MediMatch Uses Web to Fight Breast Cancer

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MediMatch, a Web-based service provider for the medical community, is getting ready to launch a program that will provide consumers and medical professionals the opportunity to donate a percentage of their online purchases to the fight against breast cancer.


Good Deals for a Good Cause is scheduled to get underway within the next few weeks. MediMatch (www.medimatch.com), Sonoma, CA, is choosing breast cancer research foundations and will likely select one within the next few weeks, said Pat Powers, president of MediMatch. The company wants to start small to test its template, she said.


The company is promoting the program on its site with two banner-type ads providing links to the participating sites.


Powers said traffic at the MediMatch site is made up predominantly of medical professionals but it's hoping that through word of mouth nonmedical consumers will hear of the program and participate as well.


"We have found that a large part of the professionals who visit our site are big Web surfers so the program should offer them some of what they are looking for," she said.


MediMatch plans to expand the program in the future to help raise donations for other organizations such as the American Diabetes Association.


Powers said MediMatch wanted to start the program in order to provide more help to the medical industry. MediMatch provides information and resources via the Internet for healthcare facilities. It provides databases of medical Web sites, medical events and classified advertising. It also rents out its lists of more than 2 million medical professionals to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.


Currently, MediMatch is working with six retail sites: Amazon.com, Beyond.com, Reel.com, Fog Dog Sporting, HealthPress.com and Surffree.com. It's hoping to increase the number of online retailers taking part in the program as well.


Retailers will decide how large a percentage will be donated to the foundations. Powers said the amounts will be from 5 percent to 10 percent of every dollar that is spent.


At the end of each quarter retailers will send a check to MediMatch for the total amount of donations raised. Powers said it will be done on a quarterly basis so that the retailers can make sure the purchases have cleared. The first returns will not be given to MediMatch until sometime in May or June.


Consumers cannot make donations to the foundation unless they are linked to one of those six sites from the MediMatch site. Consumers who are linked to any of the participating sites are automatically tagged, alerting retailers that they were linked to their site through MediMatch. For consumers, the program does not require anything more than a purchase anywhere else on the Web.
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