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 one of those times.

Our relationship with Faith in Practice is a special one. Each year since 1991, Faith in Practice has led local efforts to provide medical services to Guatemala. As time has progressed, Faith in Practice has been able to grow and become a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Faith in Practice had their 25th anniversary on May 23rd, a milestone that is to be celebrated. 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, involving a 34-year-old that has battled polio since the age of 3. This man also has a 6-year-old son, whom he walks to school every day, using crutches due to foot deformities from the affects of Polio. 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 to dentistry.

The patients are given triage, where the decision is made based on their 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, accompanying them through surgery and post-op recovery. Other opportunities that Faith in Practice offer include language translation, which provides comfort and explanation of what to expect for medical procedures. In order to further care for patients, the staff have been able to build housing for extended stay treatments, so that the patients’ families can stay near the hospital, while loved ones go through surgery and recovery.



This is where DeRoyal comes in. One of our very own, Johnny Hibbett, met physician Randy Hartline in Knoxville, TN. Naturally, conversation began about the DeRoyal manufacturing capabilities, as well as our ties with Guatemala through our manufacturing plant. This conversation evolved to how DeRoyal could serve Faith in Practice. Dr. Hartline has been involved with Faith in Practice for some time, performing surgeries and traveling extensively with his clinical team. In fact, his most recent trip to Guatemala was in June. We have invited several folks from Faith in Practice to Lafollette, TN to see our operations and brainstorm ideas for further collaboration. Faith in Practice receives many donations and supplies from various companies and manufacturers, however, the problem has been with duplicate items and items they couldn’t use. This hasn't been an ideal situation.

The solution that we've found is to create a specific surgical pack that includes exactly the surgical products that Faith in Promise needs and wants. We are the first manufacturer to offer them this option! We are creating 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. Their 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.