A 24-hour adventure: Employees witness Americares impact

An airlift trip to El Salvador provided Medtronic employees a chance to see how product donations make a difference. 


SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Standing in a hospital without air-conditioning or window screens, Bryan Hanson and a group of Medtronic employees witnessed the Medtronic Mission in action as they welcomed several newborn babies into the world.

“This was an unforgettable trip,” said Hanson.

In October, seven Medtronic employees joined Americares on a 24-hour airlift trip to El Salvador. Together they saw firsthand how donating products can have a powerful impact in an emerging country. Bryan Hanson, president of Medtronic’s Minimally Invasive Therapies Group and Americares board member since 2014, led the Medtronic team on their life-changing journey, which involved visits to hospitals, clinics, and maternity wards—some without waiting rooms or walls.

Medtronic employees greet new mothers.

Special moments

Medtronic employees spend time with new mothers in El Salvador hospital.


For more than 25 years, Medtronic has partnered with Americares to improve healthcare services in communities worldwide affected by poverty or natural disasters.

“The Medtronic Mission is very similar to Americares in that we provide access to care for people in need,” says Hanson. “From the moment our team stepped onto the tarmac, we witnessed the difference our Mission can make.”

El Salvador struggles with poverty and chronic shortages of medicine and supplies, notes Michael J. Nyenhuis, Americares president and CEO, who invited the Medtronic team to El Salvador.  

“Product donations play an important role in helping people get the care they need,” he says. “For many Salvadorans, contributions from Americares and companies like Medtronic means having access to quality healthcare facilities and supplies.”

Medtronic employees connect with new mothers in El Salvador

'Seeing it firsthand'

Many called the airlift trip with Americares a "life-changing experience."

“One of the most touching moments of my life was spending time with a mother holding her newborn baby,” says Kelley Murray, who handles training and communications for ethics and compliance in the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group.

Murray wasn’t the only one who felt inspired. Hanson says experiences like this remind him to always understand how we connect with the patient.

“When you spend time in the clinics and see what our treatment and technologies mean to patients and caregivers, that’s when you really understand what we’re doing,” says Hanson. “I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Medtronic and a part of our team.”