Physicians for Peace is an organization that was founded upon one philosophy: “If you heal someone, you help one person. If you teach someone to heal, you help many.” This belief was instilled by the founder of the organization, Dr. Charles Horton Sr. Since the organization’s founding in 1989, more than 650 medical missions have been completed across the globe thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteer healthcare professionals. Among the organization’s most successful missions was one conducted in Haiti in 2010, after receiving $500,000 from ChildFund International to conduct disaster relief work.
Physicians for Peace works to achieve self-sufficiency and better health in developing areas by teaching medical skills and donating basic medical supplies. Among the organization’s focus areas are training health care providers to adequately care for those with disabilities and burns in addition to improving surgical practices and maternal and child healthcare. Physicians for Peace has targeted these specific health care needs since they are the most common ones seen in the developing world.
In 2012, Physicians for Peace trained more than 1,500 healthcare professionals through lecture and donated over 13,000 hours of time in developing countries. Volunteers served in 16 countries and $7.3 million worth of supplies were donated. As a direct result of the service provided by Physicians for Peace, “health care professionals report the positive impact of PFP training on patient well-being including better overall health, improved quality of care, improved self-image as well as the ability to enjoy new opportunities and return to old activities.”
The positive impact made by Physicians for Peace trained health care workers doesn’t stop at the patient, however. On average, each trained healthcare professional will train “up to 70 healthcare professionals through hands-on training, lectures, conferences, and other informal training,” fulfilling Dr. Horton’s philosophy that “if you teach someone to heal, you help many.”
– Jordan Kline