2018: Looking Back at a Year of Growth for the Disque Foundation

The Disque Foundation empowers people to save lives by providing advanced healthcare education to underserved populations here in the United States and around the world. Through the Save a Life Initiative, the Disque team teaches multiple life support courses through a first-of-its-kind, free online platform. Since 2012 those courses have empowered 961,732 people to save a life, and more are signing up every day. These resources are moving us ever closer to our goal of training one million people by 2020! This past year has been a productive one for the Disque Foundation, we wanted to share some highlights with you.

Nairobi, Kenya – January 10-25

Tgroup of people opening supplies for cpr traininghe Disque team kicked off 2018 by traveling to Nairobi, Kenya. A team of seven partnered there with the Foundation for International Cardiac and Child Services (FICCS), and together we trained Kenyan medical students and other professionals in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The students were also granted free admission to the National Health Care Provider Solutions (NHCPS) online ACLS courses which gave them access to additional handbooks, training videos, skills videos, and practice and final exams. By pairing these online courses with in-person training, and practical in-the-field type simulations, the students were able to hone their ACLS and CPR skills with the help of the FICCS staff.

Some of the newly trained Kenyan students became what Disque calls ‘super-users’: Students with enough training and demonstrated skill who then take that knowledge out into their own communities and teach others. By empowering more super-users, Disque is able to spread its life-saving mission without needing to be on the ground!

DF and FICCS in Kenya Nairobi

The foundation also hosted CPR, AED, and First Aid training for the women at the FICCS Women Center in Kariobangi, Nairobi, Kenya. Seeing the women energized and empowered as they demonstrated their new skills was truly gratifying. We saw this group of women again during our Kenya trip when we visited the Compassionate Hands for the Disabled Foundation, a group that cares for nearly a hundred orphans.

Disque’s team also met the women, children, and teachers of the rural Maasai community in Loita. There, the two foundations continued working together and set up a free clinic for students, administered deworming medicine, and played games all afternoon with the children. This community had recently sponsored a young woman all the way through nursing school so that she could return to the community and care for them.

The Disque team also visited the Thika Referral Hospital in Thika, Nairobi to meet up with one of our newly trained instructors. Thanks to the FICCS foundation, we were able to leave behind a donated 12 lead EKG, defibrillator, and AED. This critical equipment will save even more lives in this community.

The Kenya trip is what the Disque Foundation is all about! We are all excited to grow and build on this partnership with FICCS in the years to come.

CPR, AED, and First Aid in-Person Trainings

Disque is also empowering people to save a life right here at home. The foundation offers in-person CPR, AED, and First Aid training, and in 2018 partnered with organizations across Indiana including Coburn Place, Indiana Youth Group, and Shalom Community Center. Disque’s Medical Educator, Lauren Diffendarfer, led 15 of these in-person trainings throughout the year.

Disque’s reach continues to grow thanks to webinars. Lauren hosts as many of these as possible and in 2018 worked with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Haven of Peace Academy, and Light Line 55 LTD.

Ronald McDonald House Partnership

At least once a month Disque Foundation team members host an evening of activities for children and families staying at Chicago’s Ronald McDonald House. A few of 2018’s most popular events were marshmallow stamp bunnies, straw rockets, and treasure hunt bottles. Another great event was making “blessing bags” for the homeless at the Chicago Coalition for Homeless.

This was the Disque Foundation’s founders 10th year of volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House!

Additional Disque Partnerships & Opportunities

The foundation is constantly seeking new partnerships and this year we worked with Center on Halsted, the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and wellbeing of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) population across the Chicago area.

In September Disque’s Director of Outreach & Mission Fulfillment, Drew Downing, joined with the New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), to host the first Hour of Empowerment webinar. Bobbie Mackenzie, State MRC Coordinator, provided an overview of the MRC’s background, mission and role in New Mexico. Robert Perry, Hospital Emergency Response Coordinator, gave an overview of how the MRC is integrated and used within the hospital system and the local Healthcare Coalition.

Another exciting partnership that began in 2019, was our work with Philippines based fire rescue group, Bravo Zulu First Aid. The Safety Team created by Basilio L. Bautista and Alfie G. Roque, has hosted more than ten CPR training sessions this year, empowering more than 300 individuals on how to save a life.

Disque Foundation Resources Translated into Spanish

Another goal reached in 2018 was translating all of the Disque Foundation’s written materials into Spanish. Our mission is to provide healthcare education to everyone, no matter where they live or what language they speak. All Disque handbooks, posters, and apps are now available to Spanish-speakers.

Looking Ahead

The Disque Foundation empowered 332,565 people to save a life in 2018. That means we are that much closer to reaching our goal of empowering one million people by 2020. This coming year will be an exciting one, trips to Ecuador and Africa are in the planning stages, and new partnerships will continue to be developed and nurtured!