Matching funds for HPIC’s Syria medical relief

From 2011 until now, Health Partners International of Canada has provided $3.6 million in essential medicines and medical supplies to internally displaced Syrians and those living as refugees in camps and communities in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan.

We have been able to deliver an estimated 300,000 courses of treatment thanks to our donors and several partner organizations.

“Now we are hoping to do more since the Government of Canada is matching all donations $1 for $1 from individuals to any Canadian registered charity’s Syrian relief projects until Dec. 31,” said Denis St-Amour, HPIC’s President.

HPIC’s programs team is actively following this greatest humanitarian crisis of our time and is ready to move once more funding becomes available.

HPIC is currently in touch with several on-the-ground partners to determine needs, and speaking with healthcare donors to procure the medicines and medical supplies required.

“We had more hope for an end to the conflict in the early days, now we are focused on raising awareness about the urgent humanitarian needs and moving as much medical relief as possible,” says Bayan Khatib, communications manager for UOSSM-Canada, the local chapter of the international network The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations.

UOSMM-Canada is one of the organizations HPIC is working with to expedite medical relief to Syria and to equip Canadian medical teams for work in Turkey among the refugees. HPIC has also worked with International Medical Corps, ANERA and individual Canadian doctors.

“UOSSM is the largest medical relief organization operating in Syria, working as the implementing partner for the U.N. and other NGOs,” Bayan said. “We coordinate medical relief efforts, pay the salaries of 600 local doctors and health workers and provide essential medicines and medical supplies to 80 hospitals and 12 primary care centres.

“We have provided training to thousands of health workers to help them do this vital work in a war zone. They are doing heroic work. There are 1 million injured Syrians and 300,000 dead. If it were not for the doctors and nurses we work with, these numbers would be reversed.”

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Syria are the weakest, sickest and most impoverished Syrians. “Our goal is to provide medical relief for this most vulnerable group while coming alongside Syrian doctors and health workers.

“Helping HPIC move medicine to Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon is a very direct way to do something about the Syrian crisis,” says Denis. “I urge you to act now and make the most of your donation during the matching funds period, concluding Dec. 31.”



Denis St-Amour is HPIC’s new President: 2015-2019

MONTREAL (Sept. 10, 2015) – There is a new person leading the mission of Health Partners International of Canada.

“We are pleased to announce that Denis St-Amour, an entrepreneur and management consultant, is our new president,” says Dr. Artaj Singh, Chair of HPIC’s Board of Directors. “Denis brings much experience and passion to his new role, including his service as Chair of World Vision International, one of the biggest NGOs in the world.”

Glen Shepherd had been president from 2009 until last month when he left HPIC to take on a pastoral and administrative leadership role with The Salvation Army in Quebec.

“We are extremely grateful for the commitment of Glen and his family to our mission for the greater part of the last decade,” Dr. Singh says. “With Glen at the helm, HPIC weathered the financial crisis of 2008-2009 and completed a successful capacity building project in Afghanistan, launched our Mother-Child Health Kit project and received accreditation from Imagine Canada. It was a good and fruitful period in the life of our organization and we must give credit to Glen.”

Denis feels called to give back and looks forward to working on HPIC’s challenges and opportunities. “I can’t wait to meet the hands and feet of our mission, the doctors, health professionals and humanitarian organizations we work with, as well as our national network of donors and company donors,” Denis says.

Prior to coming to HPIC, Denis had his own consulting firm for many years and had also served as President of Drake Beam Morin Inc.’s C-Suite Coaching organization. The position was based in New York for North America’s largest and leading firm specialized in coaching, transition and change management, training & leadership development. In addition, Denis led the Canadian operation as president on two separate occasions.

Some of his volunteer portfolio includes serving as founding President of Ballet Ouest de Montréal, President of the Canadian Club of Montreal, and board member of Le Conseil des Arts de Montréal. He has also been invited to lecture at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University and the University of Ottawa.

