Intl. Medical Corps is a nonprofit organization that provides health care training and relief programs in countries that have just experienced natural disease or an outbreak of disease. Responding to the inadequate medical services in Afghanistan following the Soviet invasion and occupation, Dr. Robert Simon, who was an emergency-room physician at UCLA Medical Center, founded the nonprofit in 1984.
Nancy Aossey, president and CEO of the Intl. Medical Corps, introduced Burns and Friedman and outlined the relationship Lionsgate has with the first responders.
“Lionsgate uses its significant global reach to bring life to the individuals who overcome adversity to build a better future,” Aossey said. She cited Lionsgate movies that have shown the human impact of a natural disaster or war, such as “Hotel Rwanda.”
“Numbers can’t depict the whole story,” Aossey continued. “What Lionsgate does so well is place statistics and make them real and personal. And they do them in a way that makes us remember.”
While dinner was being served, attendees watched video of the history of the Intl. Medical Corps and first-person narratives from doctors currently working in the field. Currently the organization has first responders on the ground in Syria and in Central Africa working with Ebola patients.
While receiving the night’s honor alongside Burns, Friedman thanked the organization for “running to these crises instead of away from them.”
Burns pushed the audience to stay involved with the Intl. Medical Corps and bring more awareness of it to the Los Angeles area. “OK, L.A. doesn’t have a football team. But maybe you can make the Intl. Medical Corps the football team of L.A.. Really do whatever you can.”
Actress Sienna Miller, who has been involved with the nonprofit for the past six years, also made remarks. NPR’s Jarl Mohn served as the master of ceremony.
Burns closed remarks by quoting C.S. Lewis, saying, “If you do one good deed your reward usually is to be sent to do another harder and better one. And I think it applies to all the people in this room.”