Are medical volunteers compensated?
While some employers grant time off for humanitarian efforts, the majority of our volunteer medical team members generously use their personal vacation time to assist us with medical missions. Most of our volunteers tell us that the satisfaction of saving children, seeing their smiles, receiving the gratitude of the patients’ families and providing local medical teams with valuable cardiac care training is compensation enough.
Do volunteers have to pay for their travel expenses or fundraise in order to participate?
ICHF covers airfare and lodging expenses for each volunteer. Like any not-for-profit organization, we run on a limited budget; therefore, any assistance volunteers are able to provide to help with these expenses is always appreciated.
What types of professionals volunteer?
Our medical volunteers consist of surgeons, anesthesiologists, perfusionists, OR nurses, pediatric cardiologists and pediatric ICU nurses, intensivists and respiratory therapists. We are particularly in need of volunteer medical professionals with experience working with pediatric cardiac surgical patients. Many of our volunteers find the experience to be so rewarding that they make more than one trip with us, often over a period of years.
Can I volunteer if I am not in the medical field?
Yes! We welcome the volunteer services of photographers and videographers to help us chronicle these life-changing journeys. We also need volunteers to help with grant writing, marketing, in-office administrative duties, event planners and ambassadors to speak with groups. Other needs include unpacking and organizing donated medical supplies and preparing them to be shipped to the next trip.
How often do you receive requests for pediatric surgeries?
Every day, a mother, father, family member or friend contacts ICHF requesting help for a child in need. Those requests come from all over the world. Unfortunately, there are more requests than we have the resources to respond to.
How many medical volunteers does ICHF have?
Throughout the foundation’s history, ICHF has had more than 1,200 volunteers travel and teach with our medical staff. We are constantly striving to increase this number. The more volunteers we have, the more lives we are able to save.