Spiger Family visiting morocco in 1992

Spiger Family visiting morocco in 1992

During the 1950s, I lived with my family in Morocco while my father, a U.S. Air Force pilot, was stationed near Rabat. Forty years later, in 1995, my wife Anne and I launched the precursor to Gateway Medical Alliance in order to serve the country I had loved since my childhood. 

Collaborating with several friends who lived in Morocco, our first humanitarian effort involved sending a container of medical supplies and equipment in 1997. The Moroccans who benefited greatly appreciated this humanitarian action. We quickly made plans to begin an effort to send more containers.

Realizing the work of both raising funds and gathering donated medical supplies was a full-time job, I took early retirement from my medical practice and began to build shipping and distribution teams both in the U.S. and in Morocco. An all-volunteer team quickly learned how to sort, inventory, and pack donated medical supplies as well as manage the shipping process. In 2002, we launched our own organization, “Gateway Medical Alliance” (GMA).

After the 2004 earthquake in Al Hoceima, Morocco

After the 2004 earthquake in Al Hoceima, Morocco

In 2004 our Gateway Medical Alliance teams responded to a major earthquake in Al Hoceima, where thousands of mountain homes were destroyed, and began helping to rebuild homes and lives. That same year, GMA opened the first of several therapy centers for families of children with physical disabilities. As always, all of our projects were partnerships with hardworking and visionary local Moroccan associations. Gateway’s story began to be one of catalytic partnership with those Moroccans with a heart to better their own land.

 
One of the many containers GMA Volunteers have prepared and shipped

One of the many containers GMA Volunteers have prepared and shipped

Today, we support five children’s therapy centers as well as having launched and released many others. Since 1997 GMA has shipped over 89 containers of medical supplies and equipment, including five containers of wheel chairs and therapy equipment worth millions of dollars and even more in saved lives. The majority of GMA containers have been donated to CHU university medical centers around the country, enabling the professors and their residents to improve medical and surgical training and treatment capacities by supplying valuable and otherwise unavailable supplies and hi tech instruments and equipment. In April 2015 GMA supplies were used in the first ever liver transplant at CHU Rabat Ibn Sina by an all-Moroccan team of surgeons. GMA has played a role in Morocco’s medical advancement, training, and transition to cutting edge technology. 

The future looks bright and we continue to grow.  Numerous GMA projects continue to expand our network's capability to partner with locals to see greater flourishing of their communities.  GMA has also co-sponsored and organized numerous short-term medical and dental campaigns to rural regions in partnership with Moroccan health care professionals.

GMA continues to grow and expand its activities. GMA has launched a community health education program teaching basic health education, nutrition and hygiene to rural villagers. We also sponsor projects in agricultural development that include a demonstration almond orchard and tree farming partnerships, advanced seeding technology demonstration for higher crop yields, as well as a demonstration center for appropriate technologies that serve to enhance sustainable rural community development.

James Smith & Greg Plett - Fes, Morocco

James Smith & Greg Plett - Fes, Morocco

As we give thanks for all the ways GMA has been able to serve the people of Morocco in the years past, we are excited about the future. Due to GMA’s growing capacities and scope, in 2014, I appointed Mr. James Smith as our new President of GMA-Morocco and Mr. Greg Plett as GMA’s new Executive Director.

In addition to blessing and expanding projects for Moroccans, GMA International (formerly USA) is now sending containers of medical supplies and equipment all over the world. GMA International has sent a total of 89 containers full of medical supplies and equipment to Morocco and the countries of Cambodia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Gateway Medical Alliance International, through strategic partnerships, serves as a catalyst to improve the lives of the poor and disadvantaged by sharing healthcare resources worldwide. 

GMA is grateful for so many opportunities to partner with the government of Morocco, hospitals, associations, and individuals to serve together the poor and disadvantaged of this nation. Without the strong support of the Moroccan regional and national government, medical professionals, and civic society, we would not be able to do what we do. We look forward to new opportunities! 

Michael Spiger, MD
Founder and President, Gateway Medical Alliance