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Nonprofit Profile , Mercy Outreach Surgical Team (MOST)



ORGANIZATION

Mission of organization: Established in 1988, MOST originated when a group of nurses and doctors from Scripps Mercy Hospital formed teams to travel to Mexico to treat children with various deformities. Today, we are a volunteer group dedicated to providing medical and surgical care to underprivileged children and adults of other nations. Our mission is threefold: to bring hope, comfort and the opportunity for a better life to children and adults through corrective surgery; to share medical knowledge and expertise with colleagues in a host country; and to provide an opportunity for team volunteers to experience the spiritual rewards of service.

Telephone: (619) 686-3633.

Web site: www.scripps.org/mercymost.

Founded: 1988.

Milestone: Our 20-year anniversary coming up in 2008.

Annual income: $100,000.

Expense allocation: $200,000.

Corporate support: $50,000.

Corporate supporters: Scripps Mercy Hospital, Sempra Energy, Variety Children’s Lifeline, San Diego Rotary Club 33.

Board chairman: George Ochoa.

Employees: MOST is made up of volunteers.

Volunteers: Close to 100.

Events: Two one-week missions each year in the interior of Mexico and four weekend missions in Tijuana, Baja California.

Wish: Money for equipment, supplies and gifts for the needy children we serve in Mexico. To do enough fund raising to have money to carry out as much good work as possible.


OFFICE ISSUES

Recent challenge: The rising cost of our week-long trips into Mexico. The costs for flights, accommodations and supplies keep going up every trip and our fund-raising efforts have been fairly stagnant recently. Each trip takes a little more out of our nest egg.

Measures of success: We try to treat as many children as safely as possible on each mission.

Smartest move: Partnering with Rotary Club No. 33 and Rotary International.

Missed opportunity: Not yet identified.

Misconception: That our team receives monies for the procedures we do. All of our members are volunteers and receive no compensation.


PROFESSIONAL INSIGHTS

Personal path to nonprofit work: Finding the time to set aside three to four weeks each year out of a busy surgical practice to participate in our missions to perform free surgery.

Toughest aspect: Coordinating all of the members of the team to complete the mission.

Most surprising aspect: The amazing gratitude that one receives from the families of the children we treat.

Biggest pain: The logistics of working with a foreign government regarding our surgery missions.

Greatest pleasure: The entire community rejoices to see what our team has done for these children with congenital or acquired defects.


INTROSPECTIONS

Best recent moment: Completing 295 surgical corrections in Uruapan, Mexico, in April 2007.

Worst recent moment: Not having enough time to finish with the 10-12 children who had to be postponed until the next trip.

Dream for another life: That all of these children can have full access to surgical corrections.

Greatest inspiration: Our coordinator, Pat Robinson, who is a registered nurse, and Sister JoCeal Young, for all the hard work that they do for our team.

Most like to meet: The president of Mexico and the minister of health so that we could be given full support in all missions to help these poor, unfortunate children.

, Compiled by Stacey Bengtson

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