Bio of Denis St-Amour

Meet Denis in this short video 

Audit trip reveals medicines distributed across Jamaica 1-2 weeks after arrival

Food For The Poor Canada’s medicine provision project in Jamaica was the subject of an audit trip by Health Partners International of Canada in August.

“The purpose of the trip was to see how medicines are being used, stored and distributed and to learn more about the impact of the project and the needs,” HPIC’s Director of NGO Programs Helen Crawley says.

Every year HPIC provides about three 40-foot containers of essential medicines, over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies. HPIC has been working with Food For The Poor Canada since 2008. In a typical year, HPIC provides an estimated 115,000 treatments.

“Overall, the audit of Food For The Poor Canada was a success,” reports Helen. “Medicines are offered to local partners before they arrive and distribution begins across the island nation within 1-2 weeks of arriving.”
Helen identified some areas for improvement but is satisfied with Food For The Poor Canada and Food For The Poor Jamaica’s treatment of HPIC shipments of medicines and supplies donated by dozens of healthcare companies in Canada.

“The Food For The Poor Jamaica distribution centre has four separate areas, one of which is for medicine,” she said. “One of the areas we have noted for improvement is the need for a properly designated quarantine area in the rare case when medicines are recalled, broken or reach the end of their shelf life. HPIC could come alongside and provide assistance for issues like this identified as needing improvement.”

“On the positive side, Food For The Poor Jamaica can account for all the donated medicines and produced reports to show how they had been used. Our medicines are used quickly and do not sit around in warehouses.”

Food For The Poor is a major humanitarian organization in Jamaica and provides assistance in four broad areas: medicine, food, construction and other, including special projects like backpacks for school children. At Food For The Poor Jamaica’s clinic named Our Lady of the Poor, over 80% of the medicine in the pharmacy was provided by donations from Food For The Poor-Florida, which include donations from HPIC.

Helen spent Aug. 18-23 in the country and visited 10 facilities in several communities: 3 local NGO partner facilities, 2 government health care centres, three hospitals and two distribution centres (one belonging to Food For The Poor Jamaica and one belonging to the National Health Fund).

“Everywhere I went, we were received well. Food For The Poor is respected,” Helen reports. “They supply the National Health Fund with medicines for all 12 parishes and also provide medicines to church-run organizations and NGOs.”

About 70 per cent of medical relief provided by HPIC goes to the National Health Fund, a government branch of the Ministry of Health that provides all public health facilities with their medicines. The people Helen met from the government said they were happy to receive medicine from Canada because it works. There are efficacy problems sometimes when purchasing inexpensive drugs from countries with laxer quality control standards.

“One certain outcome of the trip is we will work with Food For The Poor Canada to have a more detailed needs list for their counterpart in Jamaica,” Helen says. “Mental health is an issue that people are more aware of these days and almost everywhere I went pharmacists and doctors highlighted the need for anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.”

Helen mainly met with pharmacists and NGO staff. “One patient story I heard about was quite remarkable,” she says. “I visited the Golden Age Home, which despite its name actually has residents aged 20-101 in a complex housing 400 people with disabilities and the elderly. This facility is very close to a Food For The Poor Jamaica clinic, Our Lady of the Poor, that had received analgesics, vitamins and incontinence materials.

“One of the younger residents was able to compete as a Paralympian thanks to treatment at the clinic and vitamins provided by HPIC.

“The entire community at Golden Age Home is proud of their Paralympian and so excited about his participation in the international sports competition for people with disabilities.

“HPIC’s donors can feel good about being part of this project that reaches the most vulnerable people in Jamaica,” Helen concluded.

DTZ employees raise funding to provide container of medical relief to Guatemala

MISSISSAUGA (July 22, 2015) – A 20-foot container loaded with essential medicines and supplies is expected to arrive in Guatemala mid-August.

“This provision of an estimated 115,000 treatments is thanks to DTZ’s first corporate fundraising campaign,” said Glen Shepherd, President of HPIC.

