Dear Watsi Community,
We hope our message finds you healthy in your corner of the world. Together our community is made up of more than 20,000 patients and families across 25 countries, countless health workers and local leaders who help us reach those in need, and tens of thousands of supporters who have made the choice to directly impact someone else’s life for the better. Now more than ever, we are guided by the belief that everyone deserves access to healthcare.
Like you, we have spent recent days connecting with those we care about, doing our part to stay at home and flatten the curve, support others in our communities, and make sure we are in the best position to do the most good in the months and years ahead.
We believe that values should help guide an organization through difficult times. In particular, we have found ourselves leaning heavily on two of our core values right now:
1) People over path
Our partners, patients, supporters, and our team are the lifeblood of Watsi. We are doing all we can to take care of each other and ensure we have the resources in place to sustain over the long run.
Our partners—including frontline health workers—and patients are first in everything we do. We are concerned that those who are most vulnerable and in communities with weaker health systems are very likely to be impacted by the global pandemic in a way that we have not yet seen. We also know that a pandemic does not make other health needs go away, in fact it risks making them worse. We are committed to standing by our partners and patients to ensure critical surgery remains available to the extent it is safely possible, and that we will act fast and adapt with them as the situation changes.
Our team is globally distributed and has been able to continue working remotely to ensure smooth continuity of our operations. We postponed all travel to limit any exposure or unintentional spreading of COVID-19. Further, as an organization working to improve health outcomes, we prioritize offering robust health and wellness benefits for our team and paid leave that allows us to take the time we and our families need to be healthy.
Our supporters enable Watsi to stay 100% focused on creating access to life-changing healthcare. We have been so touched to hear from people around the world who want to know what they can do to continue to support Watsi patients in need. We are inspired by your generosity and kindness.
2) Listen and learn first
We strive to understand problems before we prescribe solutions. More than ever, we have asked for open communication and are closely listening to the needs of those around us, especially our medical partners and patients.
What we are hearing is their concern that support for surgery continues. Our partners share that they are preparing for harder times ahead and the influx of patients in need of surgery without the financial resources remains high. Without our support, they would be turning these patients away.
We have also heard that healthcare workers are taking precautions as best they can and bolstering systems and resources, such as ventilators and protective gear, where possible. We are continuing to monitor these preparations and should requests from our medical partners come in, we will look for innovative ways and partnerships to help meet this need.
In some limited cases, we are starting to hear of surgery being postponed. One of our partners that relies on international travel for life-saving cardiac surgery has had to temporarily postpone treatments. We share a deep hope that these patients can remain healthy enough to access this critical care when borders reopen.
We will continue to share with you what we are hearing and learning as the situation changes. We are also available to listen to you, please reach out anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
While this is a time of unprecedented physical distancing, the glimmers we’ve seen of humanity coming together—just as our Watsi community has always done—reminds us that a brighter, healthier world is ahead. Onward, together.
The Watsi Team
Everyone deserves healthcare.