FAQs

Accountability

Do you embrace standards of transparency and accountability?

We believe that our donors have a right to expect regular updates on programs and financial reporting. Our financial information is accessible online, and through our focused communications efforts, we strive to keep our supporters aware of our latest news, without overwhelming your mailbox or inbox. And, we always welcome comments, questions and feedback.

How do I know that my investment will be put to good use?

Independent, third-party agencies including Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) look at a nonprofit’s financial statements, governance, program outcomes and fundraising practices, among other factors. Physicians for Peace meets all of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability, and Charity Navigator has recognized us for exceptional organizational efficiency. Physicians for Peace is also a is a USAID-registered Private and Voluntary Organization (PVO), a designation that requires organizations to meet a rigorous set of organizational, financial and programmatic standards. Learn more about how you can feel confident with your investment with Physicians for Peace.

How do you measure and evaluate your work?

As a way of benchmarking progress and planning future programs, forward-thinking nonprofits measure and evaluate their programs. Physicians for Peace has implemented a comprehensive system that draws on feedback and data gathered from our volunteers, field partners and the populations we serve to measure and evaluate our programs. In 2012, we also engaged the services of The Improve Group to evaluate three core programs and hired our full-time Director of Evaluation. Learn more about our monitoring and evaluation activies

How is Physicians for Peace governed?

Physicians for Peace is guided by a Board of Directors comprised of individuals with leadership roles in medicine, business, international relations, academia and government policy. Volunteer leaders from the medical community also provide regular, expert counsel to our program staffs through the Medical Operations Committee.

How much of my donation will go to programs?

Over 91 percent of our cash and material donations go directly toward our Global Health programs. (2013)

What We Do

Do you have offices in other countries?

Yes. Physicians for Peace is headquartered in Norfolk, VA and we have offices in the Dominican Republic and in the Philippines.

 

Does Physicians for Peace partner with other organizations?

Partnerships are at the heart of our work. Our in-country partners are essential in the success of our training and education efforts and are valued collaborators.  Physicians for Peace is a member of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations, and the only network of its kind to employ standards, rather than guidelines, for its members. We are also a founding member of the Haitian Amputee Coalition and a Burn Care Consortium among Latin American medical facilities. We participate in international conferences and work with foundations and NGOs. In recent years, we’ve partnered with other nonprofit groups including ChildFund International, ReSurge International and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, through the Millennium Cities Initiative and Millennium Villages Project, among many other groups.

How do you determine where to conduct your outreach programs?

Physicians for Peace responds to requests for training from individuals and organizations in underserved areas, including hospitals, clinics, government agencies and nongovernment organizations. Through first hand assessment, Physicians for Peace evaluates requests and explores the local needs. Before sending a team, Physicians for Peace confirms its ability to address those needs and achieve impact.  Once a joint plan is mutually agreed upon, Physicians for Peace identifies funding and recruits volunteer healthcare professionals. A partnership is formed and training is initiated on site by our International Medical Educators who work with the in-country team on specific predetermined objectives.  

How do you determine where to conduct your outreach programs?

Physicians for Peace responds to requests for training from individuals and organizations in underserved areas, including hospitals, clinics, government agencies and nongovernment organizations. Through first hand assessment, Physicians for Peace evaluates requests and explores the local needs. Before sending a team, Physicians for Peace confirms its ability to address those needs and achieve impact.  Once a joint plan is mutually agreed upon, Physicians for Peace identifies funding and recruits volunteer healthcare professionals. A partnership is formed and training is initiated on site by our International Medical Educators who work with the in-country team on specific predetermined objectives.  

How do you fund your programs?

Our organization is nonprofit and 100% charity-funded. Through generous gifts by donors, volunteers, grants, corporations and foundations and the donated time and talent of all the healthcare professionals who serve as our International Medical Educators, we are able to direct more than 90% of our funds directly into our programs. View our financials here.

What are the leverage points that will make your organization successful?

We are efficient. Physicians for Peace teams are small and flexible. We work alongside host country providers in productive learning environments that do not overwhelm our partners or strain their resources. We seek partnerships with clinics, universities, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations that will reduce redundancies and help us to reach more people.

We are innovative. Physicians for Peace identifies leaders in those that society has traditionally ignored. In the Dominican Republic, we train women from inner city barrios to become mentors for young pregnant women. As a result, the young mothers and their babies are healthier, and the mentors are regarded as leaders. The changes are significant: when we empower women, we empower communities.

We are accountable. People who invest in Physicians for Peace invest in human potential. We take that gift seriously. Over 91 percent of all cash and material donations go directly to our programs. In addition, we conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure our programs and partnerships generate results.

What are your program areas?

We provide medical training and education and some direct clinical services, in five core program areas:

Burn Care: Physicians for Peace trains nurses, physical and occupational therapists, surgeons and psychologists, and supports burn clinics in their efforts to provide comprehensive care that enriches patients’ physical and psychological well-being.  

