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Mission and Beginnings

Dr. Steve DeVore and village elder in Kalima, 2005.

Dr. Steve DeVore and village elder in Kalima, 2005.

The Medicine for Mali mission

To collaborate with our partners in Mali, Africa in a sustainable approach to improve lives through medical aid, education, public health, microfinance, and clean water while promoting friendship across cultures.  

Who we are

Medicine for Mali  operates with a collaborative and diverse team of volunteers with expertise in medicine, education,  business and media. Our organization relies solely on private donations and small grants, and we are always open to creating new partnerships in our quest to improve the lives of those in Mali. MFM is predominately based in Des Moines, IA and Columbus, OH, although our volunteers come from all over the nation.

Medicine for Mali is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. We are dedicated to bringing medical services, clean water, improved educational opportunities and economic development to the people of Mali.

Beginnings of Medicine for Mali

In 2000, Elise DeVore (now Elise DeVore Berlan, MD, MPH) was a 4th year medical student at the University of Iowa. She spent the Spring of 2000 working in rural Mali. After weeks in the remote village of Nana Kenieba, with no medicine available to help the babies suffering from diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria and few resources to support a population challenged by profound malnutrition and lack of clean water, she rode in a car for hours along dirt tracks back to Bamako to send this message to her father: "I can't be a doctor without medicines. There are no medicines here; and if there were, the villagers have no money to buy them."


Dr. Stephen DeVore accepted this challenge and founded Medicine for Mali in 2000. Dr. DeVore passed away in 2008, but the organization and people that make up Medicine for Mali continue to provide life-saving medical services, microfinance loans, public health services and education opportunities in a remote area where impoverished 8,000 Malians live. Medicine for Mali creates programs with an emphasis on sustainability and in collaboration with local Malian resources.