Dear MedGlobal friends and supporters,
I came on board as the MedGlobal Interim Executive Director just over a year ago. As a member of the Board of Directors, I was happy to step into this role when we needed it the most, as we looked for a more permanent fit. I can safely say that my year as the MedGlobal Executive Director has been some of the most meaningful and important work in my career.
As this chapter comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on this year’s intense challenges and the inspiring global community that rose to meet them. This past year, the whole world faced the COVID-19 pandemic. In my clinic in Chicago, I saw families devastated by COVID-19 and communities across the city impacted to their core. Across the world in MedGlobal’s countries of operation, we also saw devastating disasters, the highest level of global displacement on record, and the continuation of humanitarian crises like those in Yemen and Syria where the health systems are decimated and populations are in grave need.
And yet, at MedGlobal, we jumped into action. The pandemic affected every single one of us, but we adapted. We acted quickly to build critical health programs for those in fragile states, humanitarian crises, and low-resource settings.
As I look back, I am especially grateful for:
Our team. The many MedGlobal staff, volunteers, health workers, and partners have worked so hard to make sure health services are accessible to those most in need. I’ve learned from each and every one of them, and I’m inspired daily by their dedication to our mission of a world without healthcare disparity.
Our new and rapidly growing health programs. MedGlobal’s impact in 2020 was our greatest yet, with new programs in Ecuador, Sudan, Lebanon, and right here in the United States. We served over 1.2 million people across 11 countries, from rural Yemen, to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, to my very own community in Chicago. We supported 130 health facilities with the critical supplies to treat patients, protect health workers, and respond quickly.
The health workers I’ve met and collaborated with this year. I’ve seen true innovation from health workers this year, from doctors in the United States and Bangladesh collaborating on telemedicine programs, to our dedicated staff in Lebanon who developed mental health referral networks mere days after the devastating Beirut blast. These health workers are leaders in their communities, and heroes to me.
Now, I’m proudly passing the Executive Director reins to Lucine Saleh, a great humanitarian and health leader. I have full confidence that with your support, MedGlobal’s health programming will impact even more lives in years to come.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I’ll still be actively involved as a Board member of MedGlobal, an organization I hold so dear to my heart. I’m proud to continue to be a part of this amazing MedGlobal family.
Dr. Hena Ibrahim
Interim Executive Director