David Smith leads the healthcare and insurance vertical for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. He’s passionate about how we help customers -- hospitals, medical care providers, drug manufacturers and biomedical firms -- deliver products and services when and where people need them.
David also volunteers his time and expertise by bringing healthcare to people in need around the world. Every year, he spends two weeks in places like South America, Southeast Asia and Africa with e3 Partners, a faith-based organization that brings healthcare to remote areas where people might never see a doctor otherwise. This past summer he was in Tanzania – his seventh trip to Africa – with a team that saw 1200 patients in six days.
“We set up a base camp and went out each day in our mini-bus with doctors, nurses, eye glasses and medications,” said David. “We’d go maybe an hour out to a different village each day, and there would be 100 to 200 people waiting for us, many of whom had walked five or more miles to get there.”
In one location, there might be a one- or two-room school to use. In another, they just set up a tarp under a big tree. There they register people, do triage to assess their status, treat them and provide medicine for acute conditions such as typhoid fever, malaria or parasitic worms. They bring non-prescription glasses (think readers) for people who need to see better to do close-up work like sewing and handcrafting.
"You want to leave a lasting improvement behind."
“These people don’t have access to medical care, so we focus on prevention by teaching them the basics like hand washing, food preparation and diet to help them address their own health after we leave,” said David. “You may only be there for a day, but you want to leave a lasting improvement behind.”
David’s family takes part in each trip, with his daughter-in-law who’s a nurse and his older daughter who’s graduating in special needs care joining his wife, son and youngest daughter. He doesn’t want any recognition for what he does, but encourages people to see there are many ways they can help others, all with the objective of making the world better.
“Someone may say, ‘You gave up your vacation to do that?’” says David. “But believe me, I come back from these trips more energized than I would doing anything else I can imagine.”