October 12, 2023 (Lenexa, KS) – Heart to Heart International (HHI) received verification from the World Health Organization (WHO) as an Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Type 1 Mobile. This classification signifies the organization’s ability to respond swiftly and efficiently, providing vital medical services after disasters and crises worldwide.
The certification establishes HHI as one of the few on the WHO’s registry for internationally deployable teams for an emergency response. HHI is only the fourth team in the United States to receive such designation and 38th in the world.
“I am tremendously proud of our team of committed and skilled professionals. As one of the smaller humanitarian organizations to receive this honor, this is truly a significant undertaking that greatly enhances our ability to respond to disasters in the future,” said Kim Carroll, HHI’s CEO. “The WHO’s recognition of our team serves as a signal to those we help, assuring them of our trustworthiness and genuine commitment to providing assistance worldwide.”
HHI first embarked on the extensive process to receive this verification in 2016. Achieving this milestone has been made possible by the skill and dedication of numerous staff and volunteers as well as the invaluable guidance provided by mentors from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) who were assigned as part of the program.
To achieve the verification, HHI was required to demonstrate its capacity to be self-sufficient with the ability to move clinic locations daily while providing medical care for up to 50 patients a day for 14 days. These impressive capabilities were put on display through presentations, questioning and a mock medical field clinic set up during the visit of WHO representatives to HHI’s headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas, on October 10 and 11, 2023.
“Throughout this challenging yet rewarding process, we have collaborated with a diverse group of medical professionals, volunteers and staff, each contributing their unique expertise and commitment to the project,” said Dr. Agustina Boehringer, HHI’s Chief Medical Officer. “Together, we improved our skills, strengthened our infrastructure and aligned our protocols to meet the highest international standards and to ensure our readiness to tackle emergencies on a global scale.”
The organization views the achievement as a signal of its commitment to uphold professionalism, ethics and transparency in everything it does.