Volunteers play a vital role at Project HOPE, working alongside staff members, other volunteers and the global community to jointly achieve our goals. Through our Volunteer Recognition Program, we highlight the contributions of our volunteer workforce. Each month, we select a Volunteer of the Month from those volunteers currently in the field that are performing above and beyond the baseline of excellence. At the end of the calendar year, we recognize our top three volunteers with our Gold, Silver and Bronze Volunteer of the Year awards.
March 2013 Dr. Julia Chevan
Dr. Julia Chevan, the Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Springfield College, is from Florence, Massachusetts.Balancing her multiple academic obligations and duties, Dr. Chevan was able to find time within her schedule to volunteer with Project HOPE in Haiti to help evaluate HOPE’s new Handicap Rehabilitation Facility Program.
Project HOPE Haiti initiated a recent USAID-supported handicap rehabilitation project, with a network consisting of two University-level hospitals and six Rehab centers that receive referrals from seven Community-based volunteer organizations (CBO). These organizations work together and are dedicated to improving the response to the challenges of the burgeoning handicapped population following the devastating 2010 earthquake. Most of the CBOs are either poorly organized or poorly equipped to manage this increasing demand and part of HOPE’s work is to improve the efficiencies of this network.
During her stay with HOPE Haiti, Dr. Chevan focused her efforts on evaluating our site staffing and facilities to better manage this joint approach and to ultimately improve the delivery of services.Dr. Chevan offered a teaching approach focusing on “hands-on” guidance to both patients and physical therapy technicians.Her patience, endurance, and ability to teach and manage were extremely impressive.She integrated very quickly with the team and left a strong, positive impression with everyone she met.This work will go a long way to furthering the goals of the HOPE office in attempting to meet the challenges of comprehensive rehabilitation in Haiti.
We thank Dr. Chevan very much, not only for her technical skills and services, but also for her engaging attitude and fellowship during many long hours on the road traveling the countryside, going from Rehab center to center. Dr. Chevan reflects all that a HOPE volunteer should be and we are proud to recognize her as our March 2013 Volunteer of the Month!
February 2013 Nurse Anne Borden
Anne Borden, a registered nurse of 29 years with Massachusetts General Hospital out of Boston, volunteered with Project HOPE at the Alluri Sitaramaraju Academy of Medical Sciences (ASRAM) Hospital in Vijayawada, India. Borden, a returning volunteer for Project HOPE, just completed her Tropical Medicine Course in neighboring Vellore, India and volunteered to spend an additional three weeks with HOPE to help build nursing capacity at ASRAM.
In a rural area with a nearby population of four million, the (ASRAM) is a combined hospital, medical college, and nursing school with a 910 bed capacity, 130 intensive care beds, and 100 super specialty beds, with a full range of services. Within a span of just ten years, the ASRAM Medical College has emerged as a pioneer in the field with excellent teaching and research facilities. The attached teaching hospital serves the needs of sick patients belonging to the West Godavari district and the neighboring districts of East Godavari, Khammam and Krishna.
During her service, Borden focused her efforts on medical education. She taught courses at the nursing school to both nursing students and faculty – sometimes teaching four courses per day. For the faculty education, Borden implemented the HOPE-modeled “train the trainer” approach, thus helping to build capacity in the hospital by developing nursing best practice guidelines and staff competencies. In the evenings and after hours, she began teaching Advanced Cardiac Life Support to the hospital’s physicians. This was a great opportunity for the health care providers to learn to act immediately and save lives. Not only did Borden’s course teach rhythm recognition, defibrillation, management of airway, and emergency drugs, but she taught providers how to work as a team, including overseeing a mega code practical session with the equipment. Surprisingly, none of the staff in the Critical Care Unit and catheter lab had ever taken the class, so it was a first for ASRAM. The physicians loved it and were thrilled to have someone teach such a helpful course. More than 21 doctors participated in the second course.
We congratulate Anne Borden as the February 2013 Volunteer of the Month for her distinguished service while supporting HOPE in India!
