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Join John P. Howe, III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE, as he visits our lifesaving programs and offers inspiring examples of how your support is making a difference in the lives of people around the world.

China Rehabilitative Training Expanding

Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on November 8, 2011

Labels: China , Health Care Education, Humanitarian Aid

For the past few days, we have been witnessing the impact of HOPE’s health education programs in China. For a shining example of how HOPE responds to humanitarian disasters with recovery programs that not only help relief efforts, but help strengthen health systems, Project HOPE’s new Chairman of the Board, Richard Clark, the HOPE delegation, and I, visited the Dujiangyan Medical Center in the Sichuan Province.

I first visited the Dujiangyan Hospital just two weeks after the massive 2008 Sichuan earthquake that killed more than 4,000 people and injured nearly 10,000 in the historic City alone.

The hospital was damaged by the earthquake, but busy medical professionals, some trained by HOPE’s Rural Training Program, were working day and night to care for injured victims.

Project HOPE immediately coordinated the delivery of more than $1 million of medical supplies to the relief effort. But more importantly, we helped set-up a Rehabilitation Medicine Training Program that has not only benefited the people of Dujiangyan recovering from earthquake related injuries, but now serves others needing rehabilitative medical care and has expanded to other regions in China.

Three years after the massive earthquake, the Dujiangyan Medical Center is in a brand new building. We were greeted at the hospital entrance by dozens of energetic medical professionals attending the Fourth Rehabilitation Train the Trainer Workshop.

As Mr. Clark and I spoke at the opening ceremonies of the workshop, alongside Chinese government officials, Ministry of Health representatives and hospital administrators, we couldn’t help but be proud of the accomplishments of this successful collaboration. To date, the rehabilitation training program established by HOPE has:

  • Trained 41rehabilitation professionals
  • Developed 11 health facilities in Dujiangyan City
  • Developed 5 health facilities outside Dujiangyan City
  • Served 219 earthquake injured patients
  • Trained 336 community health care workers
  • Educated 1285 community residents

While the numbers are impressive, it is the stories of the individuals impacted by HOPE programs that really touch the heart.

We met several patients on our visit to Dujiangyan including Mr. Wang. Mr. Wang was buried under ruble during the 2008 earthquake. Immediately following the earthquake, Mr. Wang received an important surgery performed by a HOPE-trained doctor. The surgery, along with the rehabilitation care he received from HOPE-trained medical professionals has allowed Mr. Wang to regain much of his mobility. I‘ve have met with Mr. Wang on almost every subsequent visit I have made to the hospital since the earthquake. Still, Mr. Wang made a point to visit the Dujiangyan Medical Center once again, this time to meet Mr. Clark, and show the HOPE delegation his continuing progress.

From seeing the eager faces of medical professionals attending the rehabilitative care workshop, to visiting with patients who are benefiting from the program, it was rewarding for our delegation to observe first-hand how HOPE stepped in to help during a crisis, and with the support of the Chinese Ministry of Health and dedicated staff of the Dujiangyan Medical Center, we have supported continuing medical needs by helping to develop a model for training rehabilitation professionals that is expanding throughout China.


Diabetes Education Program Flourishing in China

Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on November 7, 2011

Labels: China , Chronic Disease, Health Care Education

Leaving Shanghai, we traveled inland, to Chengdu, to experience the far reaching impact of Project HOPE’s health education and humanitarian assistance programs. Our first visit was to the Huaxi Hospital, a teaching hospital and the largest hospital in China with more than 4,000 beds. One of the original sites for our Diabetes Education program in China, the hospital now serves as a leader and resource center in diabetes education and care for other hospitals and medical facilities throughout the Sichuan Province.

HOPE began partnering with the Huaxi Hospital in 1998, along with the Ministry of Health in China and dedicated corporate partners, Eli Lilly & Company, BD and Roche. Lilly continues to support the HOPE program, which has helped provide diabetes education to more than 211,000 health care professionals and patients in China.  

While at the hospital, our newly elected Chairman of the Board, Richard T. Clark, and I, met with hospital officials including Dr. Tian Haoming, Director of Endocrinology. Dr. Tian has been involved in the HOPE Diabetes Education Program since its development 13 years ago and now serves as HOPE’s Diabetes Program Director.

Dr. Tian, explained the impact of the program, which has grown to provide diabetes prevention, care, management training and patient education to seven provincial centers and 18 sub-centers throughout China.

The highlight of our visit was meeting with some doctors and nurses at the hospital trained through the HOPE program. All emphasized the importance of HOPE’s Training-of-Trainers philosophy, which educates health professionals on how to share their knowledge, expanding diabetes care and prevention far beyond the busy walls of Huaxi Hospital.

Despite the progress, hospital leaders told us that the number of patients requiring chronic disease care and education outnumber the available resources of doctors and nurses, a message to HOPE that  health professional training is still vital in the fight against non-communicable diseases in China.

Check back for more on our diabetes success when we visit Beijing later this week.



Honoring Our Donors in China

Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on November 4, 2011

Labels: China

In Shanghai, our new Chairman, Richard Clark, and I, had the honor of meeting not only with some of our corporate donors, but a few of our individual supporters as well.

One of those supporters was a very impressive 10-year old, Taylor Vaughn.

