Palmetto Medical Initiative is revolutionizing the approach to medical intervention in the developing world by moving beyond relief to achieve long-term improvements in health. In a world where nearly half the population lives on less than $2 per day (Source: UN, 2013), socialized healthcare systems are overcrowded, poorly equipped, and underfunded. PMI is bridging the gap between ineffective, socialized care and unaffordable, private care. By creating sustainable medical centers that offer low-cost services, PMI is able to increase accessibility to high-quality healthcare and empower communities for a healthy tomorrow.
Founded in 2008, PMI was conceived by Matt Alexander, a veteran non-profit leader, and Dr. Ed O’Bryan, a physician and long-time medical missions director. While Ed divulged his passion for global medical missions, Matt saw an incredible potential for making a difference in the world through the mobilization of people in his community. United by their common belief that a new way to treat underserved populations was possible, they organized a diverse group of collaborators and supporters to form PMI and create an opportunity to test their vision.
The pair took their first team to Uganda for a site visit in 2009 and were overwhelmed by the apparent healthcare needs facing communities on the ground. By combining the resources available through globally-minded churches, universities, organizations and individuals, PMI Uganda was realized later that year. Through implementing a successful, sustainable medical clinic on the ground in Uganda, PMI has been able to spread its wings into other valued communities across the world.
The success of the original clinic is due to the fact that PMI decided to create healthcare facilities that charged for services. In doing so each location would achieve true independence and sustainability. By offering quality care at a reasonable price, a self-sustaining loop of prevention, patronage and health could be established and consistently employ individuals from the very population it intended to serve. In this manner, PMI is as much a cultural and economic revolution inside a community as it is a health care transformation.
We are looking for hard-working individuals who believe change is possible- not just for a week, but for a lifetime. PMI’s short-term medical teams are a vital component of our long-term approach to improving the quality of healthcare in developing communities. Four times a year, PMI sends teams of medical and non-medical volunteers to serve the communities surrounding our project sites in Central America and East Africa. During the development phases of our medical centers, these teams provide consistent care to the region, build a foundation of quality care, and advocate for the clinic that is to come. Once our medical centers are in operation, these teams support the centers through continuing to provide quality care, training, and patient referrals. PMI’s short-term trips pave the way for the success of our long-term projects, while leaving no volunteer the same upon their return home.
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Twitter // @palmettomedical
Director of Volunteers // Amie York // email@example.com
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