Pre-Verification Visit for WHO Classification

In times of disaster, outbreak or emergency, swift and effective healthcare response is of paramount importance, Emergency Medical Teams step in with a critical mission – to improve the timeliness and quality of health services both nationally and internationally.

After a visit from mentors and evaluators sent by the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization, Heart to Heart International is now in the final stage of the WHO certification process to be verified as a Emergency Medical Team Type 1 Mobile.

The certification will put us on the WHO’s registry for internationally deployable teams for an emergency response. Currently there are only three other organizations in the U.S. that are classified as EMT Type 1 Mobile.

The two days in July were a pre-verification visit – the last step before final verification. Maj. David Binks (Barbados Defence Force), Dr. Milton Salazar (Costa Rica EMT), and Mr. Luis de la Fuente (delegate from PAHO) evaluated of our processes, mechanisms, equipment and simulations. The feedback was very positive, and we were cleared to move forward with requesting a final verification date.

“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.”

As we approach being classified as a Type 1 Mobile EMT, we understand that this achievement is not just an honor but also a significant responsibility. It shows our commitment to upholding professionalism, ethics and transparency in everything we do. This milestone signifies our preparedness to respond swiftly and efficiently, providing vital medical aid to those in need during emergencies and disasters.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to HHI volunteers, without whom this effort could not be possible, and to our supporters, our staff, the teams that came before us, and of course, the World Health Organization for its guidance and support throughout this process and for its vision of a world where no health emergency goes unanswered, and every life is valued and protected.