IMA President Paul Derstine Announces Retirement
New Windsor, MD, February 08, 2009 — Paul Derstine, president and chief executive officer of IMA World Health for 17 years, has announced his decision to retire late in 2009. During his tenure, IMA has grown from a small non-profit distributor of donated medical products to an internationally recognized leader in the global health care arena.
“Paul has provided outstanding leadership to IMA. A man of great character, he has been a forward-looking, dedicated, accessible servant-leader who has brought growth to IMA on many levels,” stated Dr. Donald L. Parker, chair of the IMA board of directors. “We have been truly blessed to have Paul as our president. Though his daily leadership will be missed, we hope he can enjoy a wonderful retirement, which he has so richly earned.”
Working closely with the IMA board of directors, Derstine has helped assemble a transition team to identify his successor and to ensure that the organization continues to manage its rapid growth in a responsible, sustainable manner during the transition and beyond.
“This doesn’t change the fact that we are losing Paul Derstine,” said IMA board member and former chair Dr. Phyllis Ensor. “Paul has been an exceptional leader with extraordinary intelligence, vision, heart and grace. However, we are developing our transition strategies and are confident we can use this time to further IMA’s mission and reach.”
Derstine will continue to be available to support IMA’s work as requested. “IMA will forever be dear to me,” he said. “Much more than just a job, my tenure at IMA was a calling, and the organization will remain very close to my heart.”
Derstine was born and grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and took his undergraduate studies in accounting and sociology at Temple University in Philadelphia and at Goshen College in Indiana. He completed graduate studies in international development at the University of Missouri.
Derstine became president of IMA in 1992. Prior to joining to IMA, much of Derstine’s career had been committed to international development work in the Caribbean, primarily Haiti, and in Africa. He directed organizations involved in primary health care, micro-enterprise credit and coffee and cocoa. He also served as general manager and part owner of an equipment leasing business, and senior vice president of a commercial bank leasing division, both in Pennsylvania.
Derstine has served on various boards of directors, including The Grant Foundation/Hospital Albert Schweitzer (Haiti), the American Leprosy Missions, the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, the NGDO Coordination Group for Onchocerciasis (“River Blindness”) (Geneva) and the Maryland International Advocacy Council.
In addition to significant growth, IMA’s accomplishments under Derstine’s leadership include:
Building a wide range of partnerships with pharmaceutical manufacturers, foundations, universities, ministries of heath and faith-based national health associations.
Leading consortiums and other partnerships to build and strengthen health care systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo and war-torn Southern Sudan.
Helping to manage the global distribution of Diflucan®, a medicine provided by Pfizer Inc. that is used to treat AIDS-related opportunistic infections.
Serving as a partner in the AIDSRelief consortium, a program of President Bush’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) in Tanzania.
Achieving the highest levels of organizational efficiency. In its recent special report, America’s 200 Largest Charities, Forbes magazine and Forbes.com identifies IMA not only as one of the largest 200 nonprofit organizations in the United States but also as one of the 20 most efficient among that group. In addition, IMA continues to receive the highest efficiency ratings possible from the watchdog organization Charity Navigator.