Project HOPE medical volunteers have joined Pacific Partnership 2015 to provide medical care and training to local health care professionals in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam over the course of three rotations.
Kim Kancir is a critical care nurse, originally from Fairfield, CT. She first heard about Project HOPE from her professors at the University of New Hampshire, who have lots of experience in humanitarian work abroad and highly recommended Project HOPE. Kim worked as a nurse for a couple of years before applying for Pacific Partnership 2015. She is taking leave from her current job working as an ICU nurse in Montana. Kim is thrilled with the opportunity to exchange her knowledge, skills and expertise with not only the host nations we're visiting but with our military and partner nations as well.
Alexa Keonig is an ICU nurse from Washington D.C. and is a first-time Project HOPE volunteer. In addition to her desire to get involved in a humanitarian mission, Alexa also plans to join the Army as a nurse anesthetist. Alexa jumped at the chance to volunteer with Project HOPE on Pacific Partnership 2015. She is excited for this opportunity to get involved and gain experience collaborating with partner nations as well as learning how the US military functions in a medical capacity. She is most looking forward to the community health engagements (CHEs), subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) and making a difference in our host nations' health care systems. Alexa is a firm advocate not just for medical aid but for health care education as well. Alexa says, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Rose Wilson is a pediatric nurse from Melbourne, Australia. She is participating in her third consecutive Pacific Partnership mission. Rose first volunteered with Project HOPE for Pacific Partnership 2013 as a pediatric nurse. She enjoyed her experience so much that she joined the team for Pacific Partnership 2014, this time working as the operations coordinator for the HOPE team. This year Rose is functioning as the operations and logistics officer for Project HOPE and is excited to gain a different perspective on the mission. Rose is working closely with the Civil Military Coordination Center on board. She is also collaborating with U.S. Army and Australian officers to coordinate and manage all of the volunteers on the USNS Mercy to maximize efficiency and effectiveness on this mission. She is most looking forward to our visit to Papua New Guinea, because she is excited to explore and have a positive impact on a part of the world she has not yet seen.
Caitlin Mateer is a pediatric nurse from Melbourne, Australia and a first-time Project HOPE volunteer. She currently works at the Royal Children's Hospital in the adolescent and rehabilitation ward, working with patients in post-surgery physical rehabilitation, long ICU stays and after car accidents. Caitlin has always been interested in participating in a humanitarian mission and jumped at the chance to join Project HOPE on Pacific Partnership when her coworker, Rose Wilson, told her about her previous experiences with Project HOPE and Pacific Partnership missions. Caitlin grew up in a military family -- her father and brother were in the Royal Australian Navy -- so she is familiar with the practices of living with military on a ship. Caitlin has enjoyed comparing Australian customs with those of Americans, and she is happy to delight coworkers with her accent and "foreign" words during her presentations. Caitlin is most looking forward to getting out into the community to provide basic health care, particularly pediatric health care that might be taken for granted in more developed nations. She is looking forward to making a difference supporting surgeries such as those for cleft palates, which will significantly improve the lives of children in our host nations.
Dan Dlugose is a nurse from Colorado and a third-time Project HOPE volunteer. He is joining the Project HOPE team for the first rotation of Pacific Partnership 2015 and will be working on shore in our host nations as a health educator. Dan will be working at health fairs, teaching basic life support and techniques. Dan first became involved with Project HOPE on Pacific Partnership 2013, when he decided to pursue his dream to participate in humanitarian missions. He spent the last years of his career working in high-tech applications like computer-assisted neurosurgery and is eager to share his experience with the people of Fiji. Dan was initially exposed to the developing world as a navy corpsman on a hospital ship in Vietnam and other places in the Western Pacific, and he has always wanted to return to help in any way he could. Dan chose to join Project HOPE because it offers many opportunities to get involved. Dan is most looking forward to meeting some Fijians and doing some basic health care education in Fiji.
Molly Broderick is a first-time Project HOPE volunteer from Boston. She is excited to be a part of the Pacific Partnership 2015 mission. Molly will be documenting, via photos and written accounts, the work of the HOPE volunteer nurses and doctors and sending updates throughout the mission in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.
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