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HOPE works in more than 35 countries worldwide. Please enjoy our blog as we document the successes and challenges of our work to provide Health Opportunities for People Everywhere.

HOPE Makes Strides in Respiratory Health in China

Posted By Linda Heitzman, Executive Vice President of Project HOPE on September 2, 2015

Labels: China , Health Systems Strengthening

Linda Heitzman and the AstraZeneca team visit the Shanghai Children's Medical Center

In China, respiratory diseases affect a staggering 40 million people. Asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) are the most common respiratory diseases, and there are efforts underway to increase public awareness to reverse the growth of these medical conditions. Public health experts are especially concerned about the health of China’s children – four percent of whom suffer from asthma, the most common chronic disease among kids. 

I recently traveled to Shanghai, China to witness first-hand the progress HOPE is making to improve the quality and accessibility of asthma treatment and management, especially for children.  I was honored to join the Chief of Respiratory Medicine at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC) to host a group from AstraZeneca, a corporate partner sharing the same mission of improving the health of patients living with chronic diseases, particularly respiratory diseases, for a tour of the facility. 

Representatives from Project HOPE, AstraZeneca and the Shanghai Children's Medical Center

The 17-year-old Shanghai Children’s Medical Center is one of Project HOPE’s major achievements in its 33-year presence in China. Project HOPE was involved with the development of the facility from the beginning of the hospital's design in 1995. Since the hospital was successfully opened in 1998, Project HOPE and SCMC have worked together to provide excellent health care for children. 

Project HOPE staff shared highlights of the China Alliance Respiratory Disease (CARD) program and the Pediatric Asthma Community Outreach program with the AstraZeneca team. Both of the programs, funded by AstraZeneca, address gaps in respiratory disease management in China by building the capacity of health service providers at township and county hospitals and community health service centers and improving service capacity and quality of services at those facilities. So far we have made some great strides including the following:

  • Onsite training of 1,500 physicians from 10 cities in lung function testing
  • Online training of more than 10,000 health care professionals from 193 cities in lung function testing
  • Assisting with setting up respiratory disease clinics at more than 600 hospitals
  • Assisting in the establishment of nebulizer rooms at more than 1,200 hospitals


Education, Friendship and Patient Care in Vietnam

Posted By Volunteer Shannon Duffy, a pediatric intensive care nurse from Seattle on August 31, 2015

Labels: Vietnam , Alumni, Health Systems Strengthening, Volunteers

Shannon Duffy is a pediatric intensive care nurse from the Swedish Medical Center, First Hill Campus, in Seattle, Washington and volunteered for Project HOPE during Pacific Partnership 2015 in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Training Health Professionals in Vietnam

Imagine a group of 15 nurses gathered around a patient in the intensive care unit. The nurses are speaking multiple languages and discuss the patient’s care with him as they change the dressings of his complex wounds. Though diverse in background, these nurses are working toward a common purpose: improving the care delivery and health outcome of the patient.

I am a Project HOPE volunteer on the 2015 Pacific Partnership mission in Da Nang, Vietnam and in Roxas City, Philippines on the USNS Mercy.  Among the many educational opportunities this mission has provided for local health professionals is the Intensive Care Nursing Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) at Da Nang General Hospital among.  Our team of seven nurses observed patient care, discussed cases with the local nurses, learned from their strengths, and offered suggestions for improving best practices.  We held a symposium for continuing nursing education on topics pre-selected by the facility’s nurse leaders.  At the conclusion of the three-day SMEE, the participants discussed several intangible accomplishments: we had formed international relationships of education and friendship, improved patient care, and fostered an openness to learn, improve, ask questions, and think critically in nursing care.  The potential for sustainable health care improvement drew me to Project HOPE’s programs.  During this mission, we are making a lasting impact through education and I look forward to the upcoming SMEE events and the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavors of Vietnam.


Volunteers Provide Dental Care and Education in Vietnam

Posted By Volunteer, Dr. Jeff Jarvis, an orthodontist from Maryland on August 28, 2015

Labels: Vietnam , Alumni, Health Systems Strengthening, Volunteers

Dr. Jeff Jarvis, an orthodontist from Maryland volunteered for Project HOPE during Pacific Partnership 2015 in Vietnam.