January 2013 Nurses Dottie Newsome and Jo Burt
Nurses Dottie Newsome and Jo Burt share more than January’s volunteer of the month honor. The two are sisters.
Supporting Project HOPE’s chronic disease program in Zandspruit South Africa, the duo is making a lasting impact on the patients and clinical staff at the HOPE Centre in South Africa, and at the same time, fulfilling a lifelong personal dream of working together on a volunteer project.
Dottie and Jo were raised in a small farming community by parents who believed in hard work and helping others. Both have based their nursing careers on that upbringing.
Jo, a returning volunteer for Project HOPE, has a four-decade career in nursing including 23 years as a chief nursing officer and 12 years in the U.S. Army Reserve Nurse Corp where she served during Operation Desert Storm for four months. In addition to volunteering for Project HOPE in Cameroon, Jo has also volunteered in the Ukraine to help develop a nursing curriculum and work in the hospitals and she worked for the Red Cross in New York City immediately following 9/11.
Dottie’s career has been as equally full, with 38 years of nursing experience in a variety of health care settings including medicine, psychiatric, hospice, elder and dementia care. She has been active in humanitarian organizations in the United States as well as abroad. Most recently she spent two months in Nepal working in an orphanage.
Jo and Dottie were selected for January’s Volunteer of Month because of the huge impact their decades of clinical management experience is having on the program in Zandspruit. At the HOPE Centre clinic they are helping to develop efficient clinical systems that are drastically reducing the waiting time of patients at the clinic and allowing local nurses to see more patients each day.
“Zandspruit is a long way from Utah, but we find that people all over the world share the same desires and many of the same values,” says Jo.
“We are so fortunate to be able to experience first-hand what life is like for the people of Zandspruit and we are very appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of the project to help decrease the morbidity and mortality from diabetes and hypertension.”
We congratulate Jo Burt and Dottie Newsome as the January 2013 co-Volunteers of the Month for their distinguished service while supporting HOPE in South Africa!
December 2013 Gao Yifei
Gao Yifei, a graduate from Fudan University School of Nursing,works in administration at the Obstetrics & Gynecology Hospital in Fudan University. Gao is dedicated to philanthropy and has partnered with many non-profit organizations throughout her career.As an example of her work prior to volunteering with Project HOPE, immediately following the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, she joined the first medical group to respond and was able to help establish the Chinese-German Red Cross Field Hospital. For her outstanding efforts, she was honored with the Fudan Headmaster Award.
When Project HOPE initiated a partnership with the Obstetrics & Gynecology Hospital, Gao became a very helpful contact person to promote the Project HOPE Women’s Health Cervical Cancer Prevention Initiative program. As this was the first time for Project HOPE to work with the hospital, Gao worked tirelessly as the communication bridge linking our two organizations. As a volunteer for Project HOPE in China, in December Gao devoted a great deal of time assessing the target population before the public screening campaign. During the campaign, she personally took an active role in the screening process. She played a very important role in maintaining patient flow, in filling out and controlling the sample information, in arranging the venue, and in organizing the physicians. Concurrent to that, Gao contacted the media to publicize the event. Post-campaign, she helped compile the data and inform the identified high risk population. The success of this screening activity could not have been attained without her unparalleled contribution.
“I am proud to be a Project HOPE volunteer, which makes my life very meaningful," Gao says. "When helping others with all my heart, I gain true happiness. I think volunteering is a noble path. I am willing to contribute solely for the sake of love and care.”
We congratulate Gao Yifei as the December Volunteer of the Month award winner for her distinguished service while supporting HOPE in China!
November 2012 Dr. Keith Williams
Dr. Keith Williams, a first-time Project HOPE volunteer, has been providing medical care and education across the African continent since August. Dr. Williams is a board-certified internal medicine physician, most recently working as a staff physician at the Boston University Medical Center.He is currently in a general surgery residency program at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
Following this mission, Dr. Williams traveled to another Project HOPE program in at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana. Here, Project HOPE is a partner of the Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative and Dr. Williams has been instrumental in providing medical and surgical lectures to the Ghanaian physician residents, providing clinical and bedside teaching, including procedural skills and helping to develop the monthly academic schedule. He has even initiated a Journal Club for the staff at the hospital.