“We know the anxiety that a family can face when a child or a loved one is sick,” said Chris Ridabock, National Chair of DTZ. “Imagine how much worse it is when care may be available but there is no medicine to provide relief and treatment. We are very happy to have connected with HPIC so that we can provide help in a practical and direct way to a vulnerable community.”

DTZ began a national fundraising campaign to benefit HPIC’s medical relief project with Food for the Poor April 1. At the close of the campaign, employees had raised just shy of $20,000.

“While we have a culture of giving locally at the community level, partnering with HPIC on a national corporate social responsibility project is a first,” Ridabock said.

Ryan McAskile from DTZ Mississauga and Taylor Wilson from DTZ Niagara, who both spearheaded the DTZ initiative, thanked their colleagues for their hard work and leadership: “Thank you to all those who fundraised either through in-office promotions or by reaching out to your networks bringing in donations and creating awareness about HPIC and the great work they do. And lastly, thank you to all those who donated to the campaign out of your own pockets. This is a great accomplishment.”

According to Food for the Poor, Guatemala has some of the worst indicators in the hemisphere. Overall adult literacy is estimated at 70 per cent, but literacy among Mayan women is estimated at 30 per cent. Less than half of rural Guatemalans have access to running water, only a quarter have access to electricity and less than one in 10 have access to modern sanitation facilities. Infant, child and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in Latin America.
Food for the Poor is the largest international relief and development organization in the United States. HPIC has been partnering with Food for the Poor since 2009.

“These donated medicines will help strengthen health care units, run by the state and by non-profit organizations in San Jose Poaquil, Chimaltenango, and improve the health of a needy population,” says Patricia Cardenas of Food for the Poor.
The shipment contains $1.4 million of assorted essential medicines, including several kinds of antibiotics for children and adults, antifungals and eye drops.

About HPIC: Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) is a relief and development organization that delivers health and hope to the world’s most vulnerable people. We are dedicated to increasing access to medicine and improving health in the developing world without discrimination through the provision of essential medicines & medical supplies, pharmaceutical management and logistics, and capacity-building projects.

Christina Parsons
Senior Director, Communications

Pharmaceutical Management Database project advancing with Stronger Together funding

Pharmacies in hospitals and clinics in the developing world often have trouble keeping essential medicines in stock. For 25 years, Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) has worked to increase access to medicine for the most vulnerable communities in the world, mainly through the provision of medical relief.

“HPIC’s new project will help medical staff forecast, monitor and distribute their stocks effectively, with the objective of eliminating stock outs and preventing good medicine from expiring before it can be used,” said Alexandra Wilson, HPIC’s Program Manager, PME & Emergency Response.
On June 1, HPIC received the good news from Stronger Together, a funding collective, that a proposal to develop a pharmaceutical inventory management database system has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Stronger Together funding cooperative. Stronger Together is providing $3 for every $1 HPIC raises toward this project.

“This grant is the green light we needed to move forward with this innovative and impactful project,” said Glen Shepherd, President of HPIC. “Pharmaceutical management initiatives are often overlooked in international development. However, projects that work toward strengthening health systems and increasing access to medicines have significant impacts on clinics, pharmacies and the communities they serve. More medicine will reach patients in need. This project will promote better health and development outcomes, ranging from better quality of life and higher life expectancy, to reduced impacts on health systems.”

“Our intent with providing funding for this initiative is to invest into a unique innovation within your organization that produces impact,” said Mark Petersen, Executive Director of the Bridgeway Foundation, one of Stronger Together’s 2015 Partners.

HPIC will be developing the program in close consultation with our partners. We will be hiring a software developer to create a program that would meet the needs of clinics and pharmacies. This program will be easy to use with capacity to be networked or operate on a standalone basis. It will track lot numbers, item numbers and expiry dates of products and will handle three inbound streams: donations, purchases and trades. The program will provide simple alerts on stock outs and products approaching expiration. It will also facilitate standard practices, like physical counts and inventory reconciliations.

