What is HealthCare Ministries (HCM)?
HealthCare Ministries is the worldwide medical missions outreach of Assemblies of God World Missions and is subject to the authority of that governing body.
What is the purpose of HCM?
The purpose of HCM is to demonstrate God’s love and compassion in all aspects of our ministry and to give people an opportunity to know and accept Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives.
How does HCM carry out its purpose?
HealthCare Ministries endeavors to fulfill this purpose through short-term teams focusing on health initiatives and partnering AGWM missionaries and national church members long-term impact. The ministry also carries out disaster relief efforts when asked to do so by the missionaries in the affected area and/or Convoy of Hope.
What are some of the places HCM has been?
Since 1984, HCM has had the privilege of holding 447 clinics in 89 different countries, treating 443,438 patients and seeing approximately 95,059 of the unsaved accept Jesus as their Savior in a one-on-one witness situation. (Statistics as of 10/2012)
What is the staffing of HCM?
The home office, which is located in Springfield, Missouri, is staffed by appointed AGWM (Assemblies of God World Missions) missionaries, AGWM missionary associates, General Council of the Assemblies of God employees and volunteers.
How is HCM funded?
Healthcare Ministries is funded by donations from people who have a heart to reach people both physically and spiritually. Our fiscal responsibility is monitored by Assemblies of God World Missions. All official tax-deductible donations are receipted by our parent organization, the General Council of the Assemblies of God. Team members are responsible for their own expenses.
What assistance can HealthCare Ministries provide for medical evangelism church teams?
HealthCare Ministries has a Church Team Department that can assist the church medical team in many ways including resources, health education materials, training and consultation as needed. Contact the Church Team Department Coordinator at (417) 866-6311 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Does a church team need to register with the Assembly of God World Missions?
Yes. There is a registration process for all church teams going on a short-term mission outreach. This includes signing an Assumption of Risk form and registering for international insurance. With the increased unrest in the world it is very important for every team to register with AGWM in case an unsafe situation arises in the country of the outreach. Call Team Processing Assistant (417-862-1447 Ext. 2067) for more information.
Can a member of a short-term mission team get a tax deduction for the outreach expenses?
Yes. The unreimbursed travel expenses (transportation, meals, lodging) incurred in performing the project are tax deductible. The value of his/her labor is not deductible.
Does a medical professional’s malpractice insurance cover him/her while working in an international clinic?
Each medical professional will need to check with his/her malpractice insurance provider. However, generally malpractice insurance does not cover medical practice outside of the USA.
Does HealthCare Ministries provide medical malpractice insurance?
Yes, Medical Professional Liability coverage is filed on all licensed medical professionals for the days outside of the USA.
How can a short-term medical team make a long-term impact?
The most significant long-term impact comes from sharing God’s love through compassionate care and sharing the plan of salvation with every patient (not in sensitive countries). Medical professionals need to focus on health education esp. for chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, heart disease) instead of prescribing a medication when no follow-up medical care is available.
If the team does not have a doctor, can other medical professionals be utilized on a church team outreach?
Yes, definitely. Although medications cannot be dispensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses can do physical assessments and health teaching for the identified problems. This is true for physical therapists, occupational therapists, etc. Health education should be a focus for all medical interventions.
What if something happens at home and a team member is needed?
Team member families should be instructed to contact HealthCare Ministries immediately. The Logistics Coordinator will make contact with the missionary and team member and facilitate the necessary response.
Are there special requirements for medical professionals and medications in other countries?
Every country is different and the missionary will check on the requirements. In some countries, the medical professionals’ documents i.e. licenses, college transcripts are required prior to the teams arrival. Also, some countries will not allow medications to be brought in and the medications are then purchased in country.
Start all of this process early!
What kinds of items will you accept for donation, and how do I donate them?
Visit our Urgent Needs list for detailed information regarding donations and where to send them, as well as our Donation Guidelines page.
How do I donate towards a team member’s outreach?
You can donate by MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express on our Outreach Contribution page. You can also mail a check to HealthCare Ministries, 521 W. Lynn Street, Springfield, MO 65802. Please include a note indicating the team member and outreach. Your contribution is tax deductible and will be receipted by our Parent Organization, the General Council of the Assemblies of God.
Does HCM build hospitals and clinics?
HCM does not support the construction of permanent buildings such as hospitals or clinics because such projects are too difficult to sustain. HealthCare Ministries invests the majority of its time and personnel in conducting short-term health initiative outreaches that are designed to meet the goal(s) of the hosting missionary. The focus is on a prevention model rather than a curative model.
How long are the short-term outreaches and how are short-term medical teams selected?
