At the Vellore CMC Foundation, as throughout the rest of the world, 2020 was a year like no other. While we were presented with extraordinary challenges, we were also reminded of the incredible power of community. Throughout the year, we found solace in the compassion and commitment of our CMC Community – that of CMC Vellore, the Vellore CMC Foundation, and the multiple Friends of Vellore (FoV) organization throughout the world – for our calling is to serve the needs of others as we aspire to excellence in medical education, research, and patient care.
We are pleased to report that 2020 has once again exemplified our ability to stay true to our mission. Our #1 objective at the Vellore CMC Foundation is to provide financial support to CMC and to the many programs made possible through their tireless efforts. In 2020, we were able to successfully transfer more than $1.5 million to CMC – an amount that surpassed any year in recent times. Most significantly, we provided the financial support that CMC required to prepare for and respond to the public health crisis the COVID-19 pandemic created. Additionally, through your generosity, we are:
- Creating scholarship opportunities for both medical and nursing school students
- Enhancing the technological capabilities within the departments of pediatrics, obstetrics, radiology, urology, hematology, pathology, and trauma care, while improving the CMC training capabilities with a complete upgrade of its simulation lab.
- Providing the funds required to offer improved care for South India’s underserved populations through CMC’s RUHSA, LCECU, CHAD, and Jawdhi Hills programs.
- Delivering capital improvement assistance for the renovation of CMC’s Heritage Center, a facility that pays tribute to the Scudder family, Ida herself, and those many dedicated practitioners who followed in her footsteps.
With the outbreak of the coronavirus in March, our focus was first and foremost on the safety of our staff, so the decision was made on March 11th to transition to a virtual office environment. Since that time, our staff of four has been working from home while making adjustments on a daily basis to meet organizational demands and to adapt to the needs of the circumstances that confronted us. As others have done, we too embraced the use of videoconferencing technology, not just for ourselves but for our entire alumni, faith-based, and CMC friendship community. Throughout the year, we orchestrated prayer gatherings, town halls, medical lectures, musical concerts, alumni reunions, and topical interviews. We did so with the hope of bringing each of us closer together while this deadly disease forced us all to remain further apart.
Last past year, we were once again selected by USAID as an American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) grant recipient, a federally funded program that supports infrastructure and other types of capital improvements within the context of promoting gender equality, better education opportunities, basic human rights and other kinds of “shared American values”. With these funds, we will support the education of nurses and emergency medicine physicians at CMC in the skills of intubation and resuscitation through the installation of a greatly enhanced Simulation Laboratory.
Finally, it was during 2020 that we were able to renew an existing grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which had been used to support vaccine administration education. The funds received from this new grant will allow CMC to extend its existing training program through 2023.
We look forward to 2021 and to the many hurdles that we can overcome together.