Episode 4: What About More Frequent Trips?


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In episode 3, we ruled out the idea that it is as simple as giving larger quantities to solve the “tiny bag dilemma”. If we can’t give larger quantities to last until we can return, then what about returning quicker? Let’s increase the frequency of our trip so much so that it was as if we had a continuous presence in our global communities?


As great as that sounds, it is not very realistic.

At least not annnnny time soon and here is why: Manpower.

  • For the longest time, it was only me running the show.. Well, besides my Board of Directors there to be a sounding board, but they weren’t the work horses of the organization

  • Slowly I started bringing interns into Be the Change, and that proved to be a lot of work in itself

  • Then enters in Joseph Brewster, who is literally a God send, and he took over coordinating the Myanmar Trips


But him and I can say from experience, coordinating medical mission trips is A CRAP TON OF WORK.

  • Buying plane tickets for our team can get complicated

  • Then there is figuring out where we would stay and making sure I book the right dates in the right year- the First Myanmar Team would get a kick out of that detail haha!

  • Speaking at various meetings to get the word out about the trip.

  • DON DON DON And then comes the dreaded part of ensuring MDs, RNs etc get signed up. That is by far the hardest coordination detail!

It’s a lot of work AND we do it during our free time outside of working as Pharmacists.

So let's bring it back in- what we were talking about was the novel idea of just simply creating more frequent trips so we can give ADEQAUTE amounts of medications PERIODICALLY.


But hopefully you can see how it is much easier said than done. It is not that it is IMPOSSIBLE to make our trips more frequent- it would take getting MORE man power. Getting more man power is difficult in itself because Be the Change is 100% volunteer ran and financial compensation is not on the table for the people who join our team.


And here is what really drove the it home and make it clear that there had to be another way; another way to ensure our patients got adequate amounts of medications periodically:


The fact that this tedious and time-consuming process of coordinating trips started to consume more of our time than we were spending on building out better and bigger programs for our patients. And that had to change. Our focus needed to be more on our patients than our volunteers.

But do not fret and stay tuned because next episode will discuss what allowed me to refocus our efforts on our patients and confirmed there was not a need for more frequent trips after all. So Until Next time thanks!

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