Chuck Corbett

Chuck Corbett, South Seas Trader | Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.

Chuck Corbett, South Seas Trader


I remember the sweltering hot sunny morning on the beach at Christmas Island when Carlton Smith and his lovely wife first got off the Crystal Harmony Cruise Ship. The year was winter of 2004 and he was carrying a box of medical supplies for the island.

Carlton came not knowing what to expect and though the ship was only there for 4 hours, he was so moved by what he saw and experienced that he decided to do something. He would be moved to set up a non profit organization (PIMA) and return every few months over the following 4 or 5 years.

PIMA helped out in an open and kindly manner with what PIMA had and could find. PIMA made calls and contacts in the pharmaceutical world. If there was an urgent medicine needed, PIMA found it or bought it with their own money.

In those days, Christmas, Washington, and Fanning Islands were often out of antibiotics and other life saving medicines. People were dying needlessly. PIMA set up communications with the islands and village health workers, and found out what was urgently needed. PIMA saved lives.

PIMA made continued regular trips to Fanning Island and later Washington Island.

Can you imagine, not being able to see the details in a loved one’s photograph, not being able to read because of bad eye sight, not being able to find a small item that has fallen to the ground. PIMA chartered a boat to Fanning and Washington and found dozens of people who were blind simply because there were no glasses available. PIMA was moved to do something, so they brought reading glasses, hundreds of them, they learned basic optometry, and with the help of an optometrist, PIMA taught village health workers to use these tools and prescribe glasses.

Later PIMA saw that was not enough and brought an eye surgeon and chartered a boat to bring the blind to Christmas for surgery.

Can you imagine the joy PIMA had seeing the look on their face when they could see for the first time in years? Can you image the tears streaming down the faces of happiness?

Recently Christmas Island got the first dentist, who arrived with simple tools, but not a proper dental chair. Now PIMA has found a proper dental chair and dental tools and they are on a ship bound to Christmas Island in October.

Now I hear PIMA is has found a heart surgeon for the gravely ill and yet another charter is in order.

PIMA does this because they are moved to help as fellow human beings in whatever way they can.

In my heart I will always have a special place for Carlton Smith and PIMA.

Chuck Corbett
South Seas Trader

Joe Cuthbertson

Joe Cuthbertson, Brownsboro, TX | Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.

Joe Cuthbertson, Brownsboro, TX

I have had the pleasure of serving as one of Pacific Islands Medical Aid’s team members during two recent medical mission trips to the Line Islands. During my first mission I installed solar powered lighting in nurse’s examining huts in several villages on the three islands. Only two of the eight villages have electricity. Lighting is critical for the nurses to perform examinations and provide treatment during night time hours.

The second mission was to assist the teaching optometrist as he held a Primary Eye Care seminar for some 25 Line Island nurses and doctors. As well as take a survey of the population to determine the need for performing advanced eye care. The seminar was very successful in that the nurses and doctors are now able to determine the need for corrective eyewear and to detect advanced stages of eye disease and with properly supplied medicines apply treatment to help prevent the advancement of such diseases.

It was a pleasure to work along side the nurses and doctors of these remote islands in an effort to help them provide care for their sick and suffering. Their will to survive is exceeded only by their loving personalities.

The main focus of all our mission visits is to place medicines and medical supplies in the hands of the doctor and nurses so they may provide relieve to the suffering and prevent illnesses.

Joe Cuthbertson
Brownsboro, TX

Gordon West

Gordon West, Chief Radio Officer | Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.

Gordon West, Chief Radio Officer

Our installation of over two dozen two-way radios now allow the medical clinics to discuss health issues between each other, and to the main hospital and Doctor John. The ambulance now may be dispatched from any location on the Island, saving HOURS of response time in an emergency.

Two-way long range radios now link all three Islands together, so medical matters may be discussed, and patient care given “wireless” to the attending nurses and Doctor.

Two-way radios now allow the Police officials to call the hospital in an emergency, and to allow the Police headquarters talk to the one police car on the Island.

Hand held radios keep the doctor and nurses always in touch, even if out in the field on a call.

The radio system also allows contact to longer range radiotelephone networks, too. No telephone lines and static to worry about! Most of the radio systems are on battery supply and solar panels, in case of no power or, if power, regular power outages.

It has been my honor to set up these radio systems, purchased by Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc., and to volunteer my time to oversee this radio project for the residents and medical staff at these remote Islands in the Pacific.

Gordon West
Cheif Radio Officer

Scott Pike, OD

Scott Pike, OD, Portland, OR | Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.

Scott Pike, OD, Portland, OR

In March of 2008 I had the opportunity to travel to Christmas Island with Pacific Islands Medical Aid (PIMA) to teach the island nurses and doctors how to provide basic primary eye care. The dedication and resolve of PIMA was very apparent. I was able to witness firsthand how medical care should be offered to people in need. PIMA provides the islanders with the tools and knowledge to help institute self-sustaining programs.

Charitable mission projects take many forms around the world. My work with public health has made me aware of several models for health care delivery in undeveloped countries. The model exemplified by PIMA is one of the best. Their long term commitment to the health care providers and people of the Line Islands gives the kind of sustained care which truly benefits the recipients by allowing the people being served the opportunity to join in and become a part of the process and thereby help themselves. This is not a one time act of welfare, but a long term collaborative effort.

Scott Pike, OD
Portland, OR