Donor Through the Decades : The Oviatt’s

Dave and Susie Oviatt first learned about MAP International during their senior year of medical school at Northwestern University in 1976. They had heard about the MAP/Reader’s Digest Fellowship that helped provide medical students with short-term service opportunities at mission hospitals around the world, and their interest was piqued.

The Oviatt’s both applied to the fellowship and were accepted. In the spring of 1977, between the end of their medical school classes and the start of residencies, Dave and Susie served for 10 weeks at ELWA Hospital in Liberia.

Susie and Dave Oviatt at ELWA Hospital in Libera in 1977.

“We had a wonderful experience working with both career and short-term doctors,” the Oviatt’s said. “We greatly appreciated this opportunity to experience medical missions and felt ‘bonded’ to MAP from that time onwards.”

After Dave and Susie returned home, they held fond memories of their time in Liberia, and thought that maybe “someday” they might serve in overseas missions again. Well, after 25 years of practice (Susie as a Family Medicine residency director and Dave as a hematologist), “someday” finally came.

The Oviatt’s retired in 2006 and began what they affectionately call their “second career.” For the last 18 years, Dave and Susie have traveled frequently as short-term medical missionaries with Samaritan’s Purse, using their wealth of experience to serve in mission hospitals all over Africa, in Asia, and in Papua New Guinea.

Just as Dave and Susie’s passion for medical missions was sparked by their time in Liberia nearly 50 years ago, so was their commitment to MAP’s mission. For nearly as long as they have been practicing medicine, the Oviatt’s have also been practicing generosity, supporting MAP financially for the last several decades.

The Oviatt’s give to MAP confidently, saying that they appreciate “the integrity of the organization.” But they also feel a personal connection with MAP’s mission to put medicine and health supplies into the hands of those serving the world’s most vulnerable populations.

With their extensive experience practicing medicine in under-resourced parts of the world, “we understand how important it is to have adequate medications available in mission settings and appreciate the work that MAP does,” explain Dave and Susie.

As MAP celebrates 70 years of impact in 2024, we are grateful for the faithful support of people like Dave and Susie – “donors through the decades” who have walked with us as we continue to bring health, healing, and hope to a world in need.


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