“My experience with Project HOPE has been fantastic," says Dr. Williams. "Beginning with the Africa Partnership Station, and later returning to Cameroon and now Ghana, each mission has given me opportunities to do what I enjoy most and utilize my training to truly make a difference in the lives of people in need. Whether it was a patient I was treating or a medical student or resident I was teaching, I wanted to be seen as someone who cared to make a difference as well as someone who had a passion for what I was doing. I hope, in some small way, that my actions improved the lives of some and made it possible for others to care better for their own. I extend my gratitude to Project HOPE for making this experience possible for me.”
We congratulate Dr. Williams as the November Volunteer of the Month award winner for his distinguished performance while supporting HOPE all over Africa!
October 2012 Janet Taylor, GSK Pulse Volunteer
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals’ Health Systems Account Manager, Janet Taylor, joined Project HOPE June 18, 2012, as a volunteer to our Gifts-In-Kind (GIK) Development Department.Through GSK’s PULSE Volunteer Program, Janet’s skills and philanthropic goals were identified as a perfect match for the six month GIK Strategist volunteer assignment at Project HOPE’s International Headquarters in Millwood, VA. GSK established its PULSE Volunteer Program to allow its employees the opportunity to volunteer at selected non-profit organizations that are making positive impacts on the lives of others around the globe.
One of Janet’s tasks has been to create a marketing strategy to reach new prospective donors. Primary focus was to complete an enticing one-page marketing piece summarizing HOPE’s Strategic Medical Re-Supply Program. This program is designed to strengthen the health systems in 8 implementing countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Africa, by providing much needed pharmaceutical goods to hospitals and clinics that are facing incredible medical shortfalls because of financial despair. This program enables medical staff to treat patients effectively and efficiently with medicines and medical supplies that are donated by HOPE’s corporate GIK partners.
Janet recently visited Macedonia and Kosovo, getting a firsthand view of how our Strategic Medical Re-Supply Program works.She was greeted by HOPE staff stationed in Macedonia to administer the Program.The Macedonia team invited Janet to join them in making site visits to 3 recipient health facilities in Macedonia and 2 in Kosovo. At one facility, pharmacy administrators demonstrated how they carefully track the donated products.At other facilities, Janet witnessed patients and hospital administrators alike expressing their infinite gratitude to HOPE.“This has been a life changing experience,” Janet says. “I will always be grateful to the Project HOPE staff in Macedonia for their warmth and generosity.I am also grateful for their dedication to the patients in Macedonia and Kosovo; I found their work truly inspiring.” Read Janet's Blog
We are thankful to Janet for her insight and talent in providing a new marketing piece that we are able to share with potential donors. Without our current partners and obtaining new partnerships, HOPE would not be able to provide lifesaving medicines to programs such as the Strategic Medical Re-Supply Program. Janet’s work at our International Headquarters in Virginia will benefit HOPE’s programs worldwide.
September 2012 Sama Shrestha, BSN, RN
Sama Shrestha, a first-time Project HOPE volunteer, recently returned from Nepal in support of U.S. Air Force operation Pacific Angel 2012. Sama was born and educated through secondary school in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and later received her university level education in the U.S., graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She currently works at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia. A native Nepali speaker, Sama met HOPE’s ideal recruiting requirements: clinical credentials, physically fit and native speaking.
Assigned jointly by the USAF sponsors and our on HOPE Medical Director, Sama was designated as the Lead Triage Officer for the medical operation conducted in a remote mountain village in the Himalaya mountain range. Sama was the first clinical person facing the hundreds of villagers who showed up at the front gate each day. Balancing sensitive cultural and gender issues, Sama was able, each and every day, to meet the crowd of waiting people and determine the queuing sequence based on rapid patient assessments.
