Date:January 15, 2019

Heroic U.S. Ebola Doctor Available to Discuss $500,000 Award that Will Improve Healthcare for Thousands in West Africa

Dr. Rick Sacra, recipient of 2018 AMH Gerson L’Chaim Prize, can tell of what inspired him to risk his life to serve others at awards celebration dinner, Jan. 31 in NYC 

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  —  The bravery of an American missionary doctor who risked his life to help others during an Ebola crisis in Liberia, West Africa, has paved the way for better health care for thousands of other Liberians.

Dr. Rick Sacra is available for interviews about his 25-year career as a missionary doctor, which earned him the 2018 African Mission Healthcare (AMH) Gerson L’Chaim (“To Life”) Prize for Outstanding Christian Medical Mission Service, and a $500,000 award that will help train others and improve the medical facility where he serves in Liberia, with SIM (www.simusa.org).

SIM is an international Christian mission organization with more than 4,000 workers from 65 nations. They serve in education, community development, health care and Christian witness in more than 70 countries. Founded in 1893 as Sudan Interior Mission, SIM now serves on six continents, responding to need, proclaiming the gospel and equipping the Church.

Dr. Sacra will be in New York City to receive the prestigious honor Thursday, Jan. 31, and tell of his years of service, which included going back to Liberia in 2014, at the height of the Ebola crisis there, to work at SIM’s ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa) Hospital.

While caring for women with prolonged and crisis labor at ELWA Hospital, often operating to deliver their babies, Dr. Sacra was unknowingly exposed to and contracted the Ebola virus. He was flown back to the United States for specialized intensive treatment. On recovering, several months later, he returned to Liberia once more to continue his work.

While in New York for the awards ceremony, Dr. Sacra will be available Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 for live, in-person or taped media interviews. He can speak about:

• what inspired him to risk his life to help others

• how his faith saw him through his life-and-death ordeal

• why the award will help bring better health care to thousands more in Liberia

A family physician who graduated from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., Dr. Sacra (56) has served as a medical missionary to Liberia with SIM since 1989. He and his wife, Debbie, have three grown children.

The AMH Gerson L’Chaim prize was established in 2016 by AMH (www.AfricanMissionHealthcare.org) and philanthropists Mark and Erica Gerson. Founded in 2010, AMH is a nonprofit organization, which strengthens mission hospitals to aid those in greatest need and currently works with hospital partners in more than 10 African countries.

In addition to the $500,000 L’Chaim prize, Dr. Sacra is also one of the beneficiaries of a matching grant collaboration between AMH and Christian Broadcasting Network (www1.cbn.com), which is providing $2 million at eight mission teaching hospitals in Africa to expand care, training and infrastructure.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Sacra, contact:

– Gregg Wooding @ 972-567-7660 or gwooding@inchristcommunications.com

– Jennifer Baldridge @ 913.231.4748 jbaldridge@inchristcommunications.com

Dr. Sacra is available for phone or web video interviews now through January 30. He is available for live, in-person interviews in NYC on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

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PHOTO CUTLINE: A patient from ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa) Hospital in Liberia, West Africa with Dr. Rick Sacra, a U.S. Medical Missionary. Dr. Sacra has been doing medical missionary work in Liberia for SIM, an international Christian missionary organization for 25 years, and has been recognized with the 2018 AMH Gerson L’Chaim (“To Life”) Prize for Outstanding Christian Medical Mission Service from African Mission Healthcare (www.AfricanMissionHealthcare.org), and a $500,000 award that will help train others and improve the ELWA Hospital. Dr. Sacra is hailed as a hero for risking his life to treat patients in Liberia during the country’s 2014 Ebola crisis. He will receive the prestigious award during dinner in NYC Jan. 31. Editors: Please credit photographer Hailey Sadler for the photo.