Thermo Fisher Partners with Mercy Ships to Serve Communities Around the World In ports around the world, Mercy Ships provides free medical care, including life-saving surgeries, to people living in areas where medical care doesn’t exist or isn’t readily available. Their floating hospitals bring volunteer medical teams and sterile operating rooms directly to people who may otherwise go without care. One of those people is 9-year-old Fifaliana from Madagascar.
Fifaliana was unable to walk properly because her legs had begun to curve and weaken. When her parents heard about Mercy Ships, they attended a patient screening near their home. Shortly afterwards, Mercy Ships volunteer Dr. Frank Hayden performed a series of complex orthopedic surgeries on Fifaliana’s legs. Months of casts, splints and physical therapy followed Fifaliana’s surgery but she is now healthy and walking again. Because of Mercy Ships, Fifaliana has a chance at a normal childhood.
To serve communities like Fifaliana’s properly, Mercy Ships needs to maintain state-of-the-art facilities. That’s where Thermo Fisher Scientific comes in. For years, Thermo Fisher has been donating laboratory refrigerators, freezer units and consumables to Mercy Ships. This year, we also began donating our Thermo Scientific™ Smart-Vue™ Wireless Monitoring Solutions, allowing Mercy Ships to monitor the performance of their refrigerators and freezer units remotely.
“Thermo Fisher products have long been a vital part of all Mercy Ships laboratory practices. For the past 23 years, I have both used and procured Thermo Fisher equipment, consumables, and diagnostic products for our ship laboratories,” said Colleen Conley, Laboratory Programs Manager, Mercy Ships. “Thermo Fisher employees in all areas have been a part of getting Mercy Ships the products we need to provide quality, reliable, diagnostic information for the patients we serve. Together, we are bringing hope and healing to the world's forgotten poor. We are deeply thankful for our partnership.”
Thermo Fisher sometimes has equipment – like refrigerators and freezer units – that we can’t sell as new because it has “dents and dings.” In some cases, this equipment is fully functional so rather than throw it away, we donate it to organizations like Mercy Ships. In 2017, Thermo Fisher donated more than $100,000 worth of instruments and consumables to them. “Mercy Ships came to us in 2013 with a need for safe temperature control storage solutions for their ships. That initial conversation has led to a long-standing partnerships between our two organizations,” said Joe Arteaga, Director, Connectivity, Laboratory Equipment Technologies. “I’m really proud of the support we’ve been able to provide. By giving back to communities that are underserved, we are advancing our Mission – helping organizations like Mercy Ships make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”
Since 1978, more than 92,000 surgeries have been performed on Mercy Ships’ floating hospitals. Their current ship, Africa Mercy, is the largest civilian hospital ship in the world. Through Africa Mercy, volunteers are able to reach thousands of people who need care.
“Healthcare simply isn’t an option in many parts of the world, either because it doesn’t exist or isn’t affordable,” said Tom Velnosky, International Programs, Biomedical Systems Manager, Mercy Ships. “We are able to serve these communities because of support from companies like Thermo Fisher."