Sama saw and evaluated over 5,000 indigenous patients and triaged them to the various treatment locations of optometry, dental, woman’s health, pediatrics, family medicine and physical therapy. At each end-of-day review, Sama was specially recognized by both U.S. and Nepali government officials for her clinical knowledge and efficiency in working with patients. During the final closing ceremony, Sama received special recognition from the Nepalese Army and Ministry of Health. The loud audience applause for Sama told the whole story of her relationship with staff and patients alike.
We congratulate Sama as the Volunteer of the Month award winner for her distinguished performance while supporting HOPE in the remote mountain village in the Himalayas. A hard worker, Sama maintained a positive attitude every day which directly affected the successful outcome of the mission.
August 2012 Catherine Blair-Perrine
Cathy Blair-Perrine is a Nurse Case Manager at the Chippenham Hospital in Chesterfield, Virginia, where she provides discharge planning and utilization review for patients in an acute hospital setting. Leaving Virginia to volunteer with Project HOPE in Liberia and Ghana, Cathy is a first time HOPIE who quickly made herself invaluable as a member of the U.S. Navy’s Africa Partnership Station 2012.
“The opportunity to serve as a nurse with Project HOPE in Liberia and Ghana as part of the Africa Partnership Station 2012 was such an amazing experience,” she said.
Cathy took on a leadership role during the health fairs in Monrovia, Liberia and Sekondi, Ghana. She organized a separate injection station for the providers to send patients to receive lifesaving vaccines, helping to immunize hundreds of patients in several days. She mentored a Liberian nurse during her time at the clinic, offering much-needed capacity-building coaching and teaching. When the providers were finished seeing patients and heading home, Cathy could be found working hard in the pharmacy helping them finish up the backlog. Wanting to maximize her time spent working in Liberia, Cathy volunteered to visit a local hospital on her one off day instead of relaxing after a week of strenuous outreach events. She was immediately put to work in the combination neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, where she was kept busy the entire day putting in IVs, giving medications, and doing dressing changes. She was also able to give the nurses tips on thermoregulation of tiny infants, as well as help them with workflow in their unit.
Overall, during her rotation, Cathy was hard working, knowledgeable, and had an effervescent personality that endeared her to her coworkers and patients. “I was so honored to have been given an opportunity to participate in this mission. I learned so much in these few weeks,” she said. “It has really opened up my eyes to how great the need is for us to help. In such a short time we were able to have an impact on such a large number of people’s lives. My fellow Project HOPE volunteers as well as the U.S. Navy medical team that we were working with were so friendly and professional. It was an honor to volunteer with such a great organization and such great people.”
Cathy was truly an asset and a testament to the kind of volunteers Project HOPE deploys throughout the year, all over the world.
July 2012 Dr. James Arnold Honl
Dr. James Arnold Honl is an outstanding and hardworking optometrist from Anderson, South Carolina, and a four-time Project HOPE volunteer.
Dr. Honl has volunteered for Project HOPE during two international disasters and has also participated in two annual humanitarian health education missions in Southeast Asia, including his most recent mission to Vietnam in partnership with the U.S. Air Force. While working in Vietnam, Dr. Honl was responsible for helping more than 5,000 patients by providing eye exams and fitting patients with glasses.
His worked truly changed people’s lives. Patients that could not see before walked away with a new outlook on life and improved chances for work and education. In addition, Dr. Honl provided high-quality, professional expert exchange with local Vietnamese optometrists and technicians.
At 73, Dr. Honl has the title of HOPE’s most mature volunteer. He is also one of HOPE’s hardest working, most respected and reliable volunteers. During each mission it is routine to hear the younger clinicians marvel at Dr. Honl’s speed and endurance as he treats patients. He is kind and empathetic, and everyone loves him, including the patients, the military medical teams, HOPE staff and the local country health workers. He is the consummate capacity builder, always using a teach/coach/mentor education model, imparting his clinical knowledge, background and experience to other providers and anyone who wants to learn.
When he is not volunteering with HOPE, Dr. Honl also volunteers to support the American Red Cross during domestic hurricane responses.
