Last week, several MedShare colleagues and I attended the Atlanta Summit on Global Health and Water. It was a really extraordinary event with an outstanding roster of speakers and attendees; for me – a self-proclaimed public health geek – it felt like attending the Academy Awards for global health. At one point, I seriously considered asking a few of the speakers for their autographs!
Once I recovered from being so star-struck, I started thinking a lot about one specific panel that addressed the power of partnerships in achieving real, sustainable impact in the work we do. During this panel, Cheryl Scott, Senior Advisor at the Gates Foundation, said:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Oh, so true and yet sometimes, so very, very hard. Here at MedShare, we’re certainly not perfect in our collaborations and sometimes we go solo when we’d be better off linking arms. However, we definitely see every day how much more we can accomplish in support of our mission when we take the time to build and sustain strong partnerships. In fact, partnerships are the second most important driver of the quality of MedShare’s work (the first is always listening to and responding to the needs and requirements of our primary customers – the hospitals and clinics we serve).
The celebration of our 800th shipment earlier this week is a perfect example of what happens when strong organizations pool their specialized resources towards a common goal. This 800th shipment of high-quality hospital beds will support Isaie Jeanty Maternity Hospital, a 175 bed hospital in Port au Prince, Haiti. It happened because an extraordinary team including North Shore LIJ Health System, GE Healthcare, Hill-Rom, UPS / UPS Foundation, and MedShare worked in collaboration with our brothers and sisters in Haiti (as facilitated by Gandy Thomas, Consul General of Haiti; Mona Adams, Special Envoy from the Haitian First Lady’s Office; and Dr. Alawode Oladele, CEO of the Global Initiative for the Advancement of Nutritional Therapy (GIANT). We recognized the power of partnership and, in the words of Cheryl Scott, we decided to go far, together.