Midmark, Solvita welcomes mother of basketball legend


By Meladi Brewer


VERSAILLES — Midmark Corporation and Solvita Blood Center welcomed Deloris Jordan, mother of basketball legend Michael Jordan, to discuss details of a Midmark product donation to the Kenya Women and Children’s Wellness Centre and the support of Solvita’s efforts to help patients in need of a diverse, regional blood supply.

Mrs. Jordan started the international James R. Jordan Foundation (JRJFI) after having traveled to Kenya and seeing the need first hand for the “simple things, as we call it, for medical healthcare to save lives.” She experienced what it was like to live in the bush for 14 days with the tribes with their medical and educational systems. She quickly noticed a big need not being met.

“I asked the Chief why was there were no girls, and he said at that time, they were not a top priority which was encouraging one gender,” Mrs. Jordan said. “I looked at him and said ‘Chief, it is not possible to run a country without having all genders.’”

This experience made Mrs. Jordan think about ways she could help them, and her thought was to provide for mostly women and children because they were not a part of their medicine, and she was “determined she was to work hard to see if they couldn’t bring all genders together.”

For the last 15 years, Mrs. Jordan has worked hard on the project to establish the Women and Children’s Wellness Centre. They have currently established six buildings and are working towards establishing a hospital with 184 beds.

One of the six buildings is utilized for training. This is because in order for the project to run smoothly, they must be trained.

“Training is very important, otherwise you would be handing them a fish without teaching them how to fish. It just wouldn’t be sustainable,” Dr. Tom Schwieterman said.

Mrs. Jordan said training is important because “you can’t give me what you don’t have,” so providing training will help alleviate the barrier. Right now, she is asking for support and partnership for equipment to stock the outreach facility for blood drives and diminish the abuse.

President and CEO of Midmark Jon Wells advised Mrs. Jordan that design at the corporation is based on accessible healthcare for all – human as well as animal. He said customer care means a lot to the Midmark Corp., and they touch over 10 million lives a day.

“That front line care that occurs in our patent clinics: medical, dental, animal health -we are there,” Wells said.

Mrs. Jordan said Midmark is the one who prepares behind the scenes. They are some of the first workers who are able to expedite and prepare the equipment that patients use. Midmark is 180 years old, family owned, and private, so the “culture is based on the word care.”

“We’re here for each other, we’re here for our customers, and we are here for our community,” Wells said.

He explained that the community stretches worldwide, and the philanthropic efforts and partnerships are “critically important for them to be able to expand and support their mission.” Sue Hulsmeyer, Chief People Officer with Midmark, backed Wells in saying the Midmark culture is something special.

“It’s really unique, and you kind of feel it when you’re here,” Hulsmeyer said. “Part of what makes it so special is the philanthropy that we do.”

She said Midmark believes every patient deserves accessible and quality healthcare, so they are partnering with the JRJFI to provide medical exam tables, lighting, and other medical equipment for the Kenya Women and Children’s Wellness Centre.

The Kenya Women and Children’s Wellness Centre is the inaugural project of the JRJFI, established in 2000 by Mrs. Jordan in honor of her late husband, James, and is dedicated to strengthening families, motivating youth, and ensuring high-quality academic opportunities for children in under served communities.

Hulsmeyer advised Mrs. Jordan that Midmark has a history of donating to places like Kenya, Tanzania, etc. and it is a part of their culture and who they are.

In addition to being presented with the donations, Mrs. Jordan was also invited to Midmark, as they are having a blood drive in partnership with Solvita (formerly Community Blood Center).

Midmark has been a Solvita blood drive sponsor since 2011 and currently hosts monthly teammate blood drives on its Versailles campus and sponsors six community blood drives per year at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

“To date, since 2011, our teammates have donated almost 7,000 units of blood,” Hulsmeyer said

Mrs. Jordan was in awe and exclaimed how huge that is. Hulsmeyer said it is just another way Midmark’s teammates are wonderful, caring, and so giving.

“That’s just another way again that our teammates give back to the community,” Hulsmeyer said.

Diane Wilson, Chief Operating Officer with Solvita, thanked Midmark for their continued support. She also has worked closely with Mrs. Jordan for over 15 years in ensuring Kenya receives the resources necessary to prosper, as gender equality, especially in the medical field, is an everyday battle.

Mrs. Jordan has worked hard to get donations and support for the project from different countries all over the world. She has brought communities together in a common interest to help others benefit themselves and the future generations to come.

She praised Midmark for all they do because so many people are unaware of what happens behind the scenes. “The more you give, the more it comes back to you” is a motto Mrs. Jordan lives by, and she says what matters most is that whatever path you go down, make sure to do it with all your heart.

“I am anxious and excited to see that you are the drive behind the walls that we visit and all the other facilities, as you play a big part. This is so educational to me, thank you,” Mrs. Jordan said.

To learn more about the James R. Jordan Foundation International, visit www.jordanfoundationint.org.

To contact DailyAdvocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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