Thank you, Dr. Honl for representing Project HOPE so well in Vietnam and throughout your volunteer experiences.
July Honorable Mentions:
Sally Morris is a Registered Nurse, specializing in pediatrics, from Atlanta, Georgia. She served onboard the USNS Mercy in Vietnam, providing pre- and post-operative care to children needing surgery.While in Vietnam, Morris also led a 50-person medical team to a remote site treating more than 1,500 patients in five days.
Connie Lieu is a Pfizer Global Health Fellow working with the Project HOPE Shanghai Office in Shanghai, China. She spent much of her volunteer time writing and developing an implementation manual for HOPE’s Noncommunicable Diseases program which included goals, objectives and outcome indicators. Project HOPE will use the manual to implement other NCD programs. While volunteering in China, Lieu also wrote informative blogs, describing the successes of HOPE’s many programs in the country. Read More
June 2012 Dr. Robert Baxt
The medieval physician Moses Maimonides said, “He who saves one life is considered to have saved the whole world.” For Pacific Partnership 2012 volunteer Dr. Robert Stone Baxt, those have been words to live by.
At home in Baltimore, Dr. Baxt is a specialist in hernia repair and abdominal wall reconstruction. Volunteering for Project HOPE aboard the USNS Mercy hospital ship, Dr. Baxt serves as a general surgeon working alongside surgeons from the U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Netherlands Armed Forces and LDS Charities. He has quickly become the shipboard expert in difficult thyroid cases and the go-to clinical teacher for anyone who wishes to learn, from host nation surgeons, to junior nursing and medical students. His willingness to work hard has contributed to 2012 being the most productive Pacific Partnership surgical mission to date.
“I know it sounds corny,” Dr. Baxt says, “But my family members were Eastern European immigrants. The United States made it possible for us to do things that we could never have done otherwise. It is important to be able to give back. This is my way.”
Some of Dr. Baxt’s cases aboard the USNS Mercy have been dramatic as shown in this video. Dr. Baxt was the surgeon on call the afternoon a critically ill young man with a gangrenous leg was brought aboard. Through his and his team’s quick actions, the young man’s cancerous leg was removed, and his infection was controlled. A local congressman took an interest in the young man, who was transferred to a Philippine hospital for definitive care of his cancer.
Other cases have been less dramatic but equally important. He recently removed a very large but benign mass from the neck of one woman. “It was so big that she couldn’t lift up her head, or wear a dress”, Dr.Baxt explained, “It’s little things that change people’s lives.”
When he gets back to the States, Dr. Baxt will be planning his next trip, this time to the Sudan. And next summer, he hopes to back back aboard a ship volunteering for HOPE.
“It’s tough, healing the world one person at a time," says Dr. Baxt. "But that’s the only way to do it.”
Thank you, Dr. Baxt, for inspiring the best in everyone participating in Pacific Partnership 12.
May 2012 Barbara Demman
Barbara Demman,an emergency room nurse and lecturer at UCLA’s School of Nursing in Los Angeles, California, recently completed a volunteer mission for Project HOPE in in Kumasi, Ghana, providing musculoskeletal emergencies and motor vehicle accident response training at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH.)
Injury accounts for three of the top five causes of death in low and middle income countries and is growing as a worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality. The WHO predicts that motor vehicle injuries will be the 2nd leading cause of years of life lost for the world’s population by 2020. To counter this threat, the Ghanaian government constructed a new national Accident and Emergency Center at KATH and implemented an accredited three-year physician residency program to improve physician competencies in the Emergency Department. In November 2010, the program expanded to include emergency nurse training as Ghanaian nurses were not as current on emergency protocols as their physician counterparts, leading to a decrease in quality of care for patients.
Volunteers like Barbara are part of HOPE's long-term commitment to Ghana to target this gap, by empowering nurses through the integration of classroom theory, lectures, and clinical bedside care in order to promote standardization and safe patient practices.
