Anyone who knows Benjamin Dearing, the founder of This Is Health, says the same thing: "This is a guy who is called to serve." Whether he is in the ER treating a child, bartending formal events in Washington, DC, or tending a patient's wounds in Haiti, he serves with compassion and knowledge.
enjamin first visited Central America when he was 17 years old. He volunteered to help rebuild houses after Hurricane Mitch destroyed the island of Guanaja. On that trip, he saw the work of two medical teams. Their work inspired him. First hand, he learned that a person needs their health even more than they need a home.
The clinic fostered his desire to continue volunteering in Central America whenever he could afford to go. Back in the Washington, DC area, he bartended at both restaurants and private parties. He also studied ER nursing at Frederick Community College and graduated in 2010. Studying emergency room nursing gave him the experience and knowledge to work in Third World clinics.
After the 2011 earthquake in Haiti, Benjamin was asked to help run a clinic in the poorest area of Port-au-Prince, Cite Soleil. Benjamin jumped in, caring for people, dressing wounds, administering antibiotics, and setting bones. Moreover, he helped teach several Haitians the work of the clinic so they could help with patient intake and follow-up when Benjamin had to return to the U.S.
Because of his passion for helping people and offering simple medical care, another friend asked him to help with a clinic in Honduras. Later Benjamin went to Panama to help with a clinic there. The desire for basic health for his patients motivated him to establish the non-profit This Is Health in 2014, and work towards being designated a 501(c)(3) in 2015.
Benjamin now travels to Haiti, Honduras, and Panama three times a year using his own savings and personal vacation time from work. His passion is simple: to help people get well enough that they can do more than just survive – they can live a healthy life. Said differently, his goal is to not let a simple infection or disease get serious enough to ruin a person’s health and independence.
He is closely connected to Christian missionaries in each country. Through those contacts, Benjamin is able to bring volunteers, meet and train teams on location, supervise and operate clinics, and travel to remote areas, bringing medical care. On average, Benjamin and his teams see up to 300 patients a day while running the clinics.
Benjamin believes in creating sustained relationships with the communities he serves, hiring local translators, medical staff, cooks, and guides, and returning to serve those communities again and again.
On average, $4 treats one patient. Donations to This Is Health are tax deductible and 100% dedicated to medical supplies and clinic setup.
Between trips, Benjamin volunteers at a local orphanage and a soup kitchen, works in the Emergency Room at Holy Cross Hospital in Maryland, and you can sometimes still find him behind a bar mixing drinks. A sign, “Tips for Haiti,” often inspires a conversation and he can pass on his passion along with a fancy cocktail. Both his day job and his night job support his dream to bring health to those in need. That is his purpose – basic health. This Is Health.
On average, $4 treats one patient. Donations to This Is Health are tax deductible and 100% dedicated to medical supplies and clinic setup in Central America. All travel and personal cost is paid by the individual volunteer/participant.