OUR STORY THROUGH THE YEARS
The mission began in June of 2000. At the request of Reverend Setan Lee of Kampuchea for Christ ( KFC ) and Jim Groen of Global Connection International ( GCI ), Dr. Mark Sheehan and Dr. Daniel Smith traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to evaluate the medical conditions in Cambodia.
To gain a deeper understanding of the medical needs of the Cambodian people, Dr. Sheehan and Dr. Smith spent nine days visiting multiple hospitals and medical clinics. These included both government & health oriented officials; such as, the Minister of Health and the public medical school, the Phnom Penh Health Sciences Center. The Christian medical community and Christian Church Leadership organizations of the country were also examined.
On the last day of their visit they were introduced to Dr. Kendrick Kahler, a paraplegic, Christian, American- family practice physician who had previously committed to being a medical missionary in Cambodia. After a two hour visit and sharing of visions and prayers, they decided to work with Dr. Kahler and his CSI Clinic on the grounds of Preah Ket Maelea Hospital by bringing teams of medical professionals, medical equipment, and medication to support the work of the CSI Clinic.
From the years 2000 to 2004 Dr. Sheehan and Dr. Smith worked at the CSI Clinic under the umbrella of GCI.
- Summer of 2000 was spent developing audiovisual tools, raising money and recruiting for the next trip
- November 2000 the first medical team of 11 people helped organize the CSI Clinic
- August 2001 a 13 year old Cambodian girl and her mother were brought to Denver for open heart Surgery for a VSD (congenital heart condition) and bacterial endocarditis. They returned to Cambodia with the October team. Porter Adventist Hospital was very supportive of this.
- September 2001 the first 40ft container of medical supplies was sent to Cambodia with the assistance of Project CURE. A total of 3 containers were brought over during this four year time frame.
- October 2001 Drs. Smith and Sheehan led two overlapping teams of 15 and 12 members for a 3.5 week trip. Funds had been raised to remodel two operating rooms and so the first surgical procedures were done.
- Memorandums of Understanding were developed with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health to legitimize our mission. Several outreach clinics were held in outlying provinces.
- In 2002 and 2003, two Cambodian medical students, Dr. Sokchan Sim and Dr. Phalyka Oum, were brought to Denver with the assistance of the University of Colorado and the Robinson-Durst Scholarship fund. Both made commitments for Christ during these visits and continue to practice their faith upon returning home to Cambodia.
From 2004- 2010:
- In the spring of 2004 it was decided to form a new, independent, non-profit corporation registered with the state of Colorado and the United States Internal Revenue Service. This was legally accomplished on July 14, 2004 under the name of the Christian Medical Ministry to Cambodia / Jeremiah’s Hope ( CMMCJH ). A copy of the IRS letter giving us 501c3 status is included in the donation section of this website. A board of directors was formed and it meets regularly to direct the long range planning of the organization. The focus of the ministry is always to be Christ centered.
- At our first visit in 2000 we were made aware of a cardiac surgical facility being built by the French on the grounds of their Calmett Hospital. In 2007 we began to work there, seeing poor patients and teaching and encouraging the local staff. We have continued to take a cardiology / cardiac surgery team yearly since that time, seeing hundreds of patients with rheumatic valvular heart disease, assisting the local surgeons in operating on them, and recently introducing some electrophysiological technology.
- Medical teams of increasing size were brought to Cambodia in 2005, 2006, and 2007. It was then decided to try to bring smaller, more frequent, specialty focused teams with multiple teams in 2008, 2009, and 2010. In 2008 Dr. Kahler had to return to the USA for medical reasons and the Cambodian government took away our ability to work in the CSI Clinic on the grounds of Preah Ket Mealea Hospital. New leadership of the CSI Clinic took a different direction and we were forced to look for other facilities in which our teams could work and teach. We tried to work in 2 public hospitals with disastrous results.
- In late 2009 God opened a new avenue when we were asked by Hope Worldwide, an outreach ministry of the Church of Christ, to partner with them in remodeling an old hotel into a surgical facility. We took over 2 of the 5 floors with 2 very large operating rooms.
- During this time the medical students we had mentored early on had gone on to do postgraduate training in France. We also brought some of them to the US for short periods.
- With the assistance of Porter Hospital and the south Denver medical staff, 3 more patients with problems too complicated to treat in Cambodia we brought to Denver for successful definitive care.
- Several more containers of medical equipment were shipped to Cambodia with the assistance of Project CURE
From 2010- 2018
- The construction of our new clinic was completed in 2010 and we opened the 2 floors of our facility on October 11, 2010.
- Sokchan Sim, recently completing his neurosurgical training in Lyon, France became our medical director and he began to hire nurses and other physicians to run the clinic when expatriate teams were not there. We now have a staff of 5 physicians, 20 nurses, 2 administrative people, an instrument tech, and 2 cleaning ladies.
- The activities in the clinic increased, as did its reputation for good Christ centered care, seeing not only poor patients but also those who could pay. The clinic is now almost 90% self-sufficient.
- We send 4 – 6 expatriate teams per year in the specialties of cardiology/cardiac surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, head and neck surgery, gynecology, and ENT. By mid-2018 we have sent 55 teams of about 700 people caring for over 3200 patients. These expatriate teams have done ~1200 operative procedures including 350 open heart procedures.
- We have outfitted an electrophysiology lab in the cardiac center and taught ablative procedures to local physicians.
- We had the first American – Cambodian Cardiology Conference in 2014 and just completed the 5th annual conference with over 3500 attendees.
- We have sent 9 40 ft. containers of medical equipment plus each expatriate team hand carrying more with each trip.
- We continue to be Christ centered and have had 3 of our physicians and 5 nurses make a commitment for the Lord.
God continues to open and close doors, but we are always praying and looking for His guidance as we move forward in this project. It is all about JESUS!!!