By focusing on a single mission, Children’s Medical Foundation shows how an organization can form partnerships with government and hospitals to help train doctors and nurses to improve care for babies in China who are in danger of dying from treatable and curable diseases during the first weeks of their lives.
Partnerships between hospitals in China and a small non-profit organization in Hong Kong, Children’s Medical Foundation (CMF) has helped to improve neonatal care in 12 provinces and is currently focusing on three – Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou – where it has determined the need for care is the greatest. With its partners, CMF has extended quality care from hospitals in capital cities to hospitals in regional population centers by creating special neonatal care units and by helping train the specialists to staff them as well as by establishing emergency ambulance service to the units for babies from the countryside and by providing assistance for families in particularly acute financial distress.
With a staff of only five and with only about US$530,000 a year to fund its current programs at eight locations, CMF has fought beyond its weight class, thanks in part to a strategic decision it made in 2007 to move away from its other programs and focus exclusively on neonatal care. It also has succeeded in spite of a challenging fund-raising environment in Hong Kong, where quality neonatal care is taken for granted, making it difficult to raise public awareness.