What do we mean by "sustainability" when we discuss our strategies and programs?
Over the years we have been running Medical Missions, it became clear that, for all the good works and the positive impacts on individuals, many of those efforts were transitory. When an organization carries out a one off mission, there is very limited opportunity to provide positive impact after the mission team has departed. There is a risk of being seen as a "fly in, fly out" service provider.
Not wishing to minimize the impact of such missions, we nevertheless wished to provide our patients with longer term help and this sustainability element is now incorporated into all that we do. This means that when we look for overseas mission opportunities we are looking to partner with local agencies and individuals over a 3-5 year period so we can return to the same spot, assess the impact that is being made, make changes and additions where necessary and impact the health of the local population over a long period.
How do we do so?
These are just some of the measures that allow us to positively impact the lives of our patients in the medium to long term. Of course, we also address surgical and immediate needs as we always have, but we are committed to this long term sustainability.
Next post will consider how sustainability drives our homeless programs in Kansas City.