Jewish entrepreneur Mark Gerson and his wife, Rabbi Erica Gerson, have committed $18 million to support the work of African Mission Healthcare (AMH), an organization that partners with Christian mission hospitals to provide medical care in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is the largest known private gift to Christian medical missions.
AMH was founded in 2010 by Gerson and Dr. Jon Fielder, who has spent two decades as a missionary physician in Africa. Fielder currently serves as the organization’s CEO.
"We are delighted to honor our Jewish obligation to 'love the stranger' by partnering with the people who do so most effectively, efficiently and devotedly: African Christian and missionary doctors working at mission hospitals in Africa,” Gerson said. “The number of lives that these Christian doctors save and transform per dollar invested — while building the institutions that will amplify care in Africa for generations — is staggering.”
The United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) agreed to add $2 million to Gerson’s gift, bringing the total to $20 million. Some $11 million will be immediately available to expand selected high-impact projects. The rest will be made available as a donor match and used in support of AMH’s “Transforming Healthcare Campaign,” which is meant to bring in new funding to expand their work.
According to Fielder, the funds will be used to strengthen the systems and infrastructure in African hospitals, providing services such as oxygen, to help fight the battle against COVID-19. Less than 4% of Africa's population has been fully vaccinated.
It will also go toward life-saving surgery, advanced medical training, and the creation of a maternal health network of excellence at more than 15 hospitals across Africa.
In the last 11 years, AMH has invested more than $30 million dollars in training, clinical care and infrastructure projects with 47 mission hospital partners across 16 different countries in Africa, a press release said. These investments have supported direct care for more than 670,000 patients and trained more than 3,000 medical professionals.
“The sheer excellence of the Christian missionary doctors that African Mission Healthcare partners with, as measured in all of the data and the cases I have seen with AMH, is astonishing,” added Dr. Marty Makary, chairman of AMH’s medical advisory board and a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “When it comes to these doctors, I think of the statement of Winston Churchill: 'Never was so much owed by so many to so few.'”