The International Hospital for Children is a well-run, efficient organization that makes a tangible difference in children’s lives on a daily basis. The organization’s aims are two-fold. IHC brings children to Richmond for critical care treatment that they cannot receive in their home country due to economic or technological reasons. IHC staff and volunteers also spend a lot of time with the families, working hard to ensure their comfort and security in the new environment and also to provide activities for the children in their free time. Last week, for example, the families in Richmond were able to enjoy a soccer game hosting the Richmond Kickers against the Guatemalan national champions. In addition to bringing children to Richmond, IHC sends a number of specialized mission trips each year to six nations in Latin America and the Caribbean. On these surgical mission trips, doctors collaborate with local surgeons and facilities, thus raising the level of health care in hospitals and local communities. With the help of partner NGOs in the region and clinics operated during the surgical mission trips, children in need of more critical care are identified to come to Richmond. As an intern at IHC, I have seen the staff’s dedication and steadfast pursuit of these goals, and am confident that IHC will not only make a difference in hundreds of children’s lives in the near future, but will continue to do so for many years to come.
The famous lines of Margaret Mead- “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has”- are often quoted to inspire individuals to work for the betterment of society. Never, however, have I observed such strong evidence of the veracity of this quotation as in the International Hospital for Children. The professional staff of ten, with the help of volunteers, is able to coordinate hundreds of life altering surgeries for disadvantaged children in the Latin American and Caribbean regions. Additionally, IHC works to build sustainable programs within these regions, giving countries the infrastructure necessary to meet the health care needs of their populations independently. I have personally witnessed these changes while serving as an intern at IHC. I have taken patients to their surgeries in Richmond and watched, as they have evolved from shy children to gregarious and friendly young people with a brand new outlook on life. IHC gives these children a chance at a normal life, something they could only dream of before. In furthering the mission of providing all children across the globe with access to critical health care, IHC serves as a testament to the fact that a small, motivated group of people can initiate big changes in the world.
What a fantastic organization! All year long they send surgical missions to their six partner countries (Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guyana, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines). During these missions, they not only perform surgeries, but they also teach local medical professionals so that the local doctors can make a difference in their countries. From these surgical missions, they encounter children who need very complicated surgeries that cannot be sustained by the local infrastructure. So, those children come to Richmond! The children really are at the heart of this small, but very powerful organization. Everyone works very hard to ensure that the visiting families feel as comfortable as possible in Richmond and that their surgeries go smoothly.
IHC is a small organization with large accomplishments. The staff of about ten professionals are innovative and genuine in coordinating the medical treatment of children in Latin, Central America, and The Caribbean. Children unable to recieve treatment at home are brought to Richmond, where they are made to feel at home. Volunteers and interns facilitate social and educational activities that promote IHC families' holistic well-being. This organization is committed to empowering families and communities, and does so with passion and efficiency. IHC is a permanent, sustainable solution to the health disparities in developing countries.
This organisation is stunning. Bringing together a highly motivated, highly-qualified staff team working from tightly managed budgets with expert volunteer medical teams to provide critical pediatric care to kids while building local capacity in key countries. Leveraging donor dollars with volunteered medical resources, the International Hospital for Children's awesome team delivers phenomenal care from the donated dollars. Pragmatic, human, committed. A tremendous philanthropic investment.