Image from International Medical Corps
Heroes, First Responders, training local partners to help themselves.
Most of us find it difficult to grasp the enormity of the suffering of refugees and victims of disaster in the world today – and it is even more challenging to help. My friend, Nancy Aossey, has been the CEO of International Medical Corps (IMC) since 1986. IMC has delivered more than $2.2B of humanitarian assistance and health services to tens of millions of people in 70 countries. Nancy is idealistic, effective and 100% committed to helping people.
In times of crisis
The brave teams of IMC are first responders when disaster strikes. They pride themselves on being “First There – No Matter Where”. They had emergency teams in the Philippines 24 hours after a devastating typhoon struck and they were in Indonesia 24 hours after the enormous tsunami swept the coast of Sumatra.
International Medical Corps stays in devastated areas and partners with local residents and national leaders to rebuild strong health care and community services to make communities self reliant and resilient when future challenges occur. IMC is a training organization. They train local people to be first responders so that their work has lasting impact.
Photo from colinbucks.com
Heroes, Brave Volunteers
International Medical Corps volunteers were among the first to go to Liberia and help them eliminate Ebola. This 60 Minutes segment by Lara Logan reporting from the IMC Ebola Hospital is well worth 15 minutes of your time. I guarantee that you will be proud that these brave Americans cared enough to put themselves in harm’s way to stop an epidemic. 60 Minutes on IMC Ebola Intervention, aired on November 9th, 2014.
Colin Bucks (above with another IMC volunteer in Liberia) left his comfortable, safe role as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Stanford Medical School to serve as the volunteer medical coordinator in the International Medical Corps Ebola treatment center in Liberia.
Syria, a personal saga
IMC’s approach to crises
International Medical Corps has Emergency Response Teams with physicians and nurses trained in emergency medicine. They have supplies ‘pre-positioned’ around the world able to be deployed immediately.
IMC enlists the help of local people and after the immediate crisis, IMC becomes a training organization. Local people become their own first responders.
Why is IMC unique?
IMC has three decades of experience with both emergency responses to crises and subsequent capacity building with local communities. They thoroughly understand the interconnections of all parts of society in a disaster – and how to create solutions. IMC has a staff of 8,000 around the world, 96% of whom have been recruited locally and trained to provide service in their communities. They have experience in 70 countries and are currently operating, sometimes with partners, in 30 countries. International medical Corps has completed a ‘Pandemic Preparedness Project’, funded by USAID. This work has further strengthened IMC’s capacity to partner with local groups in times of crisis.
International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide. By offering training and health care to local populations and medical assistance to people at highest risk, and with the flexibility to respond rapidly to emergency situations, International Medical Corps rehabilitates devastated health care systems and helps bring them back to self-reliance.