Pharmaceutical management was a key component in HPIC’s Capacity Building and Access to Medicine five-year project in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan, funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

“We achieved many of the Afghan project’s anticipated outcomes,” Wilson said, “ranging from improving the quality of pharmaceutical control testing to increasing the number of patients treated. However, one unanticipated outcome was the increased pride and commitment that medical staff showed in their work after the provision of training and tools. The database is much more than a simple computer program. It represents a strengthened health system and dignity for service providers and the work their work.”

Nepal: HPIC continuing to respond

Yesterday (May 13), 10 Physician Travel Packs or enough essential medicines and medical supplies to provide up to 6,000 treatments left for Nepal with International Medical Corps. It is expected to arrive this weekend.

A Mother-Child Health Kit, consisting of basic supplies, equipment and over the counter medicines to provide safe births, will also be leaving this weekend with Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT). The first CMAT team brought 4 Physician Travel Packs on May 2.

“Nepal has been crippled by the first earthquake, which caused the death of upwards of 8,000 people. This second earthquake struck on Tuesday, May 12, injuring over 2,000 people and killing hundreds,” said Alexandra Wilson, HPIC’s Manager of Emergency Relief.

“The international community’s response to the earthquake has faced a number of challenges, ranging from accessing harder to reach rural areas to logistical difficulties of bringing needed commodities into the country. Nepal is serviced by one small airport in Kathmandu that has been overwhelmed and damaged by large, incoming cargo flights. As such, there are significant delays in getting aid into the country,” Wilson explained.

To date, HPIC has had a great response from our donors, both financially and with offers of medicine donations. “HPIC continues to work with our global network of partners to see how best we can respond to identified needs on the ground,” Wilson said.

The following companies all donated medicines specifically to the emergency appeal for Nepal: Allergan, AstraZeneca, GSK, Johnson and Johnson, Paladin, Pfizer, Pharmascience, Sunovian, and Teva.

Every $1 donated to HPIC provides at least $10 of essential medicine. Donate to Nepal medical relief.

Teva Canada Chooses HPIC in Exclusive Agreement to Handle All Medication Donations

MISSISSAUGA (May 5, 2015) – Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) announced today that Teva Canada Limited has selected them as the exclusive distributor of their medication donations.

HPIC’s mission is to increase access to medicine and to improve health in vulnerable communities around the world. Working through a network of Canadian volunteer medical mission teams and local and international humanitarian organizations, HPIC specializes in the logistics and distribution of medical aid.

“Teva Canada’s confidence in HPIC’s operations is backed up with our Health Canada Establishment Licence and accreditation by Imagine Canada’s Standards Program,” says Glen Shepherd, President of HPIC.

Teva Canada and HPIC have a long history of working together to provide needed aid around the world, but this new level of partnership is focused on maximizing reach – helping the most beneficiaries in the most efficient way. All parties will do what they do best: Teva is the world’s largest manufacturer of generic medicines; HPIC works with a humanitarian network of medical and NGO partners to move medicines where the needs are greatest.

“Donating medicines for vulnerable communities is not new for Teva Canada, said David Windross, Vice President, External Affairs of Teva Canada. “This year is the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Medicine Aid Programme (CAN-MAP), an organization founded by Leslie Dan of Novopharm Limited (now Teva Canada) to respond to donation requests for essential medicines. He believed that ‘every human being should help the sick and needy based on ability and available resources’.”

“While CAN-MAP met many urgent needs with tremendous results for 30 years, as demand grew, we realized our medication donation program needed to evolve to ensure we maximized our resources,” added Windross.

“While running CAN-MAP, Teva Canada was also a top donor to HPIC for the last decade, providing close to $40 million of essential medicine,” says Shepherd. “We are honoured to be entrusted with all the medicines that in the past would have flowed through CAN-MAP.”

All former clients and partners served by CAN-MAP are being referred to HPIC for product requests as of May 1, 2015 and have been informed of the change. “We look forward to working with them and helping them procure from a selection of donated products provided by Teva Canada and about 70 other Canadian healthcare companies,” Shepherd says.

