STAMFORD, Conn. – Americares, the health-focused relief and development organization, has been certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an Emergency Medical Team Type 1 – Mobile provider. The certification indicates Americares has met the highest standards for health care providers responding to emergencies and recognizes the organization’s commitment to a coordinated response and safe, equitable, ethical, accountable and appropriate care.
Americares is only the third organization in North America to achieve this recognition, which requires a rigorous certification process including a two-day, in-person evaluation by WHO and Pan American Health Organization officials.
“Americares is extremely proud to achieve Emergency Medical Team certification from the World Health Organization, recognizing our commitment and demonstrated ability to provide quality medical care in times of crisis,” said Americares President and CEO Christine Squires. “We have been responding to emergencies for over 40 years, and this certification speaks to both the caliber of our team and its expanded capabilities, including our capacity to respond rapidly.”
Americares Type 1 – Mobile status denotes the organization’s ability to provide primary care services, stabilize patients with acute trauma injuries and refer patients for specialized care, with the flexibility to work across a wide range of locations. In addition, Americares medical teams provide short-term mental health treatment, including psychological first aid, and referrals for those in need of longer-term support. The designation means Americares is equipped to respond to domestic crises within 12 to 48 hours of onset, and to international emergencies within 72 hours.
The World Health Organization presented the Americares Emergency Program team with a flag certifying Americares as an Emergency Medical Team Type 1 – Mobile provider following a rigorous two-day evaluation.Photo by Andrea Pane for Americares.
Americares medical teams are self-sufficient and deploy, as needed, with a medical tent, medicine and supplies to operate a clinic, as well as a self-contained base camp with sleeping quarters, running water, toilets and showers, that allow the team to work for up to two weeks without additional resources. The team, staffed by physicians, nurses, logistics experts, mental health professionals, and a water, sanitation and hygiene expert, provides primary care services for up to 50 patients a day.
Americares Director of Global Readiness Betsy Warfield commented, “This certification affirms that Americares is providing disaster survivors with the highest-quality care even in the most difficult circumstances without putting additional strain on local communities.”
The World Health Organization began the groundwork for the Emergency Medical Team Initiative after the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010, which underscored a need for better coordination and standardized medical care provided after emergencies. Standardization of operational and technical capabilities and best practices allows aid workers to respond responsibly and appropriately to crises, saving lives and improving health.