Gift of Life Missions
The concept of a ‘mission’ has taken on new meaning to Gift of Life International. As we have evolved, the need to send expert teams of healthcare professionals to the countries we work with has become greater. There are now three distinct types of ‘missions’ which Gift of Life International sponsors and coordinates.
DIAGNOSTIC SCREENING MISSIONS
This type of ‘mission’ is designed to identify children from a specific country that are in need of treatment for their heart disease. We have found that it is cost-effective to send a well-trained team consisting of a pediatric cardiologist, echo technician and nurse to an affiliated hospital in a partner country for one week to screen 100 children. The children that are identified as in need of treatment will then be treated throughout the Global Network of Gift of Life International. We regularly have conducted such ‘missions’ to the Dominican Republic, Belize, El Salvador, Uganda, Kosova and Haiti.
Medical ‘missions’ have become an essential method for Gift of Life International to help provide care to children who will not have any other chance at a healthy life. We are now sending teams of professional healthcare providers to the Philippines and Haiti so that children on waiting lists in those countries will be treated in a systematic and strategic fashion. Our goal is to provide care to as many children as possible on these medical missions.
Training visits have become essential aspects of our global initiative, ‘Our Hearts Are In….’ Through these training visits, we provide expert skills transfer to the local teams in El Salvador, Uganda and Jamaica. Such visits are essential in our goal of empowering the doctors and nurses to care for their own children. The traditional training visit team will consist of a pediatric cardiac surgeon, anesthesiologist, perfusionist, two intensive care doctors, a respiratory therapist, 5 pediatric cardiac intensive care unit nurses and a pediatric cardiologist. Each team member will help with patient care while working to transfer their knowledge and skills to the members of the in country team