HPIC’s mission aligns well with CAN-MAP’s mandate to “send medicine free of charge to developing countries and disaster relief areas through non-profit organizations operating hospitals and clinics around the world.” “This makes HPIC an outstanding partner to continue this vision and work,” says Windross.

HPIC is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The theme is “Celebrating Our Partnerships” because partnerships are key to achieving our mission. “We work with such a diverse network of partners to fulfill our mission,” says Shepherd. “For example, Teva Canada choosing to direct all their medicine donations to HPIC means that these donated medicines will be available to many organizations and health professionals and will travel to areas of need around the world.”

To procure medicines from HPIC, potential program partners must fill out an application which is reviewed through an evaluation process. Applications and more information are available at:

“Teva Canada recognizes that it takes funding to run our programs even though we receive donated medicines and supplies,” says Shepherd. “We are very grateful for the investment they are making in HPIC that goes along with the referrals for product requests.”

About HPIC
HPIC is a not-for-profit relief and development organization that delivers health and hope to the world’s most vulnerable people. We are dedicated to increasing access to medicine and improving health in the developing world without discrimination through the provision of essential medicines & medical supplies, pharmaceutical management and logistics, and capacity-building projects.

About Teva Canada Limited
Teva Canada Limited, headquartered in Toronto, has provided affordable healthcare solutions for 50 years, with nearly 200,000 prescriptions filled with our products every day. Originally Novopharm Limited, Teva Canada specializes in the development, production and marketing of high-quality generic prescription pharmaceuticals and through our branded division, Teva Canada Innovation, focuses on a diverse line of innovative products in a variety of therapeutic areas. Teva Canada employs more than 1,300 individuals, markets more than 400 products in Canada and is a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world’s largest generic drug maker. For more information, visit: or

About Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE and TASE: TEVA) is a leading global pharmaceutical company that delivers high-quality, patient-centric healthcare solutions to millions of patients every day. Headquartered in Israel, Teva is the world’s largest generic medicines producer, leveraging its portfolio of more than 1,000 molecules to produce a wide range of generic products in nearly every therapeutic area. In specialty medicines, Teva has a world-leading position in innovative treatments for disorders of the central nervous system, including pain, as well as a strong portfolio of respiratory products. Teva integrates its generics and specialty capabilities in its global research and development division to create new ways of addressing unmet patient needs by combining drug development capabilities with devices, services and technologies. Teva’s net revenues in 2014 amounted to $20.3 billion. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:

Christina Parsons
Senior Director, Communications
514-949-9183 (cell)

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Denise Bradley
Sr. Vice President, Global Corporate Reputation

Canadian volunteers and Canadian donated medicines en route to Nepal through HPIC and CMAT

TORONTO (May 1, 2015) – Canada’s pharmaceutical industry is rallying a response to the Nepal earthquake through donations of essential medicines requested by Health Partners International of Canada’s partners, mobile hospitals and medical teams, on the ground.

“Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) anticipates leaving Toronto and Vancouver tomorrow equipped with the first Physician Travel Packs provided by HPIC for Nepal,” said Alexandra Wilson, HPIC’s Manager of Emergency Relief.

“Since the earthquake struck last Saturday, we have been in touch with our partners discussing the needs and mounting a response plan,” Wilson said.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck just outside Kathmandu, Nepal on April 25. The United Nations says more than eight million people have been affected and about 70,000 houses destroyed.

“Many who survived the quake are now falling ill because they have been living in the open and drinking contaminated water,” said Valerie Rzepka, a nurse practitioner and the executive director of CMAT. “Our rapid assessment team and Canine Search and Rescue teams arrived April 28. They have been attending the WHO Health Cluster Meetings to ensure that our teams work in a coordinated way.”

CMAT’s Team 1 consists of about 15 volunteers from across Canada, including doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, paramedics and logistics support people. HPIC is equipping the team with enough essential medicine and supplies to provide up to 2,400 treatments.

“Our health volunteers have the knowledge, skills, and ability needed to provide care but without the Physician Travel Packs provided by HPIC, we cannot provide the highest quality of care. Having access to the medicines needed to treat people is the one of the most important things,” Rzepka said.

