Press Release: On-Belay Medical and MedSend Announce Partnership to Train African Surgeons


June 1, 2021 – Ft. Mill, S.C., Knoxville, TN On-Belay Medical and MedSend jointly announce their partnership in training national orthopedic surgeons in Africa. On-Belay Medical has committed $125,000 towards MedSend’s five-year residency programs for training national orthopedic surgeons.


On-Belay is an innovative medical device distributor, with a philanthropic heart for giving back to those in need. The company is known for converting profits, created by the medical devices used in operating rooms, to make a difference in the most vulnerable lives through charitable donations. Close to their hearts is addressing the shortage of orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons within Africa. They are also actively engaged in the area of spinal surgery.


MedSend is a faith-based global healthcare non-profit that has been providing funds to enable US-trained surgeons to provide surgical care in some of the most vulnerable and marginalized areas of the world for almost 30 years. They are also heavily involved in the financial provision for residency programs in Africa and Asia where national physicians and surgeons are trained. In African countries today, faith-based hospitals provide a significant portion of the medical care within their borders, especially in rural areas.


According to Bruce Steffes, who has worked with PAACS (Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons) for over 25 years, in many rural and marginalized areas, “One of the greatest gaps in the needed infrastructure is the training of African national physicians who will remain on the continent to serve their own people.” In addition, in Africa, “an average surgeon will handle approximately 800 surgical cases per year and at least 5000 as inpatient/outpatient consultations.” That equates to each orthopedic surgeon handling 24,000 surgical cases and 150,000 consultations over their career, plus the impact of these national surgeons going on to train others.


The shortage of orthopedic surgeons is particularly desperate, and this partnership is a step in making a difference.


Rick Allen, CEO of MedSend, said“We are grateful for the partnership and recent gift to help train orthopedic surgeons from On-Belay Medical. Our two organizations have similar commitments to train national physicians in specialty areas of medicine”.


Mark Slaughter, CEO/Founder of On-Belay commented, “On-Belay Medical is excited to partner with MedSend for many practical, financial, and philosophical reasons.  Both teams share purposeful commitments that extend far beyond the delivery of daily healthcare.   Working with Rick Allen, Laurie Sanders, and the MedSend team improves our opportunity to reach those goals, both in the US and in the developing world.”


Slaughter also noted, “This relationship with MedSend is especially timely.  Outside of On-Belay’s Ugandan efforts, we are working hard to bring a Global Spine Foundation out of the ground.  We feel there is a great opportunity to organize the US spine teams already performing surgical outreach -each keeping their own identity but working more as a unit. We all gain from each team’s experiences, best practices, networking, developing instrumentation, etc.   Accomplishing sustainability in the developing world requires surgeon education and training, supply chains, political advocacy, and building partnerships.  The partnership we now have with MedSend will prove critical to that success.”


About On-Belay: On-Belay is a medical device distributor which converts medical device profits, created by medical devices used in operating rooms, to donations to charitable organizations. To date, On-Belay has supported over 60 ministries. As the business grows, so does its level of philanthropy, which is based on the redirecting of profits. Their goal is to give away millions each year.


About MedSend: MedSend is a global healthcare 501(c)3 non-profit that financially assists frontline healthcare workers who want to serve globally in mission hospitals. To date, MedSend has provided over $21 million in support to mobilize/sustain global healthcare workers and provide scholarships for the training of indigenous doctors and surgeons in Africa and Asia.

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