Horizon International Medical Mission (HIMM) was founded Dr. Kennedy Kelechi Okere who also serves as the president of the organization. The main purpose of the organization is to reach the medically and spiritually unreached people of Africa and the Caribbean. Dr. Okere grew up in Africa and lived in the Caribbean. While growing up he witnessed people in rural areas of these parts live in poor medical and living conditions without much hope for assistance. As Dr. Okere grew up, he continued to pray that one day God would raise a vessel after His heart that will lift the people out of their predicament. He had no idea that he was praying for himself.
Dr. Okere organized his first medical mission trip to Nigeria, West Africa in March 2000. At that time, he was a second year medical resident in Family Medicine at Memorial Health University Medical Center. He was able to recruit a local Physician, Dr. Emeka Anyamele, and local Nigerian Nurses. With the cooperation of the local Pastor of Ihiagwa Baptist Church, the community visited in Imo State, Nigeria, Dr Okere converted the community church into a make shift clinic. Drs. Okere and Anyamele saw 600 patients during the 5-day clinic.
HIMM has gone on five mission trips since 2006. During each trip, HIMM has been opportuned to recruit nurses, church ministers, a dentist, a medical student, a pharmacist and doctors. Some of these recruits have gone on five of the trips and plan on going with Dr. Okere on future trips.
HIMM has completed an 8-bed hospital called the Horizon Medical Center. It is located in Ihiagwa, Imo State, Nigeria. The medical center will provide improved medical services to the people of the community and other neighboring communities.
One of HIMM's objectives is to establish a relationship with medical residency programs to encourage medical residents and students, nurses and people in other healthcare related professions to gain experience in tropical medicine through missionary work. Memorial Health University Medical Center assisted HIMM in achieving this goal by establishing a sister hospital relationship with Horizon Medical Center.
Sister City Relationship with Tybee Island, Georgia and Owerri-West Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria
This sister city relationship is in progress and the goal is to exchange technical, educational and cultural knowledge. HIMM is the linking bridge in this relationship.
The Owerri-West Council of Traditional Rulers and the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, approved by the Executive Governor of Imo State, Nigeria, His Excellency Chief Achike Udenwa, honored Dr. Kennedy Okere and his wife, Mrs Leslie Okere as High Chief Aka Ji Ogwu I (i.e. the hand that upholds medicine) and Lolo Nwanyi Ma Obi Diya (i.e. the woman who knows her husbands heart).