Mid 90’s … Brian Green of Christian Health Associates and the staff of Cornerstone Clinic recognized the need for a building site that would prepare surplus medical supplies for shipment to developing countries. They started storing supplies in the Cornerstone Clinic basement and in garages of friends. Paul Gionet, a pharmacist and a board member of Beyond Borders, was doing the same thing – storing medical supplies in an airplane hangar in Soldotna.
Both of these organizations, Christian Health Associates and Beyond Borders, saw a resource surplus of medical supplies in the USA and an overwhelming need for these items in developing countries. They wanted to connect the resource with the need to help with things like providing a mother with the medicine her sick child needs, supplying sterile gloves to a clinic that is forced to clean and recycle its medical supplies, and delivering essential tools to prevent disease.
Jan 1999 … Beyond Borders and Christian Health Associates participated in a project sponsored by the mayor of Anchorage to send food boxes to the Russian Far East. The two groups started talking about the possibility of having a staging area for humanitarian aid in Anchorage. As a result, Alaska Medical Missions was formed.
Early 1999 … Alaska Medical Missions (AMM) was formed to consolidate the medical supplies stored by Christian Health Associates, Beyond Borders and Samaritan’s Purse in a vacant power plant located in Ship Creek, Alaska. AMM stored everything in temporary, donated space as it became available. Ultimately, everything from the power plant was moved to an indoor soccer field, then to a rope warehouse, and yet once again to another temporary warehouse. During this period of early development, AMM sent out medical supplies with travelers bound for developing countries. Some of the early shipments of supplies went to the Russian Far East while that area was recovering from the collapse of the Russian economy. Supplies delivered to Swaziland, Africa, arrived in time to be used during a crisis in Mozambique due to severe flooding.
2000 … AMM began collecting pledges from doctors in Alaska for monthly support of a permanent staging area in Anchorage. Approximately 25 doctors pledged to support Alaska Medical Missions at $50 per month for three years. In June 2000, AMM moved into its current warehouse location. The pledges from the doctors were critical in obtaining this staging area. The AMM “warehouse” became a reality and continues to serve as the storage facility to AMM.
By March of 2001, shipments of medical supplies had gone from Alaska Medical Missions to Kosovo, Tibet, Russia, Mexico, Vietnam, Peru, Mongolia, Swaziland, Kenya, Burma, Fiji, Belize, Philippines, China, Mozambique and Guatemala. Now, at the end of 2011, Alaska Medical Missions has sent more than 900 shipments of medical supplies to more than 80 countries and continues to receive and send medical supplies and equipment in our efforts to bring aid to the nations.
Alaska Medical Missions operates as an affiliate of Christian Health Associates, a corporation recognized as nonprofit under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.