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Posted By: Kris Radder on July 18, 2012

Labels: The Philippines , Volunteers

As part of Pacific Partnership 2012, several Project HOPE volunteers traveled to a remote medical site in the Philippines near Malaga where they were able to help treat up to 700 patients a day.  

Volunteer Dr. Sharon Weintraub in the Philippines

Three-time HOPE volunteer Dr. Sharon Weintraub, a surgeon from Baltimore, Maryland, helped preform several minor surgeries at the site.  

“It was a unique experience to be treating patients in the remote setting,” she says. “While I referred a number of surgical patients to the ship, I was able to do a couple small procedures right at the medical site.” 

Dr. Weintraub thought enjoyed providing the patients with a bit of reassurance and helping to solve some of their medical problems. “Being ashore, we were able to walk around the area a bit to get a sense about how the people were living," she adds. 

The onshore medical site also gave volunteers an opportunity to continue working with medical professionals from other nations. "I had a nice interaction with the Japanese medical team, who referred a patient to me,” she says. "I also worked with a Japanese nurse who showed me a simple technique in wrapping a patients head."  

Volunteer Emily Wardell in the Philippines

HOPE volunteer Emily Wardell, a Nurse from Austin, Texas also benefitted from her time ashore caring for patients. "It was a great experience to be off the USNS Mercy, and to help out people in their home villages," says Wardell. "I was able to really interact with the patients, as I was taking their vitals and walking them to the correct medical areas that they needed to go." 

“While it took a little bit of time to gain trust and get the patients to open up, when they did I got a much better understanding of the local community and the medical problems they face,” she adds. “This knowledge not only helped me to better treat the patients in the village of Malaga, but will also help me with my patients back on the ship.”

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