Serving the world and each other
Sometimes we experience a defining moment in life that sets our feet firmly on a given path; one that pulls together all of our skills, experiences and connections focused intently on one worthy cause. We become empowered to maximize our time, talents and treasures. It often requires the right set of circumstances at a precise time for this journey to begin. Like many, that defining moment for me began on January 12, 2010.
Within a week after the massive earthquake that rocked Haiti killing over 200,000 and displacing millions, Dr. Robert Fuller, Chief of Emergency Services at UConn Health Center was interviewed on CNN for his on-the-ground role leading Disaster Response teams for International Medical Corps (IMC). For several weeks thereafter reports of warehouses full of supplies that never made it to their intended destinations filled the news.
It wasn’t long before horror stories began circulating throughout the ORs. Surgeons, physicians, nurses and other Health Care Providers (HCPs) who had answered the call were returning and describing how unprepared they and their organizations were for the physical and emotional stress of trying to deliver adequate medical and surgical services in such catastrophic conditions.
To me, the needs following the Haiti earthquake made sense of the past twenty years of my life in Special Operations, medicine, antiterrorism, adventure tourism, filmmaking, outdoor skills and survival and now the Medical Device industry. As I read through dozens of articles on the Partners in Health website the mission became clear: to capitalize on years of experience conducting medical missions in semi-permissive and High-Risk environments to help prepare American Medical Volunteers to become safer and more effective when alleviating suffering throughout the world.
Influenced by some of the best military training available, my belief is that the key to overcoming most obstacles begins with properly trained and prepared individuals and teams – not fancy gear and gadgets. Uniquely qualified for Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HA/DR) operations and the training of human capital in High-Risk environments are U.S. Army Special Forces “Green Berets” with whom I have had the honor to serve. Known as the “Quiet Professionals” multilingual Green Berets learn the customs, culture and language of a society to gain access and acceptance, build rapport and become “part of the tribe” living with and training their Host Nation counterparts long term with little or no support acting as a diplomatic arm of the United States military.
While working in the Medical Device industry I was provided the unique opportunity to help surgeons and medical teams with their nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). After twice conducting the Unconventional Surgical Immersion Course (USIC) a live tissue, scenario based humanitarian action training program at a Special Operations training facility, Direct Action Resource Center (DARC) in North Little Rock, AR, it became clear that many of the skills Medical Volunteers needed to respond effectively to disasters were the same necessary for delivering safe and effective surgical missions around the world 365 days per year.
Over the next two years, I discovered across the board that the greatest needs for medical NGOs are to raise awareness and funding for their mission. With so much need and with so many worthy causes at home and throughout the world, how could these organizations set themselves in front of the rest? Was there a better way to help “train, equip and deploy” these national treasures volunteering to help others in need?
HUMANI is dedicated not only to sharing “Best Practices” with Medical Humanitarians, military health care providers, humanitarian aid workers and missionaries through our print and online magazine. Our unique distribution methodology is designed to help “train, equip and deploy” medical personnel to more safely and effectively serve their communities and around the world. We do this by raising awareness and funding for training programs and medical missions through reader support. HUMANI helps align resources and coordinate efforts between the private and public sectors and provides a hub for connecting people who care with people in need.
Thank you again for taking time to read through our inaugural edition of Humani Magazine. Please visit our website at www.HumaniMag.TV for more information.
Jay R. Stanka / Managing Editor