San Antonio nonprofit Project MEND held a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 2 to commemorate the opening of a new $4 million 15,000-square-foot headquarters on the north side near the South Texas Medical Center.
Project MEND officials said their organization provides individuals living with disabilities and illnesses with access to medical equipment and assistive technology that they may not otherwise be able to afford or face gaps with in their insurance coverage.
Project MEND representatives also said their organization provides services by receiving donated medical equipment from the community. This equipment is refurbished, sanitized and then redistributed to those who turn to Project MEND for assistance, the representatives said.
In 2021, the organization assisted 1,700 clients and distributed 4,000 pieces of equipment, Project MEND said.
At the new location at 5015 Wurzbach Road, Project MEND can store and process a larger inventory of much-needed medical and assistive technology equipment, according to a news release.
“This is an exciting day for Project MEND, our supporters and those that we serve,” Project MEND CEO Cathy Valdez said in a statement. “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.”
The release said local firm Overland Partners Architects designed Project MEND’s new headquarters and warehouse as a unified service complex to provide administrative services and mobility devices in a more streamlined way and other assistive technology in one location.
Project MEND’s new headquarters is now the second-largest medical equipment reuse facility in the United States and the largest in Texas, officials with the nonprofit said.
Key project partners include Datum Engineers, CNG Engineering, Pape Dawson, Rialto Studio and CBI Group, the release said.
Project MEND representatives said the public and private sectors partnered to develop the nonprofit’s new headquarters, including local firm GrayStreet Partners donating the parcel of land for the new building.
Additionally, Bexar County also allocated $500,000 toward the project, which also received contributions from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation; the Tres Grace Family Foundation; and Harvey Najim, the founder of the Najim Charitable Foundation, the news release said.
Najim gifted a $500,000 donation, and 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, Project MEND said.
“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,” Najim said in the news release. “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 officials are also promoting sustainable features around their new headquarters, including limiting windows to the east and west and using high-performing exterior windows to minimize heat gain, using high-powered fans in the warehouse storage areas in lieu of mechanical conditioning, roof planning for future renewable energy/solar panel integration and native landscaping.
Project Mend said the new structure also contains unique accessibility features, including wider public and administrative doors, the relocation a nearby original bus stop closer to the building, furniture accommodated for those with mobility issues and the creation of a demonstration area, the release said.