KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local nonprofit will be recognized this week by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to a press release.

Located in Lenexa, the Heart to Heart International (HHI) team has a mission to improve access to healthcare for people across the globe. Their website illustrates a fulfilling history dating back to 1992 when their first deployment was to be medical assistance in Russian hospitals.

Since then, they have continued helping in disasters all over the planet in places like Vietnam in 1995, India in 1996 and Haiti in 2010. They also assisted a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic when they teamed up with WHO.

Thanks to Heart to Heart’s efforts, the group will be recognized Wednesday as an official Emergency Medical Team (EMT), the WHO’s highest classification. They are just the fourth organization in the U.S. to claim this, according to the release.

Heart to Heart’s Disaster Response Team went through a verification that required high standards and took years to come to fruition. With this new classification, WHO requires them to provide several services, including “trauma stabilization and community-based primary care.”

They’ll now have the ability to move across many locations during deployments and will be listed on WHO’s registry as being certified and deployable across the world.

Heart to Heart is instructed to build a self-sufficient outpatient mobile health facility that’s ready to operate within two days of a disaster, which is one of the key requirements for WHO certification.

There will be a presentation next week where Heart to Heart will demonstrate how the full-service mobile health facility gets setup to treat a minimum of 50 daily patients.

It will feature all things needed to be self-sufficient following a disaster including “medical tents, water purification systems, patient treatment spaces, pharmacies and more.”