Dental Summit in Vietnam

My name is Dr. Jeff Jarvis and I am an orthodontic specialist who volunteered with Project HOPE in Vietnam. The experience was amazing, exhilarating, satisfying, and motivating. If you asked me my thoughts following my arrival after a long plane ride from Baltimore to Da Nang those words would not be leaving my mouth. However if you asked me my impression following my experience with the Project HOPE and the Pacific Partnership 2015 dental team, those are exactly my words.

Part of our mission included a two-day summit with East Meets West NGO and dental professionals from the region. The summit was well attended with over 200 dental professionals participating. Our mission was to provide training on advanced treatment techniques with the U.S. Military dental team. Dentists as far as Ho Chi Minh were in attendance.

Treating dental patients in Vietnam

In addition, the team also provided patient treatment. With the outstanding support from the Armed Forces of the U.S. Dental Corps and the East Meets West Dental Professionals, myself and fellow Project HOPE volunteers Dr. Coury Staadecker, periodontist from Newport Beach , CA  and Brent Harris, orthodontist, were able to treat over 100 patients in just one clinical day.

I wish I could have stay longer!  Maybe in the near future I will have another opportunity to volunteer my time. What an enriching experience!  Thank you for the opportunity Project HOPE!


Successful Surgeries in Vietnam

Posted By Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Joseph Jankiewicz, Volunteer on August 26, 2015

Labels: Vietnam , Alumni, Health Systems Strengthening, Volunteers

Dr. Joseph Jankiewicz, an orthopedic surgeon from Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego, California volunteered for Project HOPE during Pacific Partnership 2015 in Vietnam

Surgeries in Vietnam

It’s been one week since our arrival in Vietnam. It's hot as expected, but so far an unbelievable experience.   

Our first day was spent screening patients for surgery. Sixty plus patients were seen that day, with almost all needing surgery. Some could not be helped due to the right surgical equipment not being available, but this information does give us more indication on what we need to bring on the next mission.

Working side by side with the Vietnamese surgeons, we have completed seven total joint surgeries on the USNS Mercy and nine cases at Da Nang Ortho and Rehab Hospital. The Vietnamese surgeons are very skilled, but limited in supplies and implant options. In spite of this, they do a great job. I'll try never to complain about not having my favorite retractor again.

The people in town are very friendly despite the language barriers. Recently at dinner, we were approached by the people at the next table and asked if we needed help with the menu. The group had relatives in the States going to college and were excited to see Americans.   


Helping Others with HIV in the Dominican Republic

Posted By Rosa, HIV/AID Counselor and Educator for Project HOPE Dominican Republic on August 25, 2015

Labels: Dominican Republic , Women’s and Children’s Health

Rosa Reynosa is an HIV counsellor at the women's and children's health clinic in Monte Plata, Dominican Republic

I was born and raised in Monte Plata, a province of the Dominican Republic where Project HOPE supports a maternal and child health clinic. Life was not easy for me growing up, but I made it into a university. Just a few semesters before completing my degree in arts in 2001, what I thought was a blessing came into my life. I found a partner, – a man whom I thought had good intentions toward me. Just one year later he became sick and confessed to me that he was HIV+.

In 2003, my partner passed away. That same year Project HOPE and the Clinica Orden de Malta in Monte Plata opened their doors to me. They were looking for someone who could act as an HIV counselor and could speak from her/his experience with the disease, but that maintained a positive attitude and good sense of humor.

Thanks to Teresa Narvaez, Project HOPE’s Country Director for the Dominican Republic, I received additional trainings. Today I can say, thanks to her, I do my job with a smile on my face.

  • I work with pregnant women who are HIV+
  • I host workshops and focus groups to speak about HIV prevention
  • I visit community members who have been identified as HIV+

Now I am very happy because, although I have been living with HIV for more than 11 years, I am able to see life with optimism. I have been able to help many HIV+ patients and families – teaching them how to be healthy and be positive about living with their condition. You can live with HIV and be useful to others.


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