We are thrilled to announce the support of the van Otterloo family for DtM's Otter Newborn Warmer project. The van Otterloo family are among the earliest supporters of DtM's work and mission. From the beginning, they have helped to ground our work in business fundamentals while sharing their significant experience in low-income countries. We will work together to develop a robust and affordable medical device to prevent newborn hypothermia in low-resource hospitals, refugee camps and displaced persons settlements.
As a brand new graduate of the Harvard Business School in 1963, Eijk van Otterloo was selected by Carroll Wilson to serve in Sierra Leone as an MIT Africa Fellow. As board members of Chemonics since 2006, the van Otterloo family has visited many of the same countries we are targeting with Otter and have seen the health conditions first-hand. Whether it's experimenting with motorized wheelchairs to allow the disabled to experience great art at eye level, or grabbing a pen and a post-it note to quickly sketch improvements to the Firefly bassinet, Eijk may have missed his true calling as a designer.
The van Otterloo family made an early and significant commitment to the Firefly phototherapy project, back when Firefly was just a wobbly design concept. Their support allowed us to carry the device through to production and international distribution. To date, Firefly devices have treated more than 200,000 newborns in 25 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
The van Otterloo family support local and international organizations in education, medicine and the arts, such as the Marblehead/Swampscott YMCA, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Boston Museum of Science, and United World Colleges. Through the van Otterloo Family Foundation they have supported Berklee College of Music’s music therapy program at McLean Hospital, a scholarship program allowing disadvantaged children to attend Montserrat College of Art’s Pre-College Program, the Inner-City Scholarship Fund of The Catholic Schools Foundation, and the Guadalupe Center of Immokalee’s capital campaign to expand their Early Childhood Education Program.