MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear SAMS members and supporters,
Another year has passed, and I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the face of unimaginable challenges. In 2017, thanks to your unwavering support, we served vulnerable individuals in nine countries across the globe, including here at home, established a strong consortium of leading academic institutions focusing on advancing the future medical education in Syria, and provided more than 3.5 million medical services, reaching more than 2 million of those affected by the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
SAMS has established a reputation as one of the most impactful, independent, and prosperous humanitarian organizations working inside Syria and its surrounding countries.
In 2017, the indiscriminate and systematic targeting of healthcare facilities continued. However, our tireless and courageous colleagues continued their life-saving work. Tragically, some of them paid the highest price for their bravery; we mourned the death of six of our colleagues who were killed as a result of heinous aerial attacks. We are immensely grateful for their courage and services throughout the years, and are honored to be their voice. SAMS is committed to protecting doctors, nurses, and patients affected by the conflict.
SAMS is also committed to building a healthier future for our patients. Thanks to the dedication and generosity of our members and supporters, we expanded our operations further in 2017, responding to growing medical needs around the world, including the humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh, and natural disasters here in the United States. We are proud to report that two thirds of our programs inside Syria and beyond are focused on women and children’s health.
These accomplishments would have not been possible without the commitment of our staff in the U.S. and the region, and our members around the world. More than 800 SAMS healthcare professionals from around the world joined our medical missions to the region and beyond.
Last year, our advocacy was more important than ever. We continue to be a leading voice in calling for the protection of civilians and medical workers, re-establishing humanitarian standards, and advocating for access to besieged communities inside Syria. We have forged robust relationships with key policymakers at the United Nations, UN Security Council members, and international aid agencies. Additionally, last year, we designed a medical evacuation plan for critically-ill patients to be taken out of East Ghouta. This was the first group that was granted access to medical evacuation since the beginning of the conflict.
Finally, we are proud to share that our membership base has tripled in just one year, and our SAMS student programs continue to expand.
On behalf of everyone at SAMS, we thank you for your steadfast support, dedication, and generosity throughout the years. We are proud to say that SAMS is a reflection of the collective humanitarian principles that we seek to protect.
Together, we will continue to keep hope alive in the face of the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.
Syrian American Medical Society