The Vellore CMC Foundation is grateful to its community of friends and supporters for the incredible show of compassion and charity in 2020. Together, we were able to accomplish extraordinary acts of kindness that brought hope and healing to health care providers and patients alike. In recognition of this generosity, the Foundation held its inaugural Donor Appreciation Virtual Gathering on January 29th, 2021. At this event, recipients of your generosity offered their deep appreciation, while also explaining how your gifts helped advance CMC’s mission of excellence in education, research, and patient care.
The event began with an invocation and scripture reading by Dr. Hudson Kibuuka, Associate Director of Education, General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventist. Dr. Kibuuka spoke on the benefits of sharing and the “spirit of gratitude”, which allows one to live a fuller and healthier life. Mr. John Riehl, President of the Vellore CMC Foundation, and Dr. J.V. Peter, CMC Director, both shared their deep gratitude for the outpouring of genuine concern and support for CMC. Dr. Peter shared that CMC was able to raise $6 million with the assistance of alumni and friends globally, which helped CMC to procure vital equipment, ensure a steady supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), and support patients. CMC had treated 10,300 COVID patients as of late January 2021 –a phenomenally high number for a private institution. Dr. Peter thanked God for his provisions and for all the “people who are part of this journey, because providing quality health care cannot be done alone.”
The program continued with testimonials from the following:
- Ms. Reshma Reji, a student at the College of Nursing who has benefitted from the Nursing Scholarship Program supported by CON alumni and friends through the Foundation. “I’m a common girl, but with God, the sky is my limit. I hope to reach the high levels of nursing profession, flying high the flags of Christian Medical College. I will always remember gratefully all of you have enriched my life through your generous giving.”
- Dr. Sunil Abraham, Head of the Low-Cost Effective Care Unit at CMC, told stories on how LCECU has impacted the life of patients who would not have been able to afford treatment without charity. “CMC continues to provide highly subsidized care for them, and I must give credit to the administration that even in the midst of a financial crisis no one told me ‘Sunil, you must put a cap on your charity work”.
- Dr. Binila Chacko, Professor, Medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU), provided a personal overview of CMC’s COVID-19 response, and also shared stories of patients who sought their medical assistance, often providing a sense of hope to medial workers themselves. Sharing a photo of her team smiling under their masks, Dr. Chacko shared “we’re still smiling now and with confidence I can say that on behalf of the whole team, that none of us felt burned out or overworked. All of this was possible with the grace of God, the constant support and wisdom of the CMC administration, and all of our supporters and friends across the world, so thank you all for everything that you’ve done for CMC.”
As President of the North American Alumni Association, Dr. Margaret Kumar, who also serves on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, expressed her gratitude and admiration for the loyalty of CMC alumni towards their alma mater. “Alumni are our most loyal supporters, they’re our best ambassadors, and they offer invaluable contributions across their personal and professional networks”, Dr. Kumar shared, adding that “it’s not just about giving or making a donation, it is about making a difference.”