The DME Exchange Story

Concerned citizens created DME Exchange of Dallas in 2010-2011 to relieve a disturbing problem.

Their research showed 25,000 to 50,000 people in Dallas County suffer in silence every year because they can’t afford a wheelchair, a hospital bed or other durable medical equipment (DME) a doctor prescribed for their recovery and independence.

DME Exchange is answering the challenge — a “green” clearinghouse that will collect, refurbish and sanitize idle equipment from thousands of garages and attics across Dallas County, then match it with the ill and injured whose income and insurance won’t cover doctor-ordered equipment.

No longer must patients face delayed release from hospitals, a hardship that increases hospital crowding and pushes up medical costs for everyone.

DME Exchange has been designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and will be serving qualified residents for little or no charge – only the second of its kind in Texas and one of only 39 in the United States.

Who opened Dallas County’s eyes to the DME problem?

How did they create DME Exchange?

In 3,000 face-to-face conversations, three Dallas Area Interfaith (DAI) institutions — Temple Emanu-El, St. Rita Catholic Community and Temple Shalom — began hearing stories of underprivileged patients thwarted in their recovery from injury or illness. The numbers were staggering.

Local hospital staffs, doctors and regional experts confirmed the size of the problem: thousands need low-cost or free DME in Dallas County each year. But DAI researchers made another discovery: thousands more residents own durable medical equipment, now gathering dust, unneeded.

A logical solution had emerged. For the first time in Dallas County — thanks to DAI congregational volunteers and staff — durable medical equipment will be recycled comprehensively. Importantly, equipment will be professionally sanitized to meet State of  Texas health requirements.

DME Exchange will aid patient recovery and self-sufficiency while providing the medical community essential equipment for their patients, coordinated throughout the county. And the Exchange addresses stewardship obligations of our faiths and moves us toward widely recognized “green” recycling goals.