Maternal & Child Health: Maternal and Child Health volunteer teams provide education and training to physicians, surgeons, nurses and midwives working in vulnerable populations, including Helping Babies Breathe, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation. The program also includes Resource Mothers in the Dominican Republic, a mentoring and support program for young mothers and their babies.

Surgical Care: By addressing the essential training and education for in-country healthcare providers, our vision initiative provides instruction and training in places where continuing medical education is scarce and inaccessible.

Seeing Clearly: We ensure local vision care professionals are properly equipped and trained to provide comprehensive vision exams to underserved populations. Patients also receive appropriate medical treatment and prescription eyeglasses.  A component of the program also trains school teachers to screen and refer children needing vision correction to local optometrists, who provides the care and prescription needed.

Walking Free: The Walking Free Program enhances sustainable prosthetic, orthotic, and rehabilitation care to serve the needs of the disabled and mobility impaired population in underserved areas. Our training and education efforts include prosthetic and orthotic production, clinical and academic certification programs, and direct patient care. 

What makes your organization effective?

Physicians for Peace mobilizes teams of committed healthcare providers who want to share knowledge and make a difference in the world. We are leaders in healthcare education, with a reputation for delivering thoughtful approaches to patient-centered care. In practice, that means we teach our colleagues how to care for all of a patient’s needs.

For example, burn injuries occur every five seconds in the developing world; they’re especially common among women and children. These are lifelong injuries. When a patient arrives at a hospital, she needs someone to care for her painful wounds and prevent infection, but she also needs someone to help her move again and someone to heal her emotional scars. We make sure local providers have the tools needed to improve patients’ lives, physically and emotionally.

In other regions of the world, like Nigeria, when a baby is born and not breathing, the birth attendant might slap the baby on the back, shake him and turn him upside down to try and get the newborn to take his first breath, not knowing she may be causing severe damage to the infant. After a newborn resuscitation training in Nigeria, a local health worker solemnly said, “If I had known what you just taught me before now, my own baby would be alive.” This is one of many stories we hear in every community we touch. The gap in healthcare does not need to remain as is, but can be changed with strategic training targeted at high-impact areas of healthcare.

Our work in Haiti provides another example. Haitians with disabilities have always faced incredible challenges. Even before the devastating earthquake of 2010, the country had very few trained healthcare professionals. The earthquake caused injuries leading to amputations for an estimated 4,000 additional people.

Immediately after the disaster, Physicians for Peace provided physical therapy at an amputee clinic. Our therapists also trained the clinic’s Haitian staff so that they could continue providing care after PFP volunteers left.

Haitian professionals now operate the clinic. That’s a significant achievement with the entire country having few qualified physical therapists. Our education and training helped Haitians to step into leadership roles as respected, qualified professionals.

Around the world, Physicians for Peace responds with flexibility to our partners’ needs, often working in areas of healthcare that would otherwise receive little to no attention or resources. We focus on immediate and long-term health challenges and collaborate to craft appropriate solutions that lead to lasting results.

What need does your organization address?

We envision a world where no one struggles with illness, disability or death due to the lack of quality local healthcare. In desperate places around the world, every minute of every day, a woman dies giving birth. (Source:http://www.who.int/features/qa/12/en/) A trained midwife could easily save these lives, but due to disparities in developing countries, many impoverished communities do not have enough access to qualified healthcare professionals to meet the need.

In fact, the developing world carries 90 percent of the world’s disease burden but has only 10 percent of its healthcare resources. That dramatic difference cuts lives short and condemns communities to poverty. The situation is morally unacceptable.

Physicians for Peace transforms lives by training, supporting and empowering healthcare professionals working with the world’s underserved populations. We provide hands-on training to local healthcare professionals because we believe education is the most effective solution to some of the world’s most serious global health challenges. We do not have religious or political affiliations and we are not an advocacy organization. And while crises arise we are not first responders. We focus on the long-term needs of communities, working across borders to build capacity and improve health.

Where do you send volunteer healthcare teams?

Since our founding in 1989, we have sent teams to more than 60 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean.  

Where do you work?

Since our founding in 1989, we have sent mission teams to more than 60 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. To see the extent of our reach, visit our Our Work page and view by regions of our current efforts.

Who goes on your Medical Training Missions?

Physicians for Peace Program Directors work closely with Volunteer Team Leaders and in-country host partners (hospitals, clinics, Ministries of Health) to identify training needs. Teams of International Medical Educators (IMEs) are then customized based on the identified training needs and may include: surgeons, nurses, therapists, pediatricians, and other healthcare specialists. Total team size also varies based on need, and may include anywhere from 1 to 20 team members. On average, the team consists of about 4 healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and skills, and spend from between 5 -10 days in the field.

Support

How can I stay updated on news and events?

