From Easy Chair to Refugee Camp
Our story began in November 1979. Ron Post sat in his easy chair watching the nightly news. Scenes of suffering flashed across the screen. Thousands of Cambodians were trying to escape the Khmer Rouge by fleeing to Thailand.
Ron watched as aid workers picked up a young girl’s body from a rice field. Looking across the room at his teenage daughter, Ron realized that if she had been born in Cambodia, that could have been her on the TV.
Suddenly, a thought came to him as clearly as if someone had written it on a piece of paper. The idea: recruit a medical team to help refugees.
Ron, a businessman without any medical experience, didn’t know how he was going to make it happen. Doubts filled his mind.
But Ron prayed for answers, and then doors began to open. He boldly took steps to put a team together. In two weeks’ time, a group of 28 volunteers were on their way to Thailand.
That was the beginning of Northwest Medical Teams – now known as Medical Teams International.
Four Decades of Expert Disaster Response
Since 1979, we’ve provided life-saving medical care for people in crisis, including survivors of the Rwandan genocide, the South Asia tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In 1989, we launched a Mobile Dental Program, providing free dental care to people in need right in our neighborhoods.
With our history and experience, we’ve grown into our role as experts in disaster response – disasters that are both natural and manmade. Right now, we’re responding on many fronts to the largest refugee crisis the world has ever known.
Our staff and volunteers care for the hurting in front-line clinics, refugee camps, and remote villages. In places where mothers and babies are dying. Where outbreaks threaten to overtake entire communities. Where local health systems are overwhelmed or non-existent.