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Serving the Less Fortunate

Posted on March 3, 2013 in General Ministry, Management, MMI, Patient Stories, Volunteering | 0 comments

We get asked often about how we choose where we establish Health Centers and also send Project Teams. This is not a simple process, but one where we have established very specific parameters, processes, and assessment. You can't just visit for a period of time and leave if you want to make a lasting impact.

Before any Project Team is even developed, MMI has staff based in the areas we are serving full time. We have our team do a thorough analysis of the area, people that are in need of help, and what facilities are available to house our teams and provide services. This includes establishing relations with local partners, governments, etc. MMI is not just focused on providing immediate help, but trying to build capacity through partnership and training of local personnel. You can not make a lasting impact without focusing on the long term situation.

We also have to ensure that our teams have the ability to be safe and also re-charge to go back the next day to serve. The lack of these types of facilities lead to the team having to work to take care of themselves before they can take care of those we seek to serve. We eliminate this ahead of time and our staff is focused on helping every team member to use 100% of their energy to serving the poor. There are people that feel like they need to live “amongst the Poor” to serve, but it is a waste of God's resources if some are used to help the team survive instead of being focused on the less fortunate.

Once an area is selected, we utilize Project Teams to execute our Programs. As these teams conduct their services, we are capturing data related to the needs of the area, the amount of people that need our help, and what medical personnel are available to the community. Usually, there is little to no care even accessible, and when there is some, it is very basic. The data is then compiled by our local staff and sent back to our International Team for further strategic development.

The execution of a Project is really just the middle step in the process as our local staff will provide follow-up care and also assessment of the impact and success of the team. These statistics are very important as we must ensure that the work of future teams build upon what we have learned and also those we served reach a successful outcome from the services rendered. We also execute multiple programs during any Project. In many cases, we may have Surgical, Primary Care, Integrated Health, and Dental Programs happening during the same project. Our services are about the whole person and our ability to help change lives.

Once the Project is completed the assessment information is compiled and our staff provides regular updates related to patients and medical training, etc. We use this information to process potential physicians that can enter our Residency Training and Fellowship Programs, as well as find administrative staff that can be trained to be at the ready to support the new skills of the physician. You cannot just train a doctor and send them back to work, they will soon provide services that are limited due to the lack of the skill of the support team. We must train the whole team if we expect them to take advantage of the 3-5 years of training provided.

The information provided from multiple Project Teams also helps us to determine the location of a potential year around Health Center. How many people are in need? What are these needs and what are the resources required for this facility to sustain itself in the future? The goal of these Centers is to provide low cost care to the poor and when we say cost, it is a very small amount, but it is something. That is on purpose as we have found over the years that providing “free” care is not conducive to long term success as you develop a “welfare” mentality. This mentality actually backfires as the people do not give credibility to the services and direction that have been provided free of charge. We have found a small fee, even to the most poor people will give them an investment in the services and we have almost a 100% success rate in following care instructions. There are people that have nothing, and we will never turn away anyone for services, but when possible the small fee helps to offset and make the facility operate for the long term.

MMI uses its resources to provide the start-up costs necessary to get the facilities built, training for personnel, and then accountability services to ensure the facility does what it was built to do. These investments are significant and the Center personnel are held to a high standard to represent who we expect them to be. You can be assured that a MMI affiliated Health Center is held to these standards at all times.

Needless to say to provide these types of services and care in facilities and on teams in over 22 countries is a big job. It's a job that requires a team of experienced and highly accountable volunteers and staff. It's pretty amazing to see the MMI team at work and we would appreciate your support in prayer and resources so we can continue to impact those that are struggling to live. It's a powerful responsibility that God has given us and we will continue to work hard to ensure that every gift is optimized to its utmost potential.