Read our field updates for regular information from the places we work around the world. You can subscribe to our print or e-mail mailing list from our homepage on our website. You can also follow us on Twitter (Physician4Peace) and Facebook.

How can I support Physicians for Peace?

Your generous financial gift will contribute directly to training, supporting and empowering healthcare professionals around the world.  You may make a donation online here.

If you would like to host an event for Physicians for Peace or volunteer at our headquarters or warehouse in Norfolk, Va., please contact Chere Flowers at Cflowers@physiciansforpeace.org.

I am a healthcare professional and interested in becoming an International Medical Educator. How can I volunteer for a Medical Training Mission?

Healthcare professionals can express interest in volunteering through our online form.

I have materials and supplies to donate. How do I know it can help your work?

Providing much-needed medical supplies and materials to our partners in underserved regions is a core element of our model and we appreciate our many supporters who provide valuable in-kind donations.  If you are interested in making such a donation, we thank you for your generosity, but please understand that it’s critically important to contact our office before collecting items or making plans for a donation of materials and supplies.  While there are significant unmet needs, Physicians for Peace employs rigorous screening methods to ensure our donations are high quality and appropriate for our in-country partners’ needs and resources.  We work tirelessly to ensure we don’t burden our partners with supplies they can’t use or maintain.

We have an extensive wish list that details the types of in-kind donations we accept. Please remember to contact our staff prior to launching any supply drive so that we can ensure your generosity is perfectly matched to an existing need.

What does the IME $350 tax-deductible contribution cover?

Your $350 tax-deductible contribution is allocated to help cover the costs of our programs where the needs are greatest. 

An IME is asked to make a $350 tax-deductible contribution to Physicians for Peace for each Medical Training Mission in which he or she participates. Physicians for Peace relies on the generosity of many donors to underwrite the full costs of our Medical Training Missions and our on-going programs. We value the contribution our IMEs bring to each Medical Training Mission by sharing their skills and knowledge with colleagues working with underserved populations, and we are grateful to those IMEs who financially support our work as well. 

What would your organization do with additional resources?

In the places we have touched, something remarkable is happening: those we train are not only continuing to care for their communities, but are training, mentoring and teaching others in their area, increasing the number of trained professionals and the strength of healthcare in their community. This is the exponential effect of education, and it creates a ripple effect of care and hope. With additional resources, Physicians for Peace could scale up our most successful medical training programs. We could create more opportunities, heal more people and save more lives.

Many of the solutions we’ve formulated can be replicated; we know our model works. We also know that techniques we bring to a burn clinic in Ecuador are as important to hospitals in the West Bank, and that nurses in Malawi have some of the same needs as nurses in India.

We already connect people with the training and resources they need to build healthy communities. With greater resources, we could do that on a much larger scale.  You can significantly enhance our ability to teach one and heal many. 

General

What is Physicians for Peace?

Physicians for Peace transforms lives by training, supporting and empowering healthcare professionals working with the world’s underserved populations. Our programs lead with education and training, introducing critical skills which help local healthcare professionals to provide better treatment.  This model, focused on education first, has an exponential effect: when you heal someone, you help one person. When you teach someone to heal, you help many. 

When were you founded?

Physicians for Peace was founded in 1989 by Dr. Charles E. Horton Sr., a dedicated humanitarian and physician. When Dr. Charles Horton founded Physicians for Peace in 1989, he envisioned the organization as a corps of medical diplomats – healthcare providers from different backgrounds coming together to teach and learn. We were created out of an ongoing exchange of ideas around the practice of medicine that stemmed from a desire to improve one’s ability to provide care for patients, regardless of the nationality of the healthcare provider.  Founded on the principle of true partnership, Physicians for Peace is invested in the education of our in-country partners to improve patient care. To learn more about our founder, Charles E. Horton Sr., click here.

Our international headquarters are located in Norfolk, Va., USA.

Who was Dr. Charles E. Horton Sr.?

Born in 1925 in Purdy, Missouri, Dr. Horton earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He completed his surgical residency at George Washington University Hospital and trained during the Korean War at the U.S. Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he discovered his passion for plastic surgery. After completing a plastic surgery residency at Duke University, Dr. Horton moved to Norfolk and became the region’s first plastic surgeon. Throughout his life, Dr. Horton held several roles at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and he founded the school’s division of plastic surgery.

In the 1960s, Dr. Horton completed his first medical mission to Haiti as a public service project for his Rotary Club.  Over the next two decades, Dr. Horton and a dedicated group of his friends and colleagues continued to travel to underserved areas. During his travels, Dr. Horton saw the need for quality healthcare as the great unifier among nations, a requirement so powerful and yet so basic that it should transcend economic, political and cultural barriers.  He formally founded Physicians for Peace in 1989 with a clear vision: to build peace and international friendships through medicine.

Dr. Horton firmly believed if you heal someone, you help one person. If you teach someone to heal, you help many,” which remains to be the primary philosophy for Physicians for Peace.