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Medical Teams International | Official Blog

Get the latest updates from our programs in the field internationally and here in the United States.  

  • Disaster Response: Delivering Supplies after Devastating WA Mudslide

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 28, 2014

    Today MTI staff delivered hygiene supply kits to impacted families as well as rescue workers and volunteers who have been working nonstop since the March 22 mudslide that devastated the small community of Oso, Washington, destroying homes and lives.

    We delivered over 300 kits of donated supplies at the request of Snohomish County Emergency Response.  The supplies, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap, were assembled by MTI staff and volunteers.

    MTI's Corbin Walker drops off hygiene supplies to busy rescue workers at a school in Arlington, about 10 miles from the disaster area.


    Medical Teams International is not accepting cash donations for this relief effort, but if you are interested in donating supplies, we are accepting hygiene kits.

    Please join us in praying for those impacted by this horrific disaster. 

  • Field Photos: South Sudan Refugee Relief in Uganda

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 27, 2014
    Medical Teams International volunteer Dr. Jon Bird shares photos from Adjumani, Uganda, where we have medical teams caring for South Sudanese refugees.  



    Our Uganda staff that is working in Adjumani on the border of Uganda and South Sudan.

    Refugee mother & child.

    South Sudanese refugee mother & child.

    Dr. Jon Bird, MD and Carol Caudle, RN care for a child.

    Thank you for your support of our Worldwide Disaster Response programs - only with your donations can we respond quickly to care for people impacted by disaster & conflict. 
  • Partner Highlight: Dr. John Engle

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 26, 2014

    Assistant Professor and Chair of Pediatric Dentistry at Oregon Health and Science University Dr. John Engle is a big fan and supporter of Medical Teams International's Mobile Dental Program. In fact, Dr. Engle feels the value of the program, and its partnership with the school of dentistry, is best described in not one, but three key parts.

    First and foremost he openly discussed the value of the program, specifically for children, by serving as an excellent and practical resource for dental care. If a parent has to take time off of work to drive their child to and from a dentist office miles away from their home, school or work, the likelihood that they will do so is significantly decreased. To meet this need, the Mobile Dental Clinic brings dentists directly to the children while they are at school eliminating a major obstacle in pediatric oral health and providing a continuity of care for repeat patients.



    Second, the Mobile Dental Program is an excellent training tool for the students of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).

    “The dental van is our go-to outlet for training,” said Dr. Engle.

    “Providing pediatric procedures in an educational setting is challenging. Our dental students receive about 70% of their pediatric clinical experience through the Mobile Dental Program.”

    Finally, the Mobile Dental Program serves as a vehicle for philanthropic involvement for the students within the dentistry program at OHSU. Dr. Engle hopes that through their involvement with the Mobile Dental Program, a seed will have been planted that will inspire volunteerism throughout their professional careers.

    “The value of the Mobile Dental Program to the school of dentistry is to provide clinical experience and a philanthropic outlet for our students and residents, while at the same time helping to meet a critical need in the community,” said Engle.

    Additionally, Dr. Engle briefly touched on the cost-savings benefits of the Mobile Dental Program to the hospitals. Dr. Engle estimated that about 30% of Emergency Room visits in Oregon, especially amongst adults, are dental related emergencies. With an average Emergency Room bill reaching over $600, many of which are left unpaid, the Mobile Dental Program provides both savings for the hospitals and excellent dental care for those in need.

    “It really is a neat relationship,” said Dr. Engle. “If the program ceased to exist, I don’t know what we’d do.”

    Story by Krystal Foote
  • Field Photos: Malaria Hang Up Campaign, SW Uganda

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 25, 2014

    Today is the first day of a three day malaria hang-up campaign at Nakivale Health Center II in Nakivale Settlement, SW Uganda!

    Village Health Teams (VHTs) made up of MTI volunteers spent all day yesterday being trained on how to hang mosquito nets and how to tell the families how to use them. 

    There are 2 VHTs per community.  Today (and for the next two days) they are taking mosquito nets to the communities where they live and work in to distribute the nets and hang them with the families, one-by-one.

    Thank you for your support of our Africa programs.  You make this possible!

    VHTs gather at the health center to get t-shirts, final instructions, and thank you from the Uganda Office of the Prime Minister, rep from UNHCR, and MTI Africa Program Manager Trina Chase.

    Village Health Team members Anatase (right) and Edissa (left) get instruction / plan from Charles (center), MTI staff in charge of clinic.

    Village Health Teams gather the mosquito nets and head out.

    Anatase and Edissa document that the family has received a net.

    Anatase and Edissa help a community member hang a net.

  • Volunteer Story: Sandy Gregg

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 25, 2014
    Sandy Gregg, System Director, Nursing and Clinical Strategy for Providence Health & Services, came to Alta Verapaz in September 2013 as a member of Providence’s fourth team with MTI. With eight health professionals representing programs in four states, the all-­‐ women team supported the construction of 40 stoves in the village of Granadilla, a project benefitting 230 individuals.

    Tortilla making in Granadilla with Sandy Gregg (left) and Aimee Khuu, Program Director for International Missions, Providence Health & Services 

    Prior to participating with MTI, Gregg’s previous experience in Latin America included serving on a health delegation to El Salvador with the Catholic Health Consortium in addition to multiple immersion trips with Providence Health & Services. “I have found deep joy in working alongside the people of El Salvador, and I participated on the trip to Guatemala to learn about the work occurring in this country and to determine ways in which we can engage Providence’s nursing workforce to positively impact the health of Guatemalans,” Gregg said. “My time with MTI provided valuable insight related to the resources available in small villages and many of the immediate health needs.”


    As a part of Providence’s alliance with Rafael Landívar University, Gregg spent the three days prior to her MTI trip with university staff examining how Guatemalan health professionals approach their care in both urban and rural areas. Her field experience with MTI complemented her overview of Guatemala’s health needs by providing field experience in a high-­‐need area.

    The Providence team included two native Spanish speakers, but when community members were only Q’eqchi’-speaking, the team relied on MTI staff or their own creativity to communicate. “We found music and dancing crosses all languages,” Gregg noted. The team also cultivated relationships by sharing learning tools that they had brought as well as participating in community activities. “The children loved to color and draw—coloring books allowed for us to work on something together,” Gregg said. “Just stepping in and trying to help was also effective—for example we watched the women make tortillas and then we just picked up some batter and started to help. The women showed us what to do and cheered for us.”


    By spending time with families in their homes as well as having the opportunity to meet for lunch with Mother Monitors and members of Granadilla’s Community Leadership Council, the Providence team was able to connect with individuals in distinct leadership roles whose collaboration with MTI has gone on for several years as well as with families who were participating with an MTI project and with foreign volunteers for the first time. The Guatemalan rainy season provided a dramatic and often slippery backdrop to team activities, but the Providence team met the inclement weather with their walking sticks and rain jackets at the ready and their hearts filled with determination.

    When asked to highlight an experience or a relationship that most impacted her over the course of the week, Gregg said that it was a combination of factors that contributed to an overall holistic experience. “I believe it is the culmination of many moments that is so transformational,” she said, pointing to the collaborative effort realized alongside community members, the support of staff, as well as the unity within the Providence team as they worked toward a common goal for the health of Granadilla as key aspects contributing to an overall, high­‐impact experience.

    Providence Health & Services continues to look for ways to strengthen its relationship with MTI Guatemala’s maternal and child health initiative, and will sponsor Health Program Manager Aurelia Ma and Community Health Worker Rutilia Jor to attend a conference for health promoters put on by Visión y Compromiso this December in Los Angeles, California.

    Story and Photos by Brittn Grey

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