Mark Heydenburg, a biomedical technology trainer with International Aid, visited our CURE hospital in Malawi, fixing equipment, setting up new machines, and training CURE Malawi’s local staff. Mark resides in Grand Rapids, MI, but has traveled all over the world sharing his expertise, including over forty visits to North Korea. His animated and adventurous personality, combined with his excitement to be working with CURE, come together perfectly as he offers his knowledge and skillset to the local staff at many of the CURE hospitals.
When it came to preparing for his trip, Mark told us about the donated Custom Maintenance Software (CMS) by FSI that CURE International has recently and graciously been gifted with, and how he prepared to use it before flying out to Africa. “Before I came here, I attached the service manuals to CMS to an email so I wouldn’t have to bring the thick hard copy. I sent it to the guys from TriMedX Foundation so they could read the manuals before they get here and know what they are in for. It allowed us all to be on the same page. It’s amazing, it really is.” Mark described the software by saying, “CMS not only helps the management but also levels below management and gives them the ability to know what needs to be checked, how often it needs to be checked, and how to track the finances of it.” He went on to mention how one could even budget a year ahead for how much money they should set aside for maintenance. “We can base it all on history of how many breakdowns are recorded in CMS.”
During Mark’s visit at CURE Malawi, he set up new equipment in the laboratory, fixed Malawi’s digital X-ray, the theater equipment, the physiotherapy equipment, and the washing machines. While doing this, he also began training local staff on how they can do this on their own going forward.
Mark also shared his plans to send out monthly ‘Tech Tips” to all of the CURE hospitals in the future, with pointers and advice about equipment maintenance. He’s excited about the potential. “Sometimes we send out equipment to the CURE hospitals and it might not get used because everyone is afraid of it. If we can send something that says, ‘Before you open this, here’s what this will do for you, here’s how this will improve your output, and this is how it will benefit you,’ these encouraging tips can help people want to switch to the new equipment.”
Looking to the future comes naturally to Mark, and he’s already making plans for more ways to improve the efficiency and quality of maintenance and equipment use in the CURE network. Ultimately, he’s working toward the goal of increasing the quality of care that we can give to the children.
Mark teaches Lighton and Casden how to fix the washing machine’s heating elements.
Mark expressed how much he loves his job and traveling. “Even working on things like the washing machine … It’s something that I didn’t expect to be working on, but it could be a big problem if it didn’t get fixed.” He explained how the heating elements became damaged over the years, and though it may not look as significant as the equipment used to operate on the patients, these machines are important to help keep the hospital clean. Mark shared with passion, “I mean, imagine if you didn’t have these and a kid got blood on the bed sheets; you would need these machines to wash it!”
Mark discussed the partnership of CURE International and International Aid with excitement. He shared how CURE has recently relocated to Michigan, where International Aid resides, and has joined them in their office space. “This gives CURE a warehouse. This gives them offices. This gives them a strategic location, and this allows them to be close to many of their donors.” Mark expects that over the next few years the companies will become even more integrated and is excited to see two organizations come together to serve the Lord. Mark ended by saying, “I hope and I pray that CURE and International Aid will be really amazing.”