Monday, May 09, 2005

Improve health care.

I know a man who always wanted to be a physician. For a number of reasons, that never happened, but he helps others achieve that dream and helps improve health care by making regular contributions to Meharry Medical College. There are so many ways we can improve health care (for ourselves and for others). Here are a few more organizations you may want to support:

* Doctors Without Borders won a Nobel Peace Prize for their work delivering "emergency aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters, and to others who lack health care due to social or geographical isolation." They are looking for medical and non-medical volunteers in the field and in their NY and LA offices, and monetary donations are also accepted.

* MedShare International is "dedicated to recycling surplus medical supplies and equipment for use by health care institutions in developing nations." They can always use financial support to carry out their mission, and if you're in the Atlanta area, consider volunteering with them. It's a fun and productive way to spend a Saturday morning.

* International Medical Corps is "a global humanitarian nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. . . . If you have skills in the medical field, logistics, finance, engineering, or public health administration, and you seek personal satisfaction from helping others" then you may want to volunteer or work with IMC. Financial donations are also appreciated.

Locally, you can volunteer in your local hospital. I learned a lot as a candy striper in the microbiology lab of Baptist Hospital in Little Rock. There are all sorts of positions available from baby rockers to patient greeting to marketing. And the staff and patients are sure to be grateful. You can also donate money to a medical school or hospital near you. You may also want to consider donating your body to a med school.

So take care of your own health, and help others do the same.

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