The HCM teams go where invited by AGWM missionaries and the outreaches are usually one week in duration plus travel time. The teams are composed of volunteers who have made application to HCM. After each application is processed and approved, the volunteer is notified that he/she has been approved as an HCM team member. The volunteer can request to participate in a particular outreach. Every effort is made to honor the volunteer’s preference; however, each team is developed with the appropriate medical professionals. A $200 initial outreach fee is required to hold a place on an outreach and the money is applied toward the team member’s total expense for the outreach.
Are non-medical volunteers accepted on short-term teams?
Generally there is a limited space on the teams for non-medical support people. The number of support people depends on the focus of the outreach, team size and the number of medical personnels required for the specific outreach.
Is HCM involved in long-term medical clinics?
HealthCare Ministries is engaged in short-term outreaches but is also involved in making recommendations for longer-term assignments. The longer-term assignments are made in conjunction with the Assemblies of God World Missions.
Do you have to be affiliated with an Assembly of God church?
No. In the application process the applicant has to write a statement concerning his/her Christian beliefs and testimony. A reference letter from the pastor is also required.
Does HCM provide services at the request of national organizations?
No. HCM must be invited by an AGWM missionary and the outreach approved by the Assemblies of God leaders for the specific region of the world.
Are medical professionals other than those listed under Upcoming Missions utilized on HCM outreaches? (Such as: Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists.)
Yes. Contact should be made to the HCM Logistics Department to discuss opportunities for specialists.
Are non-medical professionals utilized on HCM Outreaches? (Such as: Speech and Language Pathologists, Counselors, Massage Therapists
Yes. Contact should be made to the HCM Logistics Department to discuss opportunities for specialists.
What is the approximate budget of an HCM outreach?
Outreaches vary from $1600 to $4000, depending on airfare, in-country expenses, visas, etc. A final budget is usually available approximately four months before outreach departure.
What is the process for joining a medical mission outreach?
(1) Download the application and the checklist of items required to accompany the application. Complete, and send to HCM. (2) If you want to join a specific outreach listed under Upcoming Missions, please check under “professionals needed” for any positions still open. (3) Check with HCM before sending in the required $200 initial outreach contribution to make sure there is an opening for you on your outreach of particular interest (unless you are open to any future outreach).
How can I raise funds for my outreach?
Funds can be raised through friends, family, home church, etc…See sample fundraiser letter. All contributions are tax deductible and a receipt will be sent to every donor.
When is the money due for an outreach?
The first portion of your contribution is due 120 days before the outreach (dependent on ticketing for flights). The remaining contribution is due 60 days before outreach. You can give by MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express on our Outreach Contribution page. You can also mail a check to HealthCare Ministries, 521 W. Lynn Street, Springfield, MO 65802. Please include a note indicating the team member and outreach. Your contribution is tax deductible and will be receipted by our Parent Organization, the General Council of the Assemblies of God.
Will I need a passport and visa?
You will need to obtain a passport if you do not already have one. Get your passport early, as you may need to send it away to get a visa. Regardless of whether a visa is required, you are required to display your passport when entering or leaving any country. Your passport should be valid for at least six months (preferably one year) beyond your scheduled return date and have a minimum of two empty pages.
Do I make my own travel arrangements, or does HCM?
HCM will direct you in making travel arrangements after you have been approved for the outreach.
How does a HCM medical evangelism team function on the field?
The medical evangelism team composition and function on the mission field is based on the missionary’s goal for the outreach. This can be a full medical team with medical, optical, dental and pharmacy to a health education team, disabilities outreach team, etc.
How are nurses utilized on teams?
The role of a nurse on the team ranges from RN evaluator (assessment and triage), pharmacy, laboratory and treatments to health educator.
How are support volunteers utilized on teams?
Support volunteers are valuable members of the team and are utilized in all area of the clinic as the needs arise. Flexibility and a servant’s heart are needed.
Are team members able to witness?
This depends on the sensitivity of the country. The AG missionary will direct the team members on how to handle spiritual witnessing. Every team member must follow the instructions of the AG missionary.
Does HCM assist and/or accommodate church groups that want to participate on medical mission outreaches?
Church groups can be considered for a specific outreach, but each participant must follow the application process. HCM has a Church Teams Department to provide resources to churches who wish to take their own teams. Email email@example.com for more information.
Are team members covered by insurance?
Yes. Special international travel insurance is provided for all team members. Medical Professional Liability coverage is provided for all medical professionals.
Can medical students participate on a team?
Yes, medical students are welcome to join a short-term medical team. Also, HCM can assist in securing a longer assignment for individual medical students as requested.
HCM urgently needs the following healthcare professionals in order for upcoming medical outreaches to be made possible:
PANAMA – Spanish interpreters
HCM urgently needs the following supplies for upcoming medical outreaches:
We currently need donations of large, hard-sided suitcases to pack materials for our outreaches. See how you can help us out with suitcases and other materials needed.