Since its establishment in 1959, the Heineman Medical Outreach, Inc. (Heineman) has been engaged in local and international humanitarian projects, primarily medical assistance through the donation of medical equipment as well as education to promote better living standards and sustainable healthcare.

The Heineman Foundation has partnered with Atrium Health, one of the country’s largest non-profit health care systems, to establish the International Medical Outreach (IMO) Program. With support from foundations, companies and individuals, the IMO Program actively donates medical equipment and supplies to clinics and hospitals worldwide. These contributions improve and, in many instances, establish programs geared toward public health and individual patient care. Due to the Program’s relationship with Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, many of these programs focus on cardiac care.

In addition to sending material assistance, the IMO Program offers educational opportunities and often sends volunteer physicians, technicians, nurses and hospital administrators to counterpart institutions to provide clinical and technical support, education and training. In Charlotte, IMO maintains a guest house where visiting providers can stay while attending training sessions and familiarization tours at Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center (CMC).  These visits provide valuable opportunities to observe and study new clinical procedures and advanced medical technology.  Abroad and through virtual communication, volunteers lend technical support, consultation and hands-on teaching.

As of today, the IMO Program has improved the health of patients in 33 countries throughout Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.  It has provided millions of dollars in services, refurbished and new medical equipment and materials to underdeveloped countries, and facilitated the exchange of many hours of medical education and training.

Accomplishments in 2013

In 2013, the IMO program continued to support a long-term project to increase access to cardiology care services in Central America. IMO helped establish three echocardiography laboratories (echo labs) in rural hospitals in Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize. It donated echo machines and helped train echo technicians at each hospital to properly use the machines for diagnosing patients with potential cardiac ailments.

The IMO Program, Chiquita Brands International and Harris Teeter, Inc., collaborated to promote sustainable, quality healthcare and education in underserved communities globally. Over the past year, they have together provided nine hospitals and rural clinics with much-needed medical equipment and supplies and delivered 7,500 computers to 500 public schools.

In Belize, the IMO program and the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) celebrated the establishment of Belize’s first public cardiology and cardiac surgery program fully equipped to perform diagnostic and interventional services. The ocasion was marked by the opening of a diagnostic echocardiography laboratory in 2013 at the KHMH in Belize City.

In a non-medical project, IMO assisted in opening a computer laboratory in a public school in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. In 2013, IMO donated more than 18,000 pieces of computer equipment and materials, enough to assemble more than 8,000 computers to Technology to Educate, an initiative that seeks to equip 19,000 public schools with computers and to modernize public education in Guatemala.

Continuing its decade of work in Guatemala, the IMO Program partnered with Chiquita Brands International and Harris Teeter, Inc. to help establish the first set of comprehensive intensive care units (ICUs) in Quetzaltenango, the country’s second most populous city with more than 250,000 residents.

At home in Charlotte, NC, IMO hosted international visitors and trainees, who traveled from countries such as Tanzania, Nicaragua, Italy and Peru to observer and deliver care in our medical facilities. Our Charlotte-based medical personnel continues to travel abroad to teach and assist with heart operations and other medical procedures.

Click here to view 2013 IMO Annual Report.

How are we Different?

The IMO program is proud of the fact that 100 percent of earmarked funds are fully dedicated to the designated projects. The Program does accept donations; however, there are no fund-raising costs, and administrative expenses are covered in full by endowment funds. All equipment is donated by Atrium Health and other institutions, and medical training is provided by CMC personnel at no cost to recipient hospitals and clinics. One primary activity of IMO is the on-going training of international medical personnel so they will be equipped to practice independently and provide lasting, successful patient care.

The goal of the IMO Program is to create and promote sustainable healthcare.