About Us

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Our Mission
Our mission is to build a worldwide movement empowering the poor in their fight for equal access to healthcare, education and a safe home.
Our Vision
A world free from the constraints of poverty.
Our Values and Principles
  • Listening:  Our priorities are driven by the communities we partner with.
  • Root Causes, Sustainable and Value Added Solutions: we work to understand the root causes posed by poverty and create sustainable and quality solutions.
  • Structural Violence and A Preferential Option for the Poor: we provide high-quality services to the poor, not services slightly better than what they are accustomed to.
  • Collaborative & Educational Volunteering:  Service Learning trips help to empower volunteers to make a sustainable difference.
  • Rigorous Giving & Investment:  Improving on current models of charitable work and investing in poor communities.
  • Transparency:  Inspiring donor confidence.
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Our History
MEDLIFE was founded in 2005 by Nick Ellis. While working in hospitals in Chimborazo, Ecuador, Nick volunteered as a translator for a medical mission organization. On one of these clinics, Nick met a young boy in need of heart surgery but unfortunately, the clinic was only in town for a day and could do nothing beyond making the diagnosis. Nick found this deeply troubling -- what is the point of running medical missions if they are powerless to help the people who truly need it?

Following this experience, Nick knew he had to do something. Upon returning home to Bangor, Maine Nick stood in a Walmart parking lot asking for donations and within hours, had enough funds to provide heart surgery for the young boy, named Darwin. Darwin became our first MEDLIFE patient.

Out of Chimborazo, MEDLIFE has since expanded to other parts of Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, and Tanzania. All our work has been informed by Nick's experience with Darwin -- we partner with patients and communities, listening to their needs and helping where we can. 

Out of Nick's experience raising money back home for Darwin came the first 4 MEDLIFE Chapters, today joined by hundreds more who continue to support our on the ground efforts by raising awareness of global health and development issues, collecting donations and volunteering at home and abroad.

Our Focus

MEDLIFE believes that in order to improve the overall health and welfare of families and communities in need, a comprehensive approach is needed. With this goal in mind, MEDLIFE seeks to deliver aid through three broad avenues: Medicine, Education, and Development. 

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MEDLIFE Mobile Clinics deliver primary care services to individuals and families who otherwise lack access.

Going beyond the services we can provide on our Mobile Clinics, MEDLIFE staff conduct year-round preventative health education workshops for those requiring additional care, ensuring that no patient is left behind.

Education is essential to affect sustainable change in poor communities. MEDLIFE hosts age and gender-specific educational programs that instruct and empower our patients on relevant health topics.

MEDLIFE Project Fund projects assist through the construction of new classrooms or other services for schools in poor areas. 

MEDLIFE Project Fund community development projects address specific issues faced by individual communities. The types of projects we engage in vary greatly from region to region.

MEDLIFE places a priority on engaging and involving community stakeholders, so as to promote the long-term use and maintenance of all of our projects.

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Our Patient Follow-Up Program

When patients are simply referred to local hospitals for treatments many times they still fail to receive the actual treatment they need due to lack of resources, lack of confidence, or lack of a true understanding of their medical problems.

For all of these reasons, MEDLIFE has developed a year-round patient follow-up process. We support our patients in many ways. We provide financial resources for treatments, emotional support, nutritional assistance for malnourished families, and educational resources to help individuals better understand their conditions.

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Our Funding Model

MEDLIFE divides donations into two funds, the MEDLIFE Project Fund, which dedicates 100% of every donation toward building sustainable development projects for poor communities, and the MEDLIFE General Fund which is the broadest kind of giving to MEDLIFE and helps MEDLIFE accomplish its overall mission.

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The MEDLIFE Project Fund

100% of donations and fundraising are used toward the creation of medical clinics, schools and other development projects to promote access to basic necessities and skills encouraging poor individuals and families to free themselves from the constraints of poverty and promote a cycle of health, education and personal development. 

All public donations and chapter fundraising dollars go to the MEDLIFE Project Fund.



The MEDLIFE General Fund

To aid MEDLIFE in achieving its overall mission: promoting local primary care providers to bring preventative health education and curative treatment to people living in poverty who live in marginalized, rural or areas that otherwise prevent their access to quality medical care; educating these patients about gender and age-specific health concerns; providing students with real-life, hands-on experience working with poor and underserved populations and to provide them an opportunity to reflect on the root causes and implications of poverty. To support the logistical and operational expenses associated with these goals as stated above. 

MEDLIFE Service Learning Trips donations go to the MEDLIFE General Fund.


Our Partnerships

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Students from this Peruvian University partner with us by leading educational workshops for students and adults at our MED Center for Primary Education. Read more about the partnership here.

We work hand in hand with LATAM and their Cocineros que Vuelan program to address anemia in rural areas of Peru through treatment, preventative care, and health education.

We have collaborated with Make-A-Wish Illinois to grant the wish of a young girl who wanted to spend Christmas volunteering at an orphanage in Peru. Check out MEDLIFE & Make-A-Wish in the news

*Our relationship with Make-A-Wish was not an official sponsorship nor partnership, but rather a collaboration between two non-profits to make something magical happen.

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MEDLIFE Chapter Members are now eligible for discounts on Kaplan Prep Courses!

Thanks to a partnership between MEDLIFE and Kaplan, MEDLIFErs can now get up to 25% off on Kaplan Prep Courses!*

At MEDLIFE, we’re always looking for ways to say thanks to our on-campus communities for all your hard work and dedication. Alongside our work empowering low-income communities, we also want to empower YOU to make your dreams a reality through education!

The following discounts are available to MEDLIFErs:  

Chapter E-Board Members: Each Chapter will receive up to 4 discounts of 25% for selected Prep Courses with a retail price of $1100 for E-Board Members.

General Members: General Members will receive a 10% discount for selected Prep Courses that retail above $1100. 

Kaplan Scholarship: Every year 2 MEDLIFErs will receive full Kaplan Scholarships (equivalent to a full Prep Course). 

If you want to take advantage of the discount, contact Kaplan today!

*Discount eligibility depends on your Chapter involvement, course selection, and the number of discounts available per Chapter.  


Contact Us!

Contact a MEDLIFE advisor at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call our office at 1-844-MEDLIFE / 1-844-633-5433

Visit our Facebook for photos of all our Service Learning Trips! 

MEDLIFE is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Disclaimer: In accordance with United States tax law and regulations, a donation to the MEDLIFE Project Fund or the MEDLIFE General Fund is 100% tax-deductible by the person making the donation. Please note that donations made to the 95:5 campaign or Service Learning Trip donations are NOT tax-deductible.