While in Ghana, Barbara emphasized patient management in the areas of acute trauma and resuscitation, and she helped the nurses see themselves as patient advocates and agents of change. She lectured three days a week, teaching well over 200 nurses. When not teaching, Barbara worked in the trauma/critical care area known as the Red Zone. “Despite being totally exhausting, the work was very rewarding," she says. "The nurses are always eager to learn, despite the many challenges. When I see nurses perform procedures differently, because of the new training they received, my heart just sings."
Barbara’s dedication and skill resulted in a shift from nurses being seen as just caring, to now being seen as caring and capable. These nurses are at the nexus of emergency room teaching and training in Ghana, as best practices taught at KATH are designed to be exported nationwide. "There is a sense of pride here at KATH, and a knowledge that changes are happening," Barbara says. "I can see this and feel this and I am proud to be working with Project HOPE, an organization dedicated to helping facilitate important and relevant system changes.”
Barbara earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1998 from the University of San Francisco and her Master of Science in Nursing from UCLA in 2008.
Thank you Ms. Demman for giving your time and services to help improve the emergency room nursing skills at KATH and ultimately help to improve emergency treatment outcomes in Ghana.
Juan C. Cotarelo is a Pfizer Global Health Fellow volunteering with Project HOPE India. Juan arrived in New Delhi, India on April 12, 2012 and will be working with Project HOPE in the areas of non communicable diseases until August 2012.
Non Communicable Diseases, namely, heart diseases, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory illnesses and diabetes are by far the leading causes of mortality in the world, representing 63% of all deaths (WHO). Over 60 million people in India have diabetes, which equates to about 1 in 8 people (IDF-2011).
Juan is working with Project HOPE to design lifestyle improvement programs and inculcation of awareness among the urban Resident Welfare Society Members in the National Capital Region. He is developing communication materials for improved lifestyle behaviors associated with the non-communicable diseases. He is also learning how emerging markets are addressing new challenges such as diabetes, hypertension and other non-communicable diseases and how educational programs can help those in need.
"It is an honor to be serving with the Project HOPE team in India and with the population of those living in urban and semi-urban areas where the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension is high," says Juan. "By incorporating simple and practical lifestyle changes we all win. Project HOPE has shown me the process of turning thoughts into action. Motivating one-self can and will motivate others whether it’s in the communities we serve or among the counterparts we share with. Giving will lead to sustainability!”
From Miami, Florida, Juan has been working for Pfizer since April 2001 as a Therapeutic Specialty Representative in the areas of pain, cardiovascular, and women’s healthcare. During that time he has been responsible for sales and promotion of Pfizer products in institutions and with healthcare providers. Pfizer has been a dedicated supporter of Project HOPE for more than 50 years, and since 2003, Project HOPE has been strategically placing Pfizer fellows in positions around the globe for 3 to 6 months, making them an integral part of the success of each Project HOPE program.
Thank you Juan for giving your time and services to helping improve the long-term health of populations in India!
As a volunteer at the one of HOPE's flagship programs, Dr. Triedman delivers lectures on pediatric cardiology and teaches clinical skills to the local staff. In addition, he participates in morning rounds, trains residents, provides specialized lectures on arrhythmia and patient safety, and assists the local surgeons with pacemaker implantation operations.
Opened in 1998, SCMC now performs more pediatric heart surgeries than any medical facility in the world, nearly 3500 pediatric heart surgeries each year. HOPE has supported the hospital since before its opening and continues to provide professional health education programs to the staff.
"The hospital performs the largest number of annual pediatric cardiac surgeries in the world, and it is critical to continue enhancing the quality and advancement of cardiac operations at the hospital," says Dr.
From Brookline, Massachusetts, Dr. Triedman continues to donate his cardiac expertise and knowledge 36 hours per week to HOPE's longstanding program in China.
Thank you Dr. Triedman, for improving the health of children across the globe with lifesaving health education and care.
Project HOPE participates in the President’s Volunteer Service Award Program, administered by the Points of Light Institute. We recommend our volunteers please go to the website and register. Once you have signed up, enter the Project HOPE Record of Service key GMP-9528.
How Our Funds Are Used
95 percent of expended resources support programs. Learn More