Medical Teams International

Medical Teams International

Medical Teams International (formerly Northwest Medical Teams) is a non-profit humanitarian aid and global health organization. Medical Teams International has:

  • mobilized 2,000 teams since 1979.
  • shipped $1.3 billion in medical aid since 1986.
  • provided care to 4.5 million people in 53 nations in 2008.
  • sent more than 2,600 volunteers serving annually in its various programs all over the world.



The mission of this non-governmental organization (NGO) is "to demonstrate the love of Christ to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty." They provide humanitarian aid to people in need regardless of a person’s religious background, affiliation or experience.

Aid recipients are not asked to participate in faith-based activities in order to receive medical care or supplies. Volunteers are welcome regardless of faith as long as they can support the mission of Medical Teams International.


An Oregon businessman, Ron Post, founded Northwest Medical Teams (now Medical Teams International) in 1979, in response to reports of thousands of Cambodian refugees escaping the killing fields. Twenty-eight medical volunteers joined the first team to Thailand to care for survivors of the Khmer Rouge.

This work has now expanded beyond their International Headquarters and Distribution Center in Portland, Oregon. They now have offices in Seattle, Washington, D.C., Minnesota and Michigan. Additionally, Medical Teams International has field offices in Cambodia, Indonesia, Liberia, Mexico, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.


From Medical Teams International’s Web site [1]:

"Medical Teams International's work is focused on several key areas where our staff and volunteers bring tremendous expertise. Our ultimate goal is to serve the people stricken by disaster, conflict and poverty all over the world with the most effective programs possible.

We use internationally accepted guidelines which are determined by the global health community. Our headquarters and field staff consistently review our commitments based on needs, capacity and potential for impact."

Their programs include:


Medical professionals from around the world volunteer on teams that address needs ranging from training midwives in Honduras to providing mobile medical clinics in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Uganda to forming emergency medical services (EMS) programs in Moldova.


Medical Teams International is non-profit, supported by the donations of individuals, corporations, medical institutions and churches. Every $30 helps send $4,893 in humanitarian aid and supplies to people in need.[citation needed] More than 96 percent of all donations goes to their programs and services.

Donations also include medicines and medical supplies given by institutions, companies and individuals to be sent to hospitals and clinics in more than 70 countries each year. These donations include bandages, medicines, sterilizers, medical instruments and surgical equipment. Shipments of these supplies have equipped and modernized surgical units and clinics and improved medical workers' ability to care for patients.

  • MinistryWatch gave Medical Teams International its 5-Star designation and included the organization in its list of 30 Shining Light Ministries.
  • In 2009, Charity Navigator, the largest evaluator of charitable organizations in the U.S., awarded its highest rating (4-Star) to Medical Teams International for the seventh year in a row.

Financial accountability

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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