Equipping Clinics to Advance Health


In the early 1950s, Mrs. Bertha “Bert” Marker, Supply Secretary of the New Jersey Annual Conference Woman’s Society for the Methodist church, received a simple note from a missionary requesting medicines and supplies for international mission hospitals. The note said, “You may do so under a contract which our government has with the government of India, without freight, duty or transportation costs.” Bert convinced her church to solicit corporate donations to ship to clinics in India. The first shipment was sent in 1953 and included nearly a ton of donated vitamins – launching the program that would, seven years and many shipments later, become Interchurch Medical Assistance, Inc. — now known as IMA World Health.

Procuring and distributing medicines and medical supplies to support clinics around the world was IMA’s primary focus for 30 years. Though our work has since expanded, we remain strongly dedicated to filling pharmacy shelves and distributing donated supplies where they’re needed most, as efficiently as possible.

Our Projects

Gifts in Kind (GIK): Since 1960, IMA has accepted and distributed donations of essential medicines and medical supplies from US manufacturers and hospitals to support international health care programs. Products from IMA’s Gifts-in-Kind program have been sent to over 72 countries around the world. In fiscal year 2015, IMA received more than $81 million worth of pharmaceutical and medical supply donations.

From June 2014 to April 2015:

  • $1.4 million in supplies were shipped
  • Six countries received life-saving medicines and supplies, including Haiti, Nigeria, Cambodia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Jamaica.