Partnership with Existing Resources
One of the founding principles of THHF is the importance of building quality relationships with recipient communities. We form partnerships with existing in-country facilities, medical professionals and community members. Not only do patients appreciate coming to facilities which are familiar to them, but we enjoy working along side local health care workers who can teach us the nuances of infectious diseases, malnutrition, and other maladies not commonly seen in the US. They are also invaluable in demonstrating how to be efficient and effective in under resourced areas. In addition to the medical staff, we work together with local community members who can effectively publicize our presence and assist with numerous logistical needs.
Acquisition of Supplies
Equipment, supplies, and medications are obtained from a number of sources. Many are purchased with donated funds. Additionally, we partner with organizations which can provide free or reduced cost materials and pharmaceuticals. Some key equipment and supplies are owned by THHF and used on an ongoing basis. Other materials and medications are donated to in-country facilities at the end of a trip. In addition, we transport as many extra materials as possible with us for the sole purpose of donation.
The type of clinical care offered on a trip varies with available volunteer staff and the needs of the mission site. The broad categories of care are medical, dental, and surgical. Please follow this [link] to learn more about specific services offered and see photos of our work.
Standards of Care
Another principle central to The Healing Hands Foundation is quality of care. When creating THHF, the founders felt strongly that when practicing medicine internationally, the organization should always hold itself to the standards expected in the United States. The Board of Directors works diligently to ensure the correct medications, equipment, and supplies are available to maintain this quality of care. In addition, volunteer medical practitioners are selected for their competence and are required to have the appropriate training, licensing, and credentials for their role on any given trip.
Whenever possible THHF integrates available local medical personnel into our mission work. Depending on the location, this may include students, residents, doctors, dentists, nurses, or community health workers. We aim to help build a knowledge base or expand areas of expertise. For instance, we often use medical students as interpreters while teaching them about the cases that they see. We are able to teach a medical doctor surgical procedures or a general surgeon sub-specialty procedures. We can share procedural skills and updates in methods or standards of care.