Installing Hope in Belize

The mission of Heineman, is to provide resources to promote sustainable healthcare in the communities that need it most, like those in Belize. Though extraordinarily beautiful, unstable healthcare and a lack of sustainable resources rip through this country's communities. Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) is a low-income hospital in Belize whose work is vitally important for supporting the local community's health. It is Belize's flagship hospital due to its ability to provide tertiary care for the entire country. It also serves as the secondary care hospital for the Central Health Region. Though KHMH serves a more impoverished community and lacks much of what most would consider essential, it does not lack in passion and dedication.

KHMH received Belize's first catheterization laboratory in 2011, graciously donated by Mr. Smoky Bissell and the Bowen family. The lab, a mobile outdoor trailer unit located next to the hospital, saved many lives. Unfortunately, the lab had been out of commission for about a year due to overheating machine issues—a direct effect of the sweltering summers in Belize.

Thanks to our collaborative partnership with Atrium Health, known as the International Medical Outreach (IMO) Program, a new Cath Lab was benevolently donated by the Wheeler Family Foundation to replace the original. The lab is located in a static room inside the hospital, a more stable environment for the equipment. Installation took three biomedical engineers over a week to complete. While there, the engineers also helped train the KHMH staff on handling and maintaining the equipment properly. From a lifeless, empty room to a room that will save thousands, it will be life changing.

To ensure the Cath Lab's sustainability, the IMO Program will continue to visit Belize and provide vital training to the hospital personnel and assist with cardiac procedures. Additionally, the KHMH staff is also always welcomed to the Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, to continue training. These visits allow the KHMH staff the ability to maintain and update their skills, an essential need.

Because of our ongoing support, KHMH now has the equipment and medical expertise necessary for treating its patients in Belize. Sadly, the grand opening is pending, as the COVID-19 pandemic put the project on hold, but we hope you will check back for updates from us on when its opening can be celebrated!

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