SaucySailoress with Cruisers Forum suggested I post our recent "Sea Mercy Update" within this thread to give those interested an update on our progress.
Sea Mercy Update - January 2013
Thank you for your recent support and interest in Sea Mercy
and our Floating Health Care
Clinic (FHCC) for the remote islands of the South Pacific. In appreciation of your time and support and our goal and determination to always keep our operations transparent, we wanted to take a moment to look back at Sea Mercy's accomplishments in 2012 and to share with you our plans for 2013 and beyond. In addition to the overview below, we have included a link to the January Sea Mercy Newsletter
(PDF version) for your review and to share with your friends and contacts.
In this email you will find the following:
How You Can Help
With our leaderships' prior non-profit organizational development experience, we estimated that it would take 1-2 years to develop and secure the approval of the Sea Mercy program from our island nation partners, and acquire the required medical supplies and health care
volunteers needed to staff and support the ongoing operations of a remote floating clinic. Once those three goals were achieved, we expected operational funding
and vessel selection could follow close behind. To our surprise, we accomplished all of our island partner, medical supply and volunteer goals within the first 4 months of Sea Mercy's launch in September 2012!
Achieving these program goals early allows us to now focus the majority of our efforts on the FHCC vessel selection, it's transport to Tonga
, and the operational funding
required to support it for 5+ years.
Goals accomplished since September 2012:
Initial Island Nation Partner Approval
Kingdom of Tonga
(1 primary island and 176 remote islands)
We have partnered with MedShare, giving us access to and the transportation of all the medical supplies we need to support our ongoing operations (Tonga and other future island nation partners)
Health Care Volunteers
Our pool of available volunteers is fast approaching 200 health
care professionals. This allows us to not only meet the needs of Tonga, but also our future island nation programs
With three of our top five goals met in the first 4 months of operation, we will be focusing our early 2013 efforts on operational funding and FHCC selection.
Before we can secure and staff a FHCC vessel in Tonga, we need to have secured the ongoing operational (fuel, food
, supplies, transportation, etc.) funding required to operate our FHCC. Our staff will be submitting applications for grant and foundation funding to government
and private organizations (3-12 month approval cycles) for not only our initial Tonga program, but for future island nation Sea Mercy FHCC programs.
FHCC Vessel Selection
Determining the size and type of vessel for our FHCC has proved to be our biggest challenge so far. Understanding how best to evaluate and treat the remote island patients is crucial (on land or on the FHCC vessel) and making that decision will determine the vessel selection. Once a vessel is selected (if not already stationed in the South Pacific), it will require the vessel to be delivered to the region (3-12 month process) as seasonal weather
2013 Tonga Trial Operation
To better understand the conditions and determine the actual needs for our Tonga FHCC program, we will be scheduling a 1-2 month Sea Mercy Trial Operation from June to August of 2013. Utilizing a small team of US and local health
care volunteers and staff, we will be chartering a local vessel in the Vava'u island group. Our goal will be to visit as many of the remote islands as possible and to meet with the key Tongatapu and remote islands health ministry and clinic staff. Based on the information gathered, we will then develop the 2014 full launch program.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Sea Mercy is not a one time program, but an ongoing program that we anticipate operating for 5-10+ years. Grant by grant, foundation by foundation, we are striving to develop the ongoing resources needed to support and expand the services offered through this program. But with major grant approval cycles ranging from 12-24 months (many requiring a minimum of 2-3 years prior operations), our need for short-term funding is crucial.
Spread the Word
On the last page of the attached January Sea Mercy Newsletter there is an article about the "Spread the word about Sea Mercy" program that we hope you can take the time to read and participate in. The article suggests several ways that you can help us make a difference as well as some incentives for those who are able to help. You can also visit the Volunteer Resources
page on the website for more information and links to promotional materials.
Thank you again for your support in 2012 and we look forward to an incredible 2013 and beyond. Please feel free to email us with any questions or suggestions.
All the best to you in 2013!
Richard & Stephanie Hackett
President & Founders