Program Partner Process

NSF operates medical mission trips through integrated program partnerships that allow us to provide comprehensive care to patients around the world.  Our volunteer teams provide direct patient care to hundreds of adults and children each year, while working towards the long-term goal of developing sustainable spine treatment and care at each location.  

NSF is not taking on new partners at this time, but is open to discussing and exploring new partnerships for 2024 and beyond.

NSF Provides: 

  • Medical mission trip operational planning and logistics
  • On-the-ground execution of medical mission trips
  • Funding (i.e. patient care, OR supplies, transportation, volunteer travel scholarships)
  • NuVasive hardware, technology and clinical services (neuromonitoring and product support)
  • Passionate medical and non-medical volunteers

Medical Mission Partner Provides:

We look for partners who can provide clinical direction and are in need of an operational partner to help develop the mission trip into a sustainable spine program.

  • Patient care and surgical planning
  • Relationship with in-country surgeon/facility
  • OR safety and protocols
  • Charting clinical and surgical interactions

If you are interested in becoming a program partner, please email

I knew something was seriously wrong with my back, but couldn’t afford the MRI to diagnose me. I can’t begin to thank the team who gave me back the ability to work and play ball with my 5-year-old son.

— Jorge, Honduras

Surgery provided by the NSF Medical Mission Program

Mission Partnership FAQ’s

No. As a private operating foundation, NSF is legally bound to be directly involved in its charitable activities (the NSF medical mission program) and does not give grants.  NuVasive, Inc. has a corporate grants program that is committed to supporting global independent research and professional continuing education activities that benefit the medical community and advance patient care in the area of spine. To learn more about this program, visit:

To contact the NuVasive Corporate Grants team, please email:

NSF provides tailored operational support and resources in partnership with each program partner in order to provide comprehensive care to patients around the world. Our volunteer teams provide direct patient care to hundreds of adults and children each year, while working towards the long-term goal of developing sustainable spine treatment and care at each location.

Program partnerships DO NOT equal grants. NSF is directly invested in all aspects of operating its medical mission program and in every dollar spent helping patients around the world. Donations to NSF fund the NSF medical mission program.

NSF is a separate legal entity from NuVasive, Inc. NuVasive generously donates hardware, technology and clinical services to support NSF medical missions. The NSF medical mission program and partner decisions are led by NSF’s executive director and overseen by its board of directors.

NuVasive does not provide monetary funding to NSF. NSF relies 100% on fundraising to support the medical mission program.

Program partners are explored and considered for approval 6-12 months prior to the first mission trip to a new location. Potential program partners are evaluated using a matrix of factors, including, but not limited to: patient impact, partner experience, clinical credentials, long-term growth potential, cost (monetary and hardware), timing, customs/shipping logistics and legal/compliance/regulatory.

Partnership applications are reviewed by NSF’s Board of Directors on an annual basis. Please do not apply if you are looking for a grant. NSF is looking for program partners who can provide strong clinical direction and are in need of an operational partner to help develop the mission trip into a sustainable spine program.

  • To apply: A representative from the nonprofit and/or the surgeon leading the medical mission can fill out our interest form or contact