Many of you may remember Taylor.  Moved by the devastation she witnessed on the news following the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan earlier this year, Taylor mobilized her friends to raise money and awareness for HOPE’s relief efforts through folding 1,000 white origami cranes, a symbol of hope. When completed, the girls presented the cranes to the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles and presented HOPE with nearly $1,500 to use for relief efforts in Japan.

Taylor now has plans to use her already seasoned fundraising skills to help raise money to support programs at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC).  

Mr. Clark and I also had the privilege of meeting with Paul Huang. Paul is the son of C.J. Huang, a long-time Project HOPE supporter. Before moving to the United States, C.J. Huang graduated from Wuhan University. For decades, C.J. Huang, through his foundation, has supported HOPE programs dedicated to helping treat burn victims, providing education for health professionals, and improving the health of children at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. While we were in Shanghai, Paul accepted an award from Project HOPE and the SCMC in honor of his father, who is now 96 and continuing to support HOPE programs in China.  We won’t forget Paul’s statement upon accepting the award in his father’s name. “Our parents taught us to always help other people, not because it improves our Karma or even to give back. We help others, because it adds to our own personal happiness.”

As we continue our journey, witnessing the impact of HOPE’s health education programs in China, Mr. Clark and I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You,” to each and every one of our supporters who give of their time  and resources to support HOPE’s programs here in China and around the globe.



Appreciating the Impact of HOPE’s Programs

Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on November 3, 2011

Labels: China , Chronic Disease, Health Care Education

While in Shanghai, we visited the YinHang Community Health Center in the Yang Pu District to learn more about HOPE’s Chronic Disease Management Program. The busy clinic treats 2,800 children, women and men each day, many suffering from non-communicable diseases.

Funded by Philips, HOPE’s Chronic Disease Management program works with leading hospitals and community health centers to improve access to and quality of care for patients with heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases.

The program, which began in 2009, trains Health Care Workers in the management and prevention of chronic disease and also provides patient and family educational support.

We met with several patients at the clinic, including a man in his 70s who suffered from a stroke last year. Participating in the midst of his physical therapy, the gentleman paused for just a moment to tell our Chairman, Dick Clark, and myself, about his progress. “I can now walk again,” he said with a smile on his face.

In 2010, The YinHang Community Health Center provided 2,200 stroke patients with rehabilitative care. “Every one of those patients has increased his or her ADL score (Activity Daily Life) by 20 -30 points,” said Dr. Luo Feng, head of the Center’s Rehabilitation Medicine department.

In addition, we were told that 10,000 people enrolled in the clinic’s hypertension management program, more than 4,000 enrolled in the diabetes management program and thousands of people from the community attend the free education health lectures offered several times a year at the clinic.

We ended our evening at a “Coming for Love” charity appreciation dinner hosted by the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. Attended by more than 300 individual, foundation and corporate donors, in addition to city officials, hospital administrators and medical professionals trained by HOPE programs, the dinner helped us reflect on our more than 12 years of partnership with the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and the impact HOPE has made on the health and lives of children in China and throughout the world.

The SCMC also honored HOPE’s Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Charles Sanders, for his decades of dedication to the children of China and the creation and development of this internationally renowned hospital with the presentation of a Recognition Plaque.

It was an inspiring day as we witnessed the impact of two very different HOPE programs resulting in the same outcomes - healthier children, healthier families.



Children’s Health at the Heart of Shanghai Children’s Medical Center

Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on November 2, 2011

Labels: China , Health Care Education, Health Systems Strengthening, Women’s and Children’s Health

We started off our morning with a visit to the PuDong District Tang Qiao Community Health Center in downtown Shanghai. Dr. Huang Xuan, Director of the clinic, told us 1,200 to 1,500 patients are seen at the clinic each day, many for symptoms of chronic disease. Project HOPE is supporting the clinic by providing chronic disease education to health professionals and also supplying the clinic with patient education materials.

Before our much anticipated visit to the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC), HOPE Chairman Dick Clark and I had the rare honor of meeting with the Mayor of Shanghai, Han Zheng. The Mayor was very appreciative of our humanitarian work after the 2008 earthquake and our long-time relationship with the city of Shanghai which has resulted in HOPE’s involvement with the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center.

Nowhere is HOPE’s commitment to improving the health of children in China more evident than at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. Joined by some of our corporate donors, including Peter Wilden, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Ferring and Elaine Leavenworth, Vice President of Government Affairs for Abbott, we were greeted at the busy children’s hospital by staff and hospital administrators who briefed our delegation on HOPE’s continuing impact on the health of children in China. HOPE’s medical professional training, patient education programs and medical equipment donation programs have helped the hospital to become number one in the world for the number of pediatric heart surgeries performed, as well as a national leader in pediatric nutrition and oncology.

At the SCMC, we met with some young patients and families, including a 5-year-old girl awaiting heart surgery. As we said our goodbyes, the young girl treated us to a traditional Chinese children’s song, complete with graceful hand motions and a bow to end the performance. I hope to share a video of this heartwarming experience with you soon.

Before we departed from our busy day at the SCMC, we spoke with some of the nurses and doctors being educated through HOPE’s Rural Training Program. To date, 248 medical professionals across 18 provinces in China have participated in the one-year fellowship at the SCMC. This experience is invaluable to these medical professionals, allowing them to gain lifesaving skills and knowledge that they will use when they return home to rural areas of China to practice medicine. I will share more about their impact in coming days, when we travel to Chengdu.  

One of the members of our delegation, John Boyer, Ph.D., Chairman of MAