory product manufacturers across the nation to shore up resources for when the time is right.

“I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if one or two of us went to Haiti sometime in the next couple of years,” Sidman said. “I’m certain we’re going to have more equipment than they can handle.”

The company has been a leader in providing support to cancer research efforts, Sidman noted, and officials wanted to respond after the 7.0 quake hit Port-au-Prince Jan. 12.

“The story of Haiti is just universally compelling,” Sidman said.

Group effort

Sidman has already secured a commitment from New Jersey-based Bellco Biotechnology, a maker of laboratory glassware, to be part of the consortium of equipment donors. She’s hoping for several more.

“We’d like to bring Haiti a completely stocked lab,” she said.

Sheldon is working with administrators of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and the Haiti Hospital Resurrection Fund to keep abreast of the latest developments overseas. Besides equipment donations, Sheldon hopes to leverage its industry contacts to provide lab consumables and technical expertise for the Haiti relief efforts.

“I think our contribution will be more of a long-term, 12 months or 18 months out kind of thing,” said Sidman.

Outfitting a clinical laboratory with supplies and equipment is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $150,000.

“Knowing that there is pledged support for new labs during this chaotic time that will directly result in treatment and prevention of infectious disease is just one small step of many that will be required to help rebuild Haiti,” Dan Sheldon said in a press release.

“For now, it looks like a bunch of small steps is the only way.”

Source: The Forest Grove News-Times