Medical Benevolence Foundation (MBF) is an international medical mission dedicated to transforming the lives of the poor and proclaiming the Gospel, working in partnership with local leaders of the Church to build sustainable, quality medical care in developing countries.
Serving on the Leadership Team, the new Vice President of International Operations is a mission hospital champion who will lead, strengthen, and grow MBF’s international partnership programs with a goal of equipping the indigenous church to develop financially sustainable medical ministries, form healthy and productive in-country networks, proclaim the Gospel, and achieve and maintain international quality standards.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
Chartered in 1963, the purpose of the Medical Benevolence Foundation was to provide a professional evaluation of medical missions, build long- term relationships with mission partners, and realize new medical mission opportunities. Over the past 60 years, MBF has continued to focus on core values, including excellence in medical care and sustainability, while working in 34 of the least-resourced, most medically impoverished countries in the world.
Today, MBF partners with hospitals, nursing schools and clinics owned by the indigenous Church in developing countries. All legacy mission medical providers face a sea change in the next decade, away from predominantly communicable diseases (i.e., AIDS and malaria) and primary care needs toward non-communicable diseases and acute and complex medical care (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, orthopedics, etc.). MBF is building new and unique ministry models to equip the medical ministries of the Church to care for the poor, share the Gospel, and become sustainable providers of quality medical care that meets international standards.
The organization is led by its CEO, Andy Mayo, and his leadership team. There are fifteen full-time employees, five of whom work out of their headquarters in Houston, Texas. Its 15-member Board of Directors represents a cross-section of international business, medical professionals and pastors, and operates with a Carver governance model. The current budget for FY2023 is just over $7 million, of which about $3 million is Gifts in Kind (hospital and medical supplies). See their FY2022 breakdown here. The organization is in excellent financial condition, liquid, and has nearly two years of operating reserves.
HOW THEY ACCOMPLISH THEIR MISSION
MBF works exclusively through medical ministries owned by the indigenous Church in lesser-resourced countries. MBF is currently actively engaged with hospitals, nursing schools and clinics in Haiti, DR Congo, Malawi and Kenya in addition to ongoing relationships in other countries including Cameroon, Egypt, and Pakistan. Local ownership and control are mandatory. From the start, every project and effort must have clear local ownership and leadership. The structure and concept of everything MBF does is designed to enable the international partner to achieve their advancement, not for MBF to do it. And every project must be adapted to achieve its objectives within the existing culture and systems, not in place of or in spite of them.
Through developing a long-range plan with local church and medical leaders of the ministries, MBF engages as a partner in planning, locating funding and achieving the execution of initiatives that improve the quality of care, enhance sustainability, expand medical services, and train local medical workers. Projects must have a written plan for sustainability built in from the start. MBF has learned that sustainability is not something that will self-generate or spontaneously occur over time. Professional, evidence-based medical practices are required in all medical projects.
Most importantly, MBF works with the international partners to continue to provide charity care for the most vulnerable and to embed spiritual ministry into patient care. Embedding the Gospel is non-negotiable in their work.
Currently, MBF is launching an entirely new approach to medical missions intended to significantly impact the quality of medical care, its long-term sustainability, and the effectiveness of spiritual ministry in their international partners by developing in-country networks of hospitals, clinics and healthcare workers. While second nature to those in the West, this is not something that exists in most of the developing world.
MBF UNIQUE STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
Partner Hospitals, Clinics & Schools
Quality of clinical care and business acumen equals sustainable medical ministries. The higher the quality of care offered, the more likely medical ministries can attract more patients, including patients with the means to pay for the cost of their care. Along with sound business and financial practices, this creates the opportunity for ministries to become sustainable providers of international standards of medical care. Helping these hospitals and clinics improve their clinical quality, financial practices, and business acumen is part of MBF’s approach to improving the sustainability of medical ministries.
MBF Center for Global Nursing Development
The Center for Global Nursing Development focuses on building nursing capacity in developing countries. Nurses comprise up to 80% of frontline health workers in developing countries. Growing nursing capacity qualitatively and quantitatively is the aim of the Center for Global Nursing Development (CGND). A central resource for nurses globally, the Center works with volunteers and partners to give nurses in lesser-resourced countries the knowledge and resources they need to develop professionally.
Sharing the Gospel of Christ with patients and families isn’t just the responsibility of the hospital chaplain at MBF partner facilities. Spiritual ministry as an integrated part of medical ministry is so important to MBF that they have a full-time staff member devoted to helping partners develop their spiritual ministries. Working alongside the partners, MBF helps assure that resources are available, so the ministry makes a meaningful impact on lives.
Impact Medical Networks and Malawi Pilot
Working with local leaders, MBF is helping create an innovative countrywide Christian medical network in Malawi to strengthen the medical ministries there. This novel network integrates and modernizes medical mission hospitals, clinics and schools. Updated buildings, new equipment, local staff trained locally in surgery, specialty medicine and critical care—all of this is happening as part of the Malawi Medical Network.
In future stages, MBF will help Network members establish needed subspeciality medicine programs and integrate economies of scale in areas such as IT, HR, training, procurement, etc. The Presbyterian-owned network currently includes:
3 Nursing Schools
Spiritual Ministry Program
This is a major new initiative for MBF, and the goal of the Malawi pilot is to create a proven operational model that can be scaled and adapted across the sub-Saharan African region. Their early discussions with target countries have gone exceptionally well, and it’s not hard to embrace a vision with these results:
Better medical care and patient outcomes through patient referrals.
Doctors trained in advanced surgery and internal medicine residencies so they can treat more specialized non-communicable diseases.
Nurses trained in advanced patient care, including critical care and surgical nursing.
Economies of scale in buying medical supplies, equipment, and training resources.
Ability to generate new revenue so the ministry can continue to care for the poor.
MBF’s vision is to create 10 new countrywide networks in 10 new countries over the next 10 years. The cost per country for the residencies, training, equipment and facilities upgrades and systems is about $10 million per country.
OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES
The staff team in Africa and the U.S. describes itself as healthy and excited about the future. United by their daily prayer time—in which every MBF team member participates across the globe—MBF has a deep focus on God and ministry and enjoys strong interpersonal relationships, cooperation, support, and effective communication. The senior management team is well-balanced, highly competent and functional, and employs a decentralized operating style. There is a respect for personal boundaries, where time is valued and protected, even across time zones, and a deep commitment to the mission throughout the organization.
To their donors, MBF is known for their holistic approach to medical missions. Unlike many other organizations, there is no focus on a single disease or on sending supplies or building a building. Instead, donors comment that it is the long-term view and the accountability that MBF brings that sets MBF apart. MBF can demonstrate real progress over the years in standards of medical care and sustainability.
To the mission partners they serve, MBF is known as a true partner that is committed to them long-term … one who listens to the local hospital or church’s objectives and assesses needs together, plans together, and creates something lasting together.