First Ripple Effect contest winner announced

A medical student from Meharry Medical College will join Heart to Heart Int'l and Welch Allyn on a humanitarian service trip to Haiti.

February 5, 2014
Manufacturing Group
Devices/Implants/Equipment People/Facilities

Nashville, Tenn. - Oluwatoni Aluko, a second year medical student enrolled at Meharry Medical College, won’t have to wait to finish medical school before she will start making a difference in the lives of real people. Aluko is the first winner of the Ripple Effect Contest, a joint initiative created by Heart to Heart International and Welch Allyn, and is one of two students to win a humanitarian service trip to Haiti to work alongside physicians and aid workers this summer. Aluko submitted a short video titled “What do you live for” which a panel of judges from Heart to Heart International, Welch Allyn and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) deemed superior for its personality, passion, creativity, sincerity and quality of expression. The second winning entry will be announced in February.

“We are thrilled that Oluwatoni will be joining the Welch Allyn team to volunteer in Haiti with us this summer,” said Krystal Barr, interim CEO, Heart to Heart International. “Volunteering is at the core of our DNA and we hope her volunteer experience will be inspirational and encourage others to share their time and talents as well. She’s well on her way to creating her own ripple effect for this world in need.”

The inaugural Ripple Effect Contest encouraged medical students to turn to social media to share how they will create their own ripple effect of good in their own community or around the world. Entrants were asked to simply “like” the Ripple Effect program page on Facebook and share a picture or short video that showcases their ripple effect – a brief narrative about how they will change the world by using their training to help those in greatest need.

“Congratulations to Oluwatoni for the brilliant and inspiring video she produced,” said Charles P. Mouton, M.D., M.S., senior vice president for health affairs and dean, Meharry School of Medicine. “Ms. Aluko is being trained, as are all of our Meharry students, to treat patients with knowledge, skills and most importantly, with compassion, adhering to Meharry’s motto: 'Worship of God Through Service to Mankind.' I have no doubt she will excel in her mission to Haiti.”

Under Ripple Effect, Welch Allyn provides up to $125 in merchandise credits to Heart to Heart International when a student purchases select Welch Allyn diagnostic instruments.1 Heart to Heart International, a nonprofit medical aid organization, uses the credits to acquire Welch Allyn devices for use in its global humanitarian programs, disaster relief, and health professional training for underserved populations.

Reliable medical instruments play a critical role in helping physicians make key assessments, which informs diagnosis and helps them improve care for their patients. When physicians are equipped with the proper medical instruments their ability to assess, diagnose, treat and manage a wide variety of illnesses and diseases, and care for more patients, increases. In many places, medical providers do not have access to even basic diagnostic equipment, limiting their ability to provide quality care to patients and communities. 

“Welch Allyn is proud to partner with Heart to Heart International to offer a way for medical students to start making a difference in people’s lives long before their first residency,” said David Allyn, director of corporate social responsibility at Welch Allyn. “By simply participating in the Ripple Effect Contest two lucky med students have been given an opportunity to participate in a life-changing humanitarian service trip to support people in need. Further, Welch Allyn is honored to be able to provide some of the equipment the students, physicians, and aid workers will use on the trip to improve care in places where it is needed most. It’s amazing to think it will be used on patients who may have never seen a doctor before. It may even be used to save a life.”

Ripple Effect credits have enabled Heart to Heart International to acquire more than $10 million worth of medical equipment from Welch Allyn to help clinicians deliver vital patient care in the places that need it most. Welch Allyn employees have also contributed many hours of volunteer time both at home and abroad.

About Heart to Heart International 
Heart to Heart International is an international nonprofit health organization. Since its founding in 1992, Heart to Heart International has delivered medical aid and supplies worth more than $1 billion to more than 150 countries, including the United States. Heart to Heart International responds to crises and natural disasters both domestically and internationally by supplying medical relief and mobilizing volunteers. Heart to Heart International broadens access to healthcare with medical education opportunities and lab standards training around the U.S. and in Haiti, and works with U.S. safety-net clinics to increase their capacity by providing medical equipment, supplies and volunteers that are vital to operations. The organization has been named to Forbes magazine's “America’s 200 Largest Charities,” is on the “Philanthropy 400,” and is a Charity Navigator 4-Star charity three years in a row. For more information on its programs and ways to get involved, visit

1 Medical students in all accredited MD, DO, PA, NP, ND and DC schools in the 50 United States and District of Columbia are eligible to participate in Ripple Effect. For each sale of select diagnostic sets, blood pressure gauges, and stethoscopes purchased during each school’s annual organized medical equipment “sale day,” Welch Allyn will provide a designated merchandise credit to Heart to Heart International. Heart to Heart applies these credits toward acquisition of Welch Allyn devices for use in its programs around the world.

Source: Welch Allyn