PURPOSE OF A MEDICAL MISSIONS PERSONNEL DATABASE
Two important facts that make medical missions difficult:
- For trip organizers: Organizing a medical mission is difficult because it is difficult to come across and connect with medical providers and allied health professionals who are available and volunteer to staff them. They typically only have access to local providers.
- For short-term medical missionaries: For those medical providers that are interested in participating in short-term medical missions, there are multiple barriers for providers in knowing about short-term mission trips. Medical providers typically cannot find out about short-term trips unless the trip is sponsored by their church, another local church, a friend, or an organization they are affiliated.
How do with “kill two birds with one stone”?
We can setup an EPC denomination-wide database of medical and allied health providers interested in missions. If we have that database of hundreds of people with all the appropriate information on each, we can provide them denomination-wide medical mission opportunities. An example….When CSP plans this medical mission trip to Lebanon in September, we have access to hundreds of people that are motivated and skilled to help, instead of the few that hear about it through the grapevine.
Our challenge is spreading the word throughout every church in the EPC to get word to these providers to signup on the database.
Reaping the benefits:
- I believe that God has put hundreds of mission-minded medical people within EPC churches world-wide. Most of our missionaries on the ground would benefit from having a medical team show up for a short-term mission. This would strengthen their ability to draw people whom would otherwise not come in their church or mission.
- The database would coalesce all of the medical mission expertise within the EPC.
- It would hopefully draw more medically mission-minded people into long-term mission work by helping them realize that there is a large group of people in the organization standing behind them to help.
- Hopefully, it would strengthen the EPC and propel us to the next level in missions, especially medical missions.
- Individual churches within the EPC would benefit from having access to multiple medical providers throughout the EPC to staff their mission trips.
- It would give us a database of medical providers to assist our missionaries personally. I have been called or e-mailed by multiple missionaries when their child is sick and they have no access to reliable care or don’t know what medications to give them.
- Through Skype, we could connect missionaries with the right specialist for the problem or question they need answered. Let’s say you are in the slums of Bihar, India and your child has a strange rash that the local doctor can’t seem to figure out……you could contact WO, we could do a Skype screening and get you in contact with an EPC Dermatologist that could look at the rash through Skype video, ask questions, make a diagnosis and tell you what medication to go to the pharmacy and buy. This is an ingenious way to connect our missionaries with providers that want to help them and give them USA-quality healthcare.
Please sign up for the database and encourage your medically-minded friends and colleagues to do the same!
If you have any further ideas or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-415-7020.
Pat Tucker, M.D., Medical Missions Coordinator