Neal Gorman - Man on a Mission; Solutions for Smiles
Reading this blog, some folks will recall Neal Gorman as one of the founders who helped kick-start Sanchez Computer Associates in the early 1980s by laying the foundation for what would develop into the online, real-time, core banking system known as Profile.
Many more folks will know Neal as the godfather of Profile’s balancing and lending functionality. Alongside, Tom Locke and Chuck Hardy, now two of Mozaic Group Partners most senior consultants, Neal led the Profile development of core and custom lending applications that helped grow the lending businesses of specialty institutions across the globe. Ever write code that satisfied the requirements to process “pen loans” for cattle? Neal did.
However, what few folks know about Neal is that after working with Mozaic Group Partners and helping Profile client institutions for a decade beyond his Sanchez/FIS days, Neal, for the last eight years, has been helping a nonprofit organization called Faith in Practice (https://www.faithinpractice.org/) provide health programs to needy people in Guatemala, one of the world's poorest countries.
“Every year, Faith in Practice organizes trips of volunteer doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to travel to this Central American country to provide short-term surgical, medical, dental care and health education to some of the poorest people on the planet,” explains Neal. “Faith in Practice attempts to provide a continuous stream of care to people who otherwise might never see a doc or rarely see a nurse in their lifetime.”
Faith in Practice, based in Houston, reports that more than 1,200 medical professional and support people from across the U.S. travel to Guatemala every year to deliver medical services to the poor. The organization estimates that their teams treat more than 25,000 people annually. Volunteers also bear the cost of their participation for the week-long mission.
“It’s a religious organization that provides the support and framework for our missions, but for me, it’s about the families involved—from the people we help to the people giving the help,” Neal explains. “I consider myself to be a member of several families, and in my life each has helped me become a better person along the way.”
Neal is a mission administrator, which means a lot of his work takes places several months before the mission happens. His responsibilities include helping get the volunteers, medications and supplies safely into the country. The last trip in February included 26 trunks and 22 boxes of equipment and supplies.
Neal’s husband, David Mann, is also a volunteer. David volunteers his experience and skills as a pediatric anesthesiologist. He also is the mission team leader, which makes him responsible for selecting and organizing the mission’s team and managing its medical efforts.
“Finding and building a team of people is a lot of hard work, but it’s particularly rewarding when you see all of the complementary parts come together to deliver the much-needed medical services in a very caring and supportive spirit,” says Neal.
Once the group of volunteers is on the road and headed to the mission’s Guatemalan destination, Neal says the hardest part of his responsibility ends and he can look forward to providing more of a personal service—one that helps to blend the medical effort with the passion of caring for the people and the families the mission helps. Neal takes photographs.
“Each patient, be it a child or an adult, has a story worth telling. I try to capture part of those stories with photographs,” explains Neal. “I take before- and after-treatment photos and I give those photos as mementos to the patients and their families when they are ready to go back to their homes and villages. For many patients, the treatments and attention they receive are transformative and you need to only look at their faces to find results that show happiness and deep appreciation. For many, the photos they receive that week might be the only photos they or their family members have.”
Helping provide medical services to the poor and needy in Guatemala is much different from working Profile magic with M code and Data-Qwik, yet Neal says both experiences share some common cloth.
“Nothing like Profile can be created in a vacuum or by a single person. It took a dedicated effort of many committed teams of people to create Profile. In that sense, the work we do with Faith in Practice is similar, but there is nothing better in the world than seeing the smiling faces of children and of their parents who realize their lives just got a whole lot better.”
The volunteers at Faith in Practice provide transformative medical services to the poor of Guatemala, but there is always a cost to provide such services. To support the life-saving efforts of the organization, you can contribute directly to Faith in Practice by going to its website at https://www.faithinpractice.org/ways-give. You can also contribute directly to Neal’s annual mission efforts, by going to his fundraising page on Faith in Practice’s site at https://donate.faithinpractice.org/605_NealGorman. Mozaic Group Partners is proud to support the charitable efforts of Neal and Faith in Practice.
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