“Donated supplies are one of the main backbones of our organization, and without programs such as MedWish, we could not fulfill our mission of providing health and hope to underserved children around the world.”
Debby Dunn, Trustee
Healing the Children New Jersey
Healing the Children, New Jersey (HTCNJ) is a nonprofit organization that offers multiple programs to help children around the world secure medical treatment that is unavailable to them in their country. One of its programs, the Medical Teams Abroad Program, provides ear, nose, throat (ENT), ophthalmic, orthopedic, urologic, and plastic/reconstructive surgery for children in developing countries at no cost to the patient.
For many years, HTCNJ has worked to obtain donated supplies for surgical missions from organizations that support these types of efforts. Prior to each of the surgical missions - one to Ecuador and two to the Dominican Republic in 2022 and 2023 - Debby Dunn, Trustee at HTCNJ and Manager of Medical Supplies and Equipment for the Medical Teams Abroad Program, and Tiffany Patino, Coordinator for the Medical Teams Abroad Program, reached out to MedWish to obtain much-needed surgical supplies.
“HTCNJ subsists on fundraising and donations,” says Debby. “Donated supplies are one of the main backbones of our organization, and without programs such as MedWish, we could not fulfill our mission of providing health and hope to underserved children around the world.”
Healing the Children, New Jersey has received a wide array of supplies from MedWish, which includes surgical masks, sterile gloves, table covers, Mayo stand covers, gowns, sponges, needles and syringes, pediatric breathing circuits and masks, IV catheters, and sutures. On the most recent surgical mission to the Dominican Republic, the Medical Teams Abroad Program volunteers were able to pack supplies needed to perform 80 ophthalmology surgeries for patients suffering from strabismus (misaligned eyes) and ptosis (drooping of upper eyelid). This equated to 25, 50-pound suitcases that the team brought with them to the country to sustain one week of surgeries.
“Two very common surgical supplies are sterile surgical gowns and sterile gloves. If we don’t have either one, there is no surgery. It’s a deal breaker,” says Debby. “MedWish is a major provider of these items, which enables us to stay afloat so that we can perform pro-bono pediatric surgeries.”
MedWish was also able to provide a low-temperature handheld cautery that is used on HTCNJ ophthalmology trips, allowing the completion of specific types of procedures they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.
Debby and Tiffany appreciate the alliance with MedWish as it allows HTCNJ to obtain surgical supplies needed to perform corrective surgeries that ultimately improve the lives of children and their families.