25 July, 2016
Open Heart International (OHI) is being transferred from Adventist Healthcare Limited (AHCL) to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia. The change is being made to leverage opportunities for growth, enhance the impact of both organisations in developing countries and improve efficiencies.
Having commenced as a volunteer-driven organisation with the support of the Sydney Adventist Hospital, OHI has a mission to send skilled volunteers to provide medical treatment and training in developing countries where specialist treatment is not available. This mission aligns closely with that of ADRA Australia, as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Chief Executive Officer of AHCL and OHI Management Committee Chair Philip Currie said: “Sydney Adventist Hospital is well known for caring for the community here in Sydney, as well as the international community through OHI. While the legal ownership alters, we will continue to be intimately involved. We are excited to be working with ADRA and we are keen to see OHI grow and flourish further as a result of this change.”
AHCL has also entered into a ten-year Memorandum of Understanding with ADRA which includes ongoing financial support for OHI.
ADRA Australia Chief Executive Officer Mark Webster is enthusiastic about this new step for ADRA Australia. “OHI has made a remarkable impact on the lives of thousands of very sick people, building the capacity of local health professionals in many countries where ADRA delivers development and relief projects,” Mr Webster said. “I appreciate the trust in ADRA Australia that this change represents and I am confident that our combined efforts will be strengthened through this new relationship, further benefitting people in need.”
OHI will continue to operate as a separately branded entity, retaining its two staff and its current office location on the Sydney Adventist Hospital campus on Fox Valley Road in Wahroonga.
ADRA Australia will assume responsibility for all financial management, including the acceptance and processing of donations. It will work with the OHI team to further develop policies and procedures, supporter engagement and programming activity, to deliver continuous organisational improvements over the longer term.
The changes will come into effect during August.