The team will likely be working out of CMAT’s inflatable field hospital in a community in the remote regions outside Kathmandu. “Along with primary health care, they will be doing basic procedures, like setting fractures, suturing lacerations, doing wound care and providing maternal and newborn care,” Rzepka said.

“We also anticipate a need for psychological support as well, and our behavioural health experts will provide that for both our patients and our team members,” Rzepka said. “Post-traumatic stress is a major issue following a disaster.”

“We would like to thank CMAT and their volunteers,” said Glen Shepherd, HPIC’s President. “We would also like to thank our product donors who have already offered medicines for Nepal: AstraZeneca Canada, Johnson & Johnson, Paladin, Pfizer Canada, Pharmascience, Sunovion and Teva Canada.”

HPIC and CMAT are both continuing to respond to Nepal and need your help. All donations until May 25, 2015 will be matched by the Government of Canada.

Donate online:


PHOTO OP: Team departing Vancouver Airport with Physician Travel Packs tomorrow (Saturday, May 2, for time and place contact CMAT’s Leslie Eltom)

For more information, please contact:

Christina Parsons
Director, Communications

Lesley Eltom
Director of Communications

Medical relief for Nepal

Essential medicines and medical supplies are ready to leave HPIC’s distribution centre to provide much needed medical relief to the people of Nepal. And until May 25, 2015 all donations sent to HPIC for Nepal relief will be matched by the Government of Canada ( )

“When the disaster struck near Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, we immediately started communicating with our partners about the needs on the ground,” says Alexandra Wilson, HPIC’s Manager of Emergency Relief.

“Rapid medical care and coordinated emergency response are critical for the survivors,” Wilson said.

Currently, HPIC has enough medicine packed and ready to go to provide up to 24,000 treatments of essential medicines. There is more medicine in the warehouse that is available as well as donations that will be coming in from Canada’s healthcare industry in response to needs lists.

“HPIC, now celebrating our 25th anniversary, has responded to dozens of disasters over the years, including the largest medical aid mobilizations to Sri Lanka in 2005, Haiti in 2010 and the Philippines in 2013-2014,” says President Glen Shepherd.

“We work through our global network to distribute only what is needed,” Shepherd says. “In times of disaster when distribution systems are broken and roads are impassable, our Emergency Physician Travel Packs can be hand carried and provide emergency primary care.”

You can help move medicines to the affected communities. Every $1 donation provides at least $10 of essential medicines and will be matched by the Government of Canada until May 25, 2015. Donate now

Improving the odds for Kenyan mothers and babies

HPIC is supporting the work of The Salvation Army in Western Kenya to improve access to maternal and child health care in 20 communities in Western Kenya.

“We received confirmation last week that our shipment of 94 Mother-Child Health Kits has safely arrived,” said Catherine Sharouty, HPIC’s Mother-Child Health Kit Project Manager. “These kits will provide treatment for 1,500 mothers and 3,000 infants and children under 5 years old.”

The kits are being paired with professional training for nurses, midwives and traditional birth attendants. The health workers will have the tools and the skills needed to ensure that more mothers and babies survive pregnancy, childbirth and the immediate post-partum period.

The first six kits arrived in September and the training has already been completed.

The Kenya Demographic Survey (2008/2009) indicates that maternal mortality has remained unacceptably high at an average of 488 deaths per 100,000 live births up from 414 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2003. Newborn deaths are also unacceptably high with an estimated 140 newborn deaths per day.

The scenario is worse off in Teso District, which is one of the two areas targeted by the project. The average distance to a health facility is five kms. The doctor patient ratio stands at 1: 45,372, which indicates the seriousness of health personnel shortages.

There is high infant and child morbidity and mortality. Infant mortality stands at 75 deaths per 1,000 live births. This can be attributed to inaccessibility of health facilities, high poverty levels, HIV/AIDS menace.

This project is one way to address these issues and bring hope and improved health to Kenyan mothers and babies.

Source for stats: Teso District Strategic Development Plan (2005-2010)