Project HOPE volunteers, Dr. Beth Hartung, a physician from Napa, California, and Sally Morris, a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse from Decatur, Georgia, helped care for 600 patients in one day at a Pacific Partnership medical site set up in Samar, Philippines.
"We have seen patients with all types of illnesses from diabetes, high blood pressure, back pain, even tuberculosis,” says Dr. Hartung. “It is a change for me and has been very enjoyable,” she adds. “At home, I tend to treat older patients with more complex problems. Here, many of the patients I see have health issues with a little more focus and also very treatable."
The volunteers have been enjoying treating entire families who show up together at the medical sites where health services ranging from dentistry, physical therapy, family health, pediatrics and optometry are available.
"This really allows us to get more done in one day," says Hartung. "It is a wonderful surprise for me to see the medical professionals from many nations coming together for a greater good."
For Morris, who spends most of her time volunteering in the Intensive Care Unit aboard the USNS Mercy, getting time away from the ship has been enjoyable. She spent her day monitoring patient treatment to ensure each patient received the health services they needed.
"I am truly enjoying getting out into the community and helping the local people of Samar," says Morris.
With the medical sites in full action, the smiles on the volunteers’ faces are priceless.
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