UNMH Mattress Donation
Irene Agostini, MD, UNMH chief medical officer, shares her appreciation for the giving community in Albuquerque. Also pictured from left to right are Doug Chaplin, Albuquerque's director of family and community; Rene Palacios, executive director for Albuquerque Rescue Mission; and Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca.
Credit: Luke Frank

A surplus of UNM Hospital mattresses is finding its way to the City of Albuquerque’s Winter Rescue Shelter thanks to a partnership between hospital and city leaders. UNMH delivered approximately 75 gently used mattresses this month to the winter shelter at 525 2nd Street SW, for use in the families-with-children and women’s dorms.

UNMH is replacing existing bedding with new mattresses in several pediatrics and women’s specialty care units, including the hospital’s mother-baby unit. The mattresses, which were used in hospital sleeping areas by patients’ families, will be inspected and run through a rigorous infection control protocol, according to Florencio Gallegos, executive director for materials management at UNMH.

“We’re changing out 100 mattresses and expect 75 to be delivered to the shelter,” Gallegos said. “Only suitable mattresses will be donated.”

Rene Palacios, executive director for Albuquerque Rescue Mission, says occasionally the shelter receives donations that they can’t use or have to store for future use.

“These mattresses will go straight to where they’re needed,” he said. “We’re really grateful for this donation. It’s easy to forget about the shelter and the people here. This is a very tangible way to show our guests that people are thinking of them.”

The shelter accommodates as many as 200 people on any given winter night, according to Gabriel Campos, the city’s human rights officer.

“The city is trying to create a better environment for those less fortunate,” he said. “We don’t want people out in the cold. Maybe through this simple act of compassion some folks will sleep a little better.”

“The people in this community at every level continually seek ways to help one another,” added Irene Agostini, MD, UNMH chief medical officer. “This donation is a result of relationships between people who happen to be in a position to help. We managed to find a creative solution to managing surplus items that can have a useful second life for others less fortunate.”