Heart to Heart International CEO Jim Mitchum announced today (October 7, 2014) that HHI would open an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia to help combat the Ebola epidemic.
Mitchum: “This is no small task, nor was it an easy decision. Running an ETU in Liberia will be the most complex and challenging humanitarian effort we have ever undertaken.”
Mitchum made the announcement at a press conference held at the new HHI headquarters in Lenexa, KS in front of a bank of cameras and news reporters. “After careful deliberation, we have decided to go to Liberia where we will open and operate a 70-bed Ebola Treatment Unit,” Mitchum said. The ETU is already under construction in Kakata, a city about 50 miles from the capital of Monrovia. HHI will join two other NGOs who are already operating ETUs in Liberia.
Read more of HHI’s plan to open an Ebola Treatment Unit
Joining Mitchum for the announcement was Dr. Lee Norman, Chief Medical Officer of the University of Kansas Hospital who supported the plan laid out by Mitchum, and offered “we at KU Hospital have systems in place to assure you that should Heart to Heart volunteers and staff, and their worried families, need our care, we are here to help you.”
Also on hand – Tamba Hali, a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs professional football team. Hali spent much of his childhood in war torn Liberia and offered support for HHI’s plan to help the people of his home country. “The country’s been in chaos and Heart to Heart’s coming in,” Hali said. “I don’t think there’s another organization that does what they do. We just need more effort. These are good people. We’re all human beings. We’re all good people. We all want to do the right thing.”