Partner Spotlight: Making point of care laboratories possible

In collaboration with partners, Heart to Heart International recently announced the 2020/2021 product-based grants to six clinics across the United States through the Point of Care, Enhancing Clinical Effectiveness program. The program began in 2017 and is funded by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and implemented by HHI in conjunction with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC).

The program is part of a continued effort from all three organizations to support and improve evidence-based care in free and charitable clinics.

Two other partners also contribute to the success of the program through donated products. In celebration of this month’s announcement of the 2020/2021 grant announcement, we are highlighting the importance Abbott Laboratories and Henry Schein, Inc. play in this program.

Abbott Laboratories and Abbott Fund donate reagents for all six of the grant-awarded labs for one year. Henry Schein donates reagents and supplies for the clinics participating in the program. Reagents are used to detect the presence or measure the amount of a substance in the body. These are critical to the success of point of care laboratory testing, which allows physicians and medical staff to accurately achieve real-time, lab-quality diagnostic results within minutes rather than hours.

Abbott Laboratories is committed to building life-changing technologies that adapt and respond quickly to changes in the world and to deliver better solutions to help people live their best lives. Abbott Laboratories has been a partner of HHI since 2002, donating medicine and supporting disaster relief efforts and HHI’s Global Volunteer Development.

The Henry Schein, Inc. through its corporate social responsibility program, Henry Schein Cares, works to strengthen disaster preparedness and relief efforts worldwide through NGO partnerships, and cash and product donations. In 2018-2019, HHI was a recipient of the generosity from the Henry Schein We Care Global Challenge, and facilitated events where employees assembled almost 40,000 hygiene kits at locations throughout the world. Henry Schein Cares also supports HHI’s disaster response efforts and has been a partner since 2010.

With this year’s grant to the six selected clinics, more than 18,000 patient visits are expected to be positively impacted through the enhanced diagnostic capabilities.


About BD
BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 70,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of clinicians’ care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers’ capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care. For more information on BD, please visit bd.com or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/bd1/ and Twitter @BDandCo.

About the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is the only nonprofit 501c (3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of the medically underserved throughout the nation and the more than 1,400 Free and Charitable Clinics that serve them. The NAFC has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is working to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care and strives to be a national voice promoting quality health care for all. For more information about the NAFC, please visit www.nafcclinics.org. Follow the NAFC on Twitter at @NAFClinics and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NAFCClinics.


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Building a Healthy Future in Haiti

A joint project between Heart to Heart International and BD continues to make a positive impact in Haiti, in part by providing training for healthcare workers in communities across the country.
What follows is a guest post from a member of the most recent BD Volunteer Service Team recently returned from Haiti.

stephanieHeart to Heart International continues to build an empowered and healthy Haiti through its training programs to address basic human needs

By Sushmita Bandopadhyay, BD VST member

“I want my community to be saved from malaria. I am the only one in my family who has stepped forward to fight it. My parents are happy that I am able to help Ayiti,” says Stephanie (pictured above), a community health agent who got involved in this year’s healthcare worker training in Thiotte, Haiti.

There are a number of young people like Stephanie who are committed to improving basic healthcare situation in Haiti. They walk miles to attend training on water, sanitation, hygiene and infectious diseases that will be exercised to address the community health challenges. After the training, she will now be able to do temperature and blood pressure checks for her community.

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The healthcare worker training was conducted by BD volunteers in Thiotte and in Belle Anse. Doctor OP Kansal, a BD volunteer, trained the participants on safe child delivery techniques in resource-limited settings. The group also went through a simulation exercise to better understand the concept.  As compared to last year’s training, this year’s curriculum distinctly included the WASH program that will help the community health agents greatly.  A staff member of HHI agreed that this training conducted by volunteers is very appropriate in this time when cholera seems to be prevalent in parts of Haiti, and added that the training manuals are a great reference for the health workers.

For some months now, HHI has been working on Kore Fanmi ­- a pilot program of the Haitian Government, funded by The World Bank in partnership with UNICEF, that intends to improve the provision of basic services to poor and vulnerable families in Haiti.  Several young and old people have been chosen to be a part of this movement who are undergoing training for Kore Fanmi.  Each trainer is responsible for a hundred families and makes regular visits to ensure family needs are understood and addressed well. Trainings and awareness workshops are being conducted across parts of the country and HHI is now working in Belle Anse in its second phase of the project.  Says John, a Kore Fanmi agent who attended the five-day workshop, “This year’s training has increased my knowledge and I feel I can contribute towards a healthier life in Haiti.”

Dr. OP

Over the years, such trainings have taught quality improvement methods to help communities manage the problems with confidence. For example, people are now eager to apply the cholera trainings and make progress. Health agents express an interest in attending such trainings which help them make a real change in the environment. Empowered with more knowledge and regular trainings, the community health care workers are daring to dream now. “My dream for Haiti is that every home has a ‘latrine’. I want to contribute towards this dream for my country,” says Andre, a participant with a twinkle in his eye.

These types of training programs and awareness workshops remain critical and are aiding communities in Haiti to live a better quality of life.

Lab Training in Papua New Guinea

The Lemacot Health Center laboratory on the Papua New Guinea island of New Ireland had closed several years ago due to a lack of funding.  Now it’s opening again, health workers are being trained, and residents of this remote island in the Pacific Ocean have better access to healthcare.

PNG kid

(Ed. note) For several years, Heart to Heart International has worked in Haiti with corporate partner BD to develop and strengthen laboratory services in both urban and rural communities and to provide healthcare worker training through BD’s Volunteer Service Trip program. Now, drawing on that experience and fostering new partner relationships, we’ve replicated the training program on the other side of the world – Papua New Guinea.

Working with BD and the organization Australian Doctors International, we developed a one week laboratory training program to teach the World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory Standards to lab managers on New Ireland (map).  The lessons include projects the laboratorians can take home and implement within a few weeks or months to increase the accuracy and consistency of laboratory testing.  This results in better patient diagnosis and treatment no matter the remote and rustic locations in which these lab managers work.

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The Lemacot Health Center serves 16,813 people within a 4 hour walk.  Lemacot nurses go into the countryside in order for people to access services no more than 10 minutes from home.  The nurses deliver more than 400 babies a year and track vaccinations for all the children in their coverage area.  Lemacot treats TB patients, HIV patients, trauma as well as general medicine.  Nurses, midwives, community health workers and health officers serve the local population – all without a physician.

PNG clinic

Lemacot Head Nurse, Sister Kathy, told us she could only attend the first and last day of our laboratory training.  We were pleasantly surprised when she came the next day and said she’d be there all week. She told the class that she had been working with her nursing staff to standardize practice in the health center.  As it turns out, the class we had taught on the first day was on the importance of SOP’s – Standardized Operating Procedures.  She said it rang true with her.

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She told us that she needs to encourage her staff to write and follow standardized procedures, knowing it’s key to consistent good nursing care.  It is all about the patient and this is the way to be sure patients receive the best care possible.

PNG cert

We went to Papua New Guinea to improve laboratory science on the island of New Ireland and it looks as though our lessons will spread beyond the confines of the laboratory and into general healthcare.  If our efforts result in improved, consistent patient care in multiple areas – it’s more than we could have hoped for.

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Learn more about our Lab and Clinic services.