There’s a new face roaming the halls of CURE Niger and CURE Uganda. It’s a face that is demonstrative of a new chapter in the ongoing story of CURE International. Jim Loeffler is an employee of medical equipment non-profit International Aid (IA). He has been assigned, full-time, to work for CURE International. Jim now oversees all equipment support for both CURE Niger and CURE Uganda in Africa. He also works with technical staff at eight other hospitals and does procurement for all of CURE International’s medical equipment needs!
International Aid’s presence around the CURE hospitals isn’t a new development; rather, it is the strengthening of an old relationship. CURE and IA have worked closely together since the opening of CURE Kenya 20 years ago. International Aid has experts in biomedical equipment, and, through decades of experience working in faith-based hospitals around the world, they know not only the equipment required, but also the intricacies of maintaining equipment in difficult locations.
For decades now, the vendor-customer relationship between our two organizations has flourished. Slowly, we have become more and more in-line with each other as we’ve shared board members and similar passions for healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God. This past year, we took the plunge and solidified this deepening bond with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, officially entering us into a mutually beneficial partnership.
Partnering with CURE gives IA the opportunity to take their operation to the next level by getting involved in the nitty gritty of running multiple hospitals around the world as well as running the long-term maintenance and procurement for these hospitals. The partnership also gives IA the opportunity to interact directly with the sweet faces of children whose lives the equipment is helping to change. In return, by partnering with IA, CURE gets the technical expertise and dedication needed to catch mechanical problems before they happen. It also streamlines the procurement process. All of this is done with the ultimate goal of healing more children and continuing to provide healthcare of the highest quality to some of the world’s most underserved populations.
On the ground, Jim is the face of this blossoming partnership. He has completed rotations through both CURE Niger and CURE Uganda. His first round served as an introduction to each hospital and he took time to take inventory of the resources available at each one and make baseline evaluations of each piece of equipment. On his second rotation through, Jim labelled each piece of equipment and added it to a digital inventory system, which fixed some basic issues. He also carried out more equipment evaluations to compare to the new recorded baseline. With Jim’s help, CURE will be able to move from a reactionary maintenance system to a regularly scheduled, preventative maintenance system that is standard in western hospitals.
What Jim and International Aid do is an underappreciated task. Generally, equipment procurement is not something that gets a lot of notice until something goes wrong. We have so many rock star employees who are on the front lines of healing through surgeries, bandage changes, and comforting hurting children, but we want to take this moment to thank those who are working tirelessly behind the scenes. Rock stars like Jim and the IA crew are working to tighten our ship and they are just as much as a part of healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God as any of our doctors or spiritual team members.