Mohan Sudabattula, Project Embrace, University of Utah

Project Embrace: Recycle. Reuse. Repeat.

Mohan Sudabattula was named after his grandfather, Mohanrao, who passed away from a heart attack before he was born. Growing up, Sudabattula was always fascinated with the world of medicine and aiding others.

“I was brought up on the idea that our sole role in life is to help others. It doesn’t matter what you do or who you are, we are here to help each other,” he said.

Today, Sudabattula is majoring in biochemistry, philosophy and health society and policy with the hopes to one day go to law school like his grandfather. More recently, he launched an international medical nonprofit, Project Embrace.

“Project Embrace is dedicated to reducing global health inequalities and promoting a healthier planet,” Sudabattula said. “We do this through the interception of mislabeled medical excess to be reused for patients in need across the globe.” His inspiration came from volunteering and seeing how quickly kids would outgrow their orthotics and prosthetics.

“These braces were really expensive to make, and often our pediatric patients wouldn’t wear their braces to their fullest extent,” Sudabattula said. “So, when they would come back into the clinic and ask for a new brace, we would just have to throw away their old brace despite it being in great condition. That’s when I had the idea: Why not reuse these for someone else in need?”

Since its beginning, Project Embrace has expanded to collecting “any kind of medical device that provides skeletal structural support or provides mobility assistance. These can range anywhere from crutches, slings, medical boots and braces, to orthotic materials and wheelchairs,” he said. “For the most part medical devices that fall into this category either end up at the landfill, an incineration facility or in the closet of someone who no longer needs them.”

Project Embrace hopes to change this by collecting these devices and re-purposing them for patients in need in low and middle-income countries.

People can donate their medical donations privately by contacting Project Embrace through their website.

To learn more, visit

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Find this article and a lot more in the 2017 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.

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