The purpose of the 501(c)(3) non-profit, World Medical Care Mission (WMCM), is to provide cardiovascular healthcare services to underserved areas throughout the world. The initial mission of the WMCM took place April 9-21, 2010 and served the people of Guam.
Guam, the largest island in Micronesia, is located in the western Pacific Ocean and is an unincorporated territory of the United States. The Chamorros, Guam’s indigenous people, first populated the island 4000 years ago. The island was captured by the Japanese on December 8, 1941 hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Guam was occupied for 2.5 years during which time they suffered terrible atrocities. They were liberated by the American troops on July 21, 1944 and the US continues to house a naval military base and an air force base on the island.
The island of Guam is 30 miles long and 4 miles wide. The language of Guam is English and its currency is the US dollar. The island population is approximately 175,000.
Despite the fact that Guam is part of the United States, it does not enjoy the same level of healthcare that the people in mainland US do. Healthcare on Guam largely consists of multiple general medical clinics scattered throughout the island. Each clinic is run by a group of 3-5 family practice physicians who see up to 250 patients per day. The care provided is a basal level of primary care. For a higher level of care, patients must be transported off island to the Philippines or mainland US. The cost of flying the patient and a companion is assumed by the patient’s health insurance provider. The providers also pay for all of the care delivered to that patient by the mainland US hospital/practitioner. Food, transportation and housing for the patients and their families, however, is NOT covered by the insurance companies and the patient must assume this financial burden. On average, patients must stay in the US for 4 weeks after open heart surgery before returning to Guam and this can be costly to these patients.
The mission director, Dr. Kathy E. Magliato, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, obtained a full medical license to practice on Guam and during initial the 12 day trip saw more than 50 patients in one of the family practice clinics. Guam has one of the highest per capita rates of heart disease with the majority of patients having 5 or more risk factors for heart disease. The average age to first heart attack is 42 years. Since the island has only one cardiologist who is semi-retired and works part-time, many patients go undiagnosed and untreated. All of the patients seen by Dr. Magliato are in need of cardiovascular services and will need to be flown off island to Saint John’s Health Center for further treatment but there are many more that need to be transported. Thus far, we have managed to provide for 10 patients to be brought to the mainland but funding is limited. Shortly after returning from Guam, we lost a 27 year old mother who succumbed to heart disease one month after giving birth to her daughter because we could not transport her to the mainland United States in a timely manner.
Funding for the WMCM’s ongoing mission will be used for:
Quarterly trips to Guam to evaluate cardiovascular patients in the clinic setting. It is hoped that, if funding is available, that several doctors within other related specialties can make the trip. The next mission is planned for the early fall.
Offsetting the cost to feed and house the Guam patients and their caregivers while they are staying in California.
Offsetting the cost of transportation to and from the hospital for doctor appointments.
UCLA field study: WMCM would like to host an Executive MBA field study to examine the healthcare situation on Guam and to perform a feasibility study regarding the building of a private hospital in the island. Currently, there is a government run medical center on Guam which delivers marginal care at rates that are too high for the insurance providers to pay.
Hiring of a consulting firm, Benevolent Vision, to provide fund development counsel, strategic planning and management services
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN DONATING TO THE WORLD MEDICAL CARE MISSION, PLEASE CONTACT
MR. MICHAEL MIRANDA AT 818-207-2130 OR MJNMIRANDA@ATT.NET