As we look back on 2020, I think we can all agree that it was a tough year. Normally by December, TIH would have been able to travel to serve thousands of underserved people in Panama, Haiti, and Honduras, running free clinics in remote and poor communities. While we didn't get to carry out our mission in the ways that we've been able to in past years, we were still able to make an impact this year.
Despite our canceled trips, we were able to send the donated medicines that we would normally have gotten to administer to clinic patients to other groups doing honest work in Haiti so that they could still be put to good use. And Benjamin has been busy this year, not only being a rockstar on the front lines of treating COVID and trauma patients in the ER, but spreading the news about TIH and our mission!
First, he was named Nurse of the Week in July by the Nurse Pride blog. He talked about nursing during a pandemic, his background, the nursing profession, and all about TIH and how to get involved. "I really believe if we want to offer people a better life and a chance at a better existence, we have to give them health," Benjamin says in the interview. "I have worked in community and county hospitals and this is important to me because I think the patients we serve especially benefit from our help. The money has never been a big deal to me because, let’s face it, as a nurse I was never going to make that much." Check out the rest of the interview on the Nurse Pride blog!
Then, this month, Nicholas Feeney, a member of the TIH team, was featured on the USA for UNHCR's (UN Refugee Agency) Beyond 9 to 5 blog. He shared about his experience volunteering with TIH on a trip to Panama as someone with a non-clinical background. When he shared with Benjamin that he'd love to help, Benjamin asked him, “What do you think you can do? We always need extra hands.” Little did Nicholas know that months later, he'd be working alongside Benjamin and a dozen other volunteers providing care to nearly 700 indigenous Ngäbe people. Read more on USA for UNHCR's blog.
Finally, Benjamin just had the chance to be featured on the "Damn She Talks A Lot" podcast with Ariel Guthrie, which shines a spotlight on "a day in the life of people from all walks of life – where nothing's off the record, and everything is up for discussion. Creating a global perspective one conversation at a time." Over the course of 45 minutes, Ariel and Benjamin chat about what it's been like to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, how he came to start TIH, and what it's like to serve communities facing extreme poverty. You can listen to a clip below, but don't miss listening to the entire episode, available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Even though this year looked different than any year before it, we sincerely appreciate your support, be it through volunteering, donating, or spreading the word about This Is Health. We couldn't do what we do without you – every dollar donated to TIH is tax-deductible and is used only for patient care. Only $4 can treat one patient! We look forward to getting back to the communities in need who have come to count on TIH's clinics soon.
Happy holidays, and here's to a brighter 2021!
–The Team at TIH