We all strive to do the best job we can, but when we can combine quality work with a meaningful outcome that’s when beautiful things can happen. DeRoyal frequently donates both domestically and internationally, and aids many groups when there is need for supplies and products. We often state that we are a global company with a hometown feel and that mindset sometimes gives us the opportunity to make a big difference—this is that time. Our relationship with Faith in Practice is that special. 
Each year since 1991, Faith in Practice leads local efforts to provide medical services to Guatemala. As time progressed, this organization has been able to grow and in 1994 they incorporated Faith in Practice as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We are happy to announce their 25th anniversary was on May 23rd. Since 1994 they continued to organize trips that included hundreds of doctors, nurses and health care providers from Houston and other parts of the United States to travel as self-funded volunteers to Guatemala. Their goal is to do life changing short-term surgical, medical, dental and educational missions on a regular basis within the local community of Guatemala. What tends to happen is the volunteers unexpectedly experience their own life changing moments in return for their selfless service.
Guatemala is a country in need. Fifty-nine percent of the population lives below the poverty line so it’s understandable that they are also the 4th worst country in malnutrition. We spoke to Rev. Linda L. McCarty, President and Chief Executive Officer, and she shared several stories from her numerous trips since joining in 2007. One story in particular stood out, it was a 34-year-old that has had polio since the age of 3. He has a 6-year-old son and walks his son to school every day using crutches due to his foot deformities. He simply wants a wheelchair so he can more easily accompany his son to school. Over 25,000 patients are seen annually by 39 Faith in Practice medical groups,1,500 US volunteers and 1,000 Guatemalan volunteers. The procedures range from orthopedic, general plastic surgery, gynecology and dentistry.
The patients are triaged and the decision is made if they need to be seen at a local clinic or if surgery is required. The Guatemalan volunteers escort them to the hospital and become their case manager seeing them through surgery and post-op recovery. Other opportunities Faith in Practice offers is translation, as these patients are nervous about their procedures and appreciate the comfort and explanation of what to expect. In order to futher care for patients, they have been able to build housing for extended stay procedures so that the patients’ families can stay near the hospital while loved ones have surgery.
Now, this is where DeRoyal comes in…one of our very own, Johnny Hibbett, met physician Randy Hartline here in Knoxville. Naturally, conversation started about DeRoyal and manufacturing capabilities and our ties with Guatemala through our manufacturing plant. Dr. Hartline has been involved with Faith in Practice for some time, performing surgeries and traveling extensively with his clinical team. In fact, his next trip there is in June. This conversation evolved to how DeRoyal could serve Faith in Practice. Soon, we invited several folks from Faith in Practice to Lafollette, TN to see our operations and brainstorm ideas. Faith in Practice receives many donations and supplies from various companies and manufacturers; however, the problem was duplication and items they couldn’t use. So, it just wasn’t an ideal situation.
The solution was to create a specific surgical pack that included exactly the surgical products that they wanted. We were the first company to offer this option. It creates a clear, consistent product line that the clinicians can trust and use without waste. In May of this year, our conscientious and quality driven team at our Lafollette, TN plant produced 1,300 packs and shipped them to Guatemala. Needless to say, Rev. McCarty said everyone at Faith in Practice is thrilled with us and our desire to help in such a personal and specific way. Next on the horizon is development of the new pediatric pack!
Faith in Practice is an organization that is deeply involved in the long-term success of the people of Guatemala. Their mission is embedded in the relationships and the recovery of their patients in Guatemala. They are providing a more developed integrated structure and continually expanding surgical services. The commitment remains to journey beside patients and volunteers with compassion, humility, and faith and DeRoyal plans to be there to help in all ways possible.