Coronavirus response shows CMF’s high commitment to missionary safety

Coronavirus, member care, care team, missions

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has taken the world by surprise, but CMF leadership and our Care Team have, as usual, responded quickly with information and assistance for our missionaries around the world.

For example, one of our team members and his daughter happened to be out of their country of service, which has a high level of COVID-19 infection, when the news became public, said David Giles, CMF’s Director of Church Catalyst.

“He got in touch with CMF to report that he was not feeling well and was concerned he wouldn’t be able to get back home,” said David. “We connected him with a CMF medical consultant, who assessed his symptoms over the phone and reassured him that it was not the virus. He and his daughter were able to safely return home with no problems.”

In an email to the whole CMF team on Friday, Care Team Director Juli Jones and Amber Burleson, R.N., provided the most up-to-date information available from the CDC regarding the virus’ mode of transmission, symptoms, protection strategies and travel advisories, and encouraged anyone who is concerned to contact the home office so we can connect them with a CMF medical consultant.

Here is an excerpt from the email:

“We felt that it is important to provide you with resources in order to be well-informed on the situation and feel empowered in how to care for yourself and your family. This email is in no way a reason to panic or to feel that the situation has escalated to a point that we here at the CMF home office are concerned. However, that being said, the safety and well-being of our missionaries if of the upmost importance to us and we feel that by sharing accurate and scientific information about the situation we will help you feel prepared to handle any potential outcomes and also know when to use proper discernment and avoid situations or places that may be an added risk or threat to you or your family’s health.”

Extensive care, emergency resources

CMF’s response to COVID-19 serves as a timely example of the care that we routinely provide for our team members in both emergency and day-to-day situations, according to Executive Director Kip Lines, Ph.D.

“All of our teams have contingency plans and we regularly monitor the security situations on all of our fields with three security companies,” he said. “We have a crisis management team that takes over decision-making and works through how to support our missionaries in worst-case emergency scenarios.

“We also have medical consultants who work with our Care Team to monitor medical emergencies and we have evacuation insurance for areas that have limited medical care,” he added. “In addition, our Strategy Area Directors in the U.S. are in constant communication with the Care Team and the team leaders on the field.”

Both David Giles and Dr. Lines emphasized that our partners can have full confidence that the safety and best interests of all of our team members is a major priority at CMF.

“Our leaders, staff and missionaries are trained in crisis management,” said Dr. Lines. “We have plans in place, we regularly monitor health and security situations on all our fields — even where there isn’t a crisis — and we have access to specialists and resources that are needed in times of crisis. Rest assured, we know what we are doing.”

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