IBJNews

2014 Health Care Heroes: Timmy Global Health

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Health Care HeroesFinalist: Community Achievement in Health Care

Timmy Global Health

 Timmy Global Health can’t help all of the world’s underserved people get the access they need to health care, but today it’s making a huge difference for people in the six countries it serves. And tomorrow its army of college-age volunteers is likely to help solve health care disparities in other parts of the globe.

The Indianapolis not-for-profit has a staff of just six at its modest office near 22nd and Meridian streets and six others working abroad. Its strength is in the almost 50 groups of student volunteers who belong to Timmy Global Health college chapters from coast to coast, from the University of California-Davis to Tufts University in Boston. There are chapters at most Indiana college campuses and at 10 high schools, most of them in or near Indianapolis.

This year, Timmy Global Health expects to send 600 to 700 of its student volunteers abroad to bring health care services to the poor in Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria and El Salvador. It also works in Indianapolis and other parts of the United States.

hch_macgregor.jpg Matt MacGregor (IBJ Photo/Eric Learned)

Most would call these “mission” trips, but Timmy Global Health’s executive director, Matt MacGregor, avoids that term because he thinks it implies a program that is less comprehensive than the one Timmy Global Health offers.

Going on a trip and helping people with their medical needs is just the tip of the iceberg, he said. Unlike most mission trips, the care doesn’t stop when the trip is over. “Our volunteers feel confident that the people they see are part of a system that provides follow-up care.”

Timmy Global Health brokers relationships with local hospitals and health clinics that agree to provide ongoing care.

“We set up mini health systems that help get people from the original point of care to whatever they need,” MacGregor said.

For example, if volunteers discovered a heart murmur in a child, a local partner hospital would do an electrocardiogram to see if follow-up care was needed. Timmy Global Health would provide transportation and, if necessary, translation services. And if it was determined that surgery was necessary, the organization would arrange for that through its local partners. A patient in Ecuador who was treated for a snake bite was under observation for months and is about to have surgery to save his leg.

Of the 14,000 people who took advantage of Timmy Global Health’s services last year, 1,300 got follow-up care long after the student volunteers had returned home, MacGregor said.

To be effective, the organization has to be strategic about where it gets financial support and how it spends it.

MacGregor, who was picked by Timmy Global Health’s founder in 2009 to put the organization on sounder footing, is careful to maintain a diverse funding base. Chase Bank, Lilly Foundation and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation have been loyal supporters, he said, but “we don’t live or die off of one big funder. We survive off a lot of $500 and $1,000 donations.”

Its almost $6 million budget is supported by a host of fundraising activities carried out by its student volunteers. And it relies on donations of medicines and medical supplies that might otherwise be destroyed. Last year, it funneled $3.8 million of those supplies to global and local partners.

“We work hard to make sure our internal business model makes sense,” MacGregor said. Timmy Global Health has a good sense for how many volunteer chapters it can support and how many countries it can serve. “Our core business is sending volunteers abroad,” he said. “We only send them in a way that is sustainable.”•

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

ADVERTISEMENT