History of HHI

Improving access to health since 1992

Take a walk with us back to the beginning…

scroll down
Covid Pandemic

HHI was heavily involved in every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic healthcare response…

including early virus preparations with the World Health Organization; distribution of PPE, medical aid, and hygiene supplies; and provision of testing, medical care, and vaccinations.

global headquarters

Because of the organization’s growth and need for an expanded facility, HHI purchased a new global headquarters with warehouse in Lenexa, Kansas.

The new facility enabled HHI to distributed four times the amount of medical and humanitarian aid.

hurricane response

HHI responded with medical teams to three consecutive hurricanes in 2017:

Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico. The responses overlapped and together became one of the largest responses in HHI history.

Ebola Crisis

HHI responded to the Ebola crisis in Liberia by establishing and running an Ebola Treatment Unit.

In addition, HHI trained administrators and teachers in the local school district in safe hygiene practices.

Earthquake in Haiti

HHI responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Staying beyond the earthquake response, HHI hired, trained and helped create Haitian leadership to make a long-lasting change in Haiti. When Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti in 2016, the HHI-trained Haitian medical teams were prepared to respond.

Hurricane Katrina

HHI’s response to Hurricane Katrina was its largest and longest humanitarian effort to that point.

Before the storm had even subsided, HHI was working with partners, including FedEx, and distributing water, medicine, medical supplies, hygiene items and more. For 18 months after the storm, HHI worked in cities along the Gulf Coast providing medical care and supplies to communities in need.

medical aid in India

HHI delivered $12 million in aid to Calcutta, India.

This airlift, designed to help Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, took three years to organize. The assembly of God Mission Hospital, Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission, Cancer Centre and Welfare Home, and four large teaching hospitals in Calcutta, among others, were recipients of medical aid and products.

U.S. Vietnam conflict

Volunteers and sponsors worked with HHI to deliver a message of hope and peace to the Vietnamese people.

This project launched a partnership with FedEx, whose MD-11 was the first American plane to land in Hanoi since the end of the Southeast Asian conflict. The project was an instrumental part of improving relations between the U.S. and Vietnam.

HHI is founded

Heart to Heart International was founded.

The initial mission was an airlift of medical aid to hospitals in Russia. At the time, it was the largest private humanitarian airlift ever. Donated aid was distributed to 32 area hospitals and nine orphanages. A gift from the heart of America to the heart of Russia—the Heart to Heart Airlift— became a reality thanks to hundreds of volunteers and corporate partners.

Our beginning

How it all began.

In 1992, Heart to Heart International began when the organization delivered 75 tons of donated medical supplies and equipment from the heart of America to the heart of Russia.

More airlifts of medicines and medical supplies followed, including to Vietnam, India, China, and many of the former Soviet states, including Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, and Georgia. Since then, HHI has grown from an organization dedicated primarily to medical relief airlifts, to one that distributes medicines and medical supplies to nonprofit partners and clinics across the U.S. and around the world, helps improve laboratory capabilities for clinics in the U.S., and deploys medical response teams in the aftermath of disasters.