| Oct 30, 2015
This post originally appeared on Cambia Health Solution's blog, The Pulse. Cambia has been our partner for many years, providing valuable support for our mobile dental program. We are thrilled with this new opportunity: working together to design a system that will help our Uganda clinics provide better care than ever before-- potentially saving many more lives.
Cambia has partnered with MTI for years, providing support for their mobile dental vans in Oregon and Washington. Expanding on this partnership, Cambia’s CEO Mark Ganz and MTI’s CEO Jeff Pinneo saw an opportunity to do something more significant.
As a health solutions company with a footprint that is increasingly expanding, we consistently seek innovative partners and initiatives to drive impactful change through our health care system. Sometimes those partnerships take an unexpected – and imaginative turn. One that gives us the opportunity to reimagine possibilities on a more global scale, to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone to provide better health for some of the world’s most vulnerable.
Almost daily we are struck by images and stories that showcase the increasing refugee crisis. The pictures of people lost, of children separated from their parents and of the makeshift shelters spreading as far as the eye can see. The grief stricken expressions on their faces are seared in our minds.
Uganda is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world, and has received a flood of nearly 500,000 refugees fleeing from bordering war-torn countries. The majority of refugees are women and children in dire need of medical attention.
Medical Teams International (MTI), a humanitarian organization also based in Portland Ore., provides 24/7 health care to these refugees as well as Ugandan nationals, a total of nearly one million people. MTI’s clinicians treat acute and critical pediatric and medical illnesses, perform minor surgery, conduct obstetrical assessments, provide HIV testing/counseling and give much needed immunizations.
It currently takes up to a month to manually collect, enter and transmit critical data from MTI’s health clinics to the United Nations (UN). This delay severely limits coordination of patient care and the UN’s ability to transmit alerts about contagious disease outbreaks. To improve this process, Cambia is sending the first ever IT team with MTI to a Ugandan refugee settlement to develop a pilot technology solution. In this one settlement alone that’s refuge to 75,000 people, MTI oversees eight clinics that treat more than 8,000 patients a month. Once an IT solution is developed, the goal is to expand its use to humanitarian-aid clinics worldwide.
Cambia has partnered with MTI for years, providing support for their mobile dental vans in Oregon and Washington. Expanding on this partnership, Cambia’s CEO Mark Ganz and MTI’s CEO Jeff Pinneo saw an opportunity to do something more significant. Leveraging our resources and innovative expertise to develop this technical solution will hopefully not only benefit Uganda, but also other countries and humanitarian organizations.
Ready to make a difference: The Cambia team on their way to Uganda.
Cambia leadership and the IT participants see us getting as much out of this effort as we’re giving. This trip will help inform our own thinking about what we can do here in Portland and in local communities, to ensure the best possible care is delivered to those who need it most – down the street or across the globe.
Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation comes at the intersection of technology and humanity.” This effort represents that combination, providing the right technology to innovate a solution for the good of humanity. It’s also about coming together for a greater cause, because it’s simply the right thing to do.