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ABC Health Foundation

ABC Health Foundation in Albania serves Christ by practicing and teaching excellent primary healthcare grounded in biblical values. There, every patient is treated with dignity and respect, whether they are a powerful foreign ambassador or a humble street sweeper. ABC provides the same excellent, whole-person care to each one, from the cradle to the grave, regardless of their situation, status or age. This attitude enables the ABC team to demonstrate the gospel as they model and teach the next generation of doctors, nurses and physical therapists in Albania and as they serve patients from diverse communities, including Albanians, the Roma and expatriates.

ABC serves as a bright light for the gospel and for quality, whole-person care in a region where patient-focused medical practice is scarce. Since its beginnings in 1994, ABC has taken a markedly different, patient-focused approach, seeking to find answers for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual problems each patient is experiencing. Each ABC team member imparts a biblical worldview while practicing excellence in health care and implementing creative long-term solutions to the country’s shortage of patient-focused practitioners.

As a Christian organization ABC has the privilege of sharing the gospel and praying with 5,000-plus patients each year. Its lymphedema care center has a dedicated national and expatriate staff composed of nurses and physical therapists who love Jesus and share that love through care and conversation on a daily basis. ABC also partners with local churches throughout Albania to conduct outreaches in which needy patients receive excellent care while hearing the good news. On average, ABC sees 25 to 50 people come to faith in Christ each year directly through their health center and palliative care center or through outreaches in partnership with numerous local churches.

The ministries of ABC Health Foundation include:

Primary Health Care

The ABC Family Health Center was created to be a model health center and has helped set the standard for family medical care in Albania. ABC provides primary medical care for the entire family, offering lab services, physical therapy and specialties including audiology, pediatrics, radiology and oncology.

Medical Education

ABC team members are compelled from their hearts not only to provide medical care but to impact and train health professionals and students who offer care throughout the entire country. In a culture where medical education is almost strictly theoretical, ABC provides practical, hands-on experience to allow each professional to practice medicine to the best of their ability.

ABC provides Internships in family practice, nursing and physical therapy with a focus on the basics of primary care and ethics in medicine. In the last 20 years ABC has trained 20 new medical doctors and three physical therapists through this program. Each one has been offered a position on the ABC team or has been sent out as a light to practice excellent care into the medical world.

In addition, through an agreement with Tirana Medical University, medical students can now gain experience through an observership program at the ABC health center, and ABC gives regular hands-on, on-campus trainings to nursing and physical therapy students. This program has the potential to impact thousands of future health care professionals for the gospel and to help bring lasting change to the medical system in Albania. ABC also invests in current health care professionals through continuing education in medical, nursing and physical therapy topics.

Community Health Outreaches

The ABC staff don’t only focus on medical care and education in the capital city. They also go out to rural areas, where young people seeking better employment have left the elderly behind, sometimes in dire straits.

Through partnerships with local churches, ABC conducts five to 10 medical outreaches each year, providing excellent care to needy patients while local pastors and church members share the gospel with them. These local believers continue to care for each of these patients and their families in gospel-centered relationships, helping them get necessary medication and taking them to recommended doctor visits, as well as helping to meet further needs of these families long after the medical outreaches have ended.

ABC’s community health outreaches include:

  • Home visits by community health nurses
  • Partnerships with local churches throughout Albania to conduct medical outreaches for the poor
  • Health education programs in areas such as CPR, first aid and healthy eating
  • Health screenings
Palliative Care Center

In Albania, those who suffer from cancer are often stigmatized as being “cursed.” In an effort to meet the medical needs of these survivors, the ABC team established a Palliative Care Center that gives free care to these precious but neglected patients. Through it, ABC facilitates a community among patients with shared experiences so that the gospel can be shared consistently in a caring, relational environment.

Through this program 100-plus cancer and post-cancer patients receive ongoing lymphedema care through 150 visits each month. ABC also provides training to help family members care for their loved ones, as well as wound care, doctor visits, physical therapy visits and other needed care for palliative patients.

Supporting ABC Health Foundation:

  • $1,000 replaces a patient bed, used continuously each day to care for cancer patients in ABC's palliative care department (three needed).
  • $3,000 provides small medical equipment and supplies.
  • $6,000 buys a second lymphedema arm/leg pump.
  • $8,000 funds a medical or physical therapy internship for one year.

Participate by Praying for ABC Health Foundation:

  • Praise God for the opportunity ABC Health Foundation has to influence doctors, nurses and medical/nursing/physical therapy students around Albania through its educational programs. Pray these health professionals will experience transformation, both spiritually and professionally, as ABC staff model and teach health care from a biblical perspective.
  • ABC needs to find a new location after almost 30 years of ministry in its current building. Pray for God’s direction as the staff looks for a place suitable for ABC’s many activities and starts to raise funds for relocation.
  • Lift up the leadership as they seek a new executive director to oversee the ministry of ABC. Ask God to lead them to the right person to join the team.

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