New 15,000-square-foot facility is the largest medical equipment reuse facility in Texas
Project MEND opens new headquarters with a commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by clients, past and current board members, and community supporters, including Judge Nelson Wolff, Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, and local philanthropist Harvey Najim. The grand opening event included guided tours of the new headquarters and entertainment from Fort Sam’s Own 323RD Army Band. The 15,000 square-foot facility is located near the Medical Center and represents nearly $4 million investment in the community and those served by Project MEND. The new headquarters, designed by architectural firm Overland Partners Architects, is the second-largest medical equipment reuse facility in the United States and the largest in Texas.
Project MEND provides individuals living with life-changing disabilities and illnesses with access to medical equipment and assistive technology that they may not otherwise be able to afford or face gaps in their insurance coverage. Project MEND provides its services by receiving donated medical equipment from the community. This equipment is refurbished, sanitized and processed into inventory. The equipment is then redistributed to those who turn to Project MEND for assistance. In 2021, the organization assisted 1,700 clients and distributed 4,000 pieces of equipment.
Overland Partners Architects designed Project MEND’s new headquarters and warehouse as a unified service center to seamlessly provide administrative services and mobility devices, and other assistive technology in one location. The design focuses on accessibility and creating an experience that puts the client first. Key project partners include Datum Engineers, CNG Engineering, Pape Dawson, Rialto Studio, and CBI Group.
At the new location, Project MEND can now store and process a larger inventory of much-needed medical and assistive technology equipment. “This is an exciting day for Project MEND, our supporters and those that we serve,” said Cathy Valdez, Project MEND CEO. “Our new home makes it possible for us to help more people in the community, with storage space that allows for more inventory and a larger area to repair and refurbish equipment. It also eases the burden on our clients, who can now meet with a caseworker, discuss their needs, and receive equipment all in the same place.”
To complete the new headquarters, Project MEND enlisted the community’s help through the organization’s first capital campaign. GrayStreet Partners stepped forward to support the effort by donating the parcel of land where the new Project MEND headquarters is located. Bexar County also contributed a $500,000 investment led by Judge Nelson Wolff and the late Commissioner Paul Elizondo. Additional community leaders and organizations, including the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, the Tres Grace Family Foundation and Harvey Najim, gifted donations.
Najim gifted a $500,000 donation, for his support the administrative building is named in Najim’s honor. The administrative building will host free events for the community, provide additional space to meet with customers, and allow them to try out their new device in real-world scenarios to ensure safety. “We are honored to be able to provide funding for the new headquarters for Project MEND. They provide vital services to children, seniors, veterans and individuals living with disabilities and illness in San Antonio,” said Harvey Najim, The Najim Charitable Foundation Founder. “We are excited to see the great work and incredible impact Project MEND is going to be able to accomplish with this new campus and proud to be a part of their growth.”
Project MEND’s new home was completed by the generosity of community leaders and various organizations, including Bexar County ($500,000), Harvey E. Najim ($500,000), Kronkosky Charitable Foundation ($750,000), J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation ($575,000), Kym Rapier Verette & Glenn Verette ($500,000), Tres Grace Family Foundation ($275,000), City of San Antonio ($250,000), Nancy Smith Hurd Foundation ($200,000), Impact San Antonio ($100,000), Valero Energy Foundation ($100,000), The Mays Family Foundation ($100,000), The Greehey Family Foundation ($100,000), and The Meadows Foundation ($50,000).
More about the sustainability and design features of the Project MEND headquarters include:
- Orienting the building with the longer exposures North and South
- Limiting windows to the East and West and use of high performing exterior windows to minimize heat gain; South facing porch shades majority of glass on the project
- Reduction of the energy load by utilizing high powered fans in the warehouse storage areas in lieu of mechanical conditioning
- Roof planning for future renewable energy/solar panel integration
- Native landscape, planting, and seed mixes to reduce watering needs in the future
- All public and administrative doors are 42” wide in lieu of the standard 36”
- The original bus stop was moved from the corner of Wurzbach and Crystal Run to the Project MEND entry, where a shelter and bench waiting area provides clientele easier accessibility to the building.
- Furniture selections were made to accommodate those who have mobility issues or depend on wheelchairs/assistive devices to move.
- A Demonstration Area was created where clients learn to use their new equipment in an indoor environment similar to the conditions they may have at home.
About Project MEND
Project MEND is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Project MEND is committed to improving the lives of individuals living with disability and illness through the refurbishment, reuse and distribution of medical equipment and other assistive technology. For more information, visit projectmend.org