Medical Missionaries

Tricia“I was fortunate enough to visit the hospital Medical Missionaries founded in Thomassique, Haiti during my first year of law school, and I remain amazed at what they have accomplished. Against every obstacle, their hospital has become the largest provider of jobs in Thomassique and the primary source of health care for over 100,000 Haitians in the Central Plateau. ‘The greatest wealth is health’–and Medical Missionaries is giving health to Haiti’s most impoverished region.”

Overview of the Organization’s Activities: They have built a hospital with electricity and clean running water in an area that is barely accessible by automobile; developed international relationships to have medicines supplied and shipped at cost to the hospital and satellite clinics; and developed the local relationships necessary to have the trust and support of the local Haitian government and populace. Medical Missionaries is also the largest provider of jobs in Thomassique, employing Haitian doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and lab techs to work at the hospital year-round.

Besides running the hospital in Thomassique, Medical Missionaries operates six satellite clinics in remote villages and manages several innovative public health projects to address real, observed health care needs.  These projects include:  an infant malnutrition program; a school lunch program; iodized salt and de-worming programs to combat two majors causes of malnutrition, illness and developmental delays; and hygiene education and water purification programs. (All water in the Thomassique region, save one remote well, is contaminated and water-born illness is a major cause of mortality.)  Currently, there is an urgent need for financial support to fight the cholera outbreak.

Research Results: Medical Missionaries has been a 501(c)(3) organization since 1997, when it was founded by Gil Irwin, MD and quickly supported by a small group of colleagues, many of whom now serve on the Board of Directors and have been making trips to Haiti for over a decade.  Perhaps most impressively, Medical Missionaries is an all-volunteer organization (no paid staff, lots of contributed services), which allows them to keep their overhead and administrative costs at 0.05% annually.

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