Timmy Global Health
Founded in 1997 by Dr. Charles (Chuck) Dietzen, Timmy Global Health has a mission to empower communities to address health disparities in a sustainable way. For over two decades, Timmy has supported care sites across four countries in Latin America and Africa: Guatemala, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Nigeria. Since its founding, it has served 100,000+ patients through medical service trips and local follow-up care. The most enduring legacy is the trusting relationships it has built with local communities.
With a vision to build a healthier world through a community of global health leaders, Timmy has been active at more than 18 colleges and universities throughout the United States. For two decades Timmy organized to provide medical clinics and much-needed supplies to people in underserved areas. All who went on the medical service trips learned the mission of health care firsthand by tending to those who most needed the care and resources.
Dr. Chuck founded Timmy Global Health in Greenwood, Indiana. His reputation as a physician and his connection to schools and community health leaders was a primary driver for his development of the organization near the area where he lived and worked. However, it was the spirit of giving and the generosity that Hoosiers (Indiana natives) are known for that solidified his decision to have the organization headquartered in Greenwood.
Through the years, Dr. Chuck provided his vision and numerous resources to Timmy Global Health. Dr. Chuck was the biggest fundraiser and the visionary behind many of the programs and global community connections. Having traveled to over 30 countries himself, he knew the challenges and the opportunities around the globe.
When Dr. Chuck founded Timmy Global Health, his idea was to have an organization that was self-sustaining. With good leadership at the helm, the possibilities were endless for the work that could be conducted throughout the world. Timmy needed good leaders who had a passion for the underserved and a willingness to work in various capacities. It would take individuals who were interested in mission over profit.
Over the years, Timmy saw many challenges to the model of service. Good leadership was difficult to find, and over its path from infancy to maturity, Timmy had its share of both good leadership and poor leadership. As a nonprofit, it was fundamental that the organization always continue to raise money, spend conservatively, and hire people who were service minded. Through the work it did around the globe, Timmy was also dependent on workers in-country who could liaise with Timmy’s partner organizations.
Each country Timmy worked with had a different political and economic system that required a network of individuals with a working knowledge of the country. Understanding and working around operational disparities was a job requirement for those who worked for Timmy Global Health. Moving medicine, supplies, and people to meet the needs of the underserved required a different set of resources in each country.
Timmy’s mission was challenged in late 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted its global network. Forced to shut down its mission trips and still work to support global health issues, the organization created an updated service model with a way to empower communities to achieve their stated health goals.
The organization had to streamline operations. It realized remote work was at the core of what it did. To that end, the organization sold its headquarters building, downsized its staff, and focused on building up its financial reserves. Continuing to work with its partners in the countries it serves, Timmy was able to pay for the salaries of local doctors, buy essential medications and supplies, provide personal protective equipment to clinic staff and patients, pay for the transport of patients, train community health workers, and even start new programs.
Looking toward the future, the organization is still exploring models of remote work that can lead to better utilization of resources. Technology is allowing for continued connection with the in-country partners. College chapters are continuing to raise money and awareness and provide local health care support for underserved communities in their own local areas. Timmy is looking to add more college chapters in the United States and abroad.93
The COVID-19 pandemic proved that global health care affects us all. As our world and how we work together changes, it is important to have fluid plans to address how we operate. How we care for each other may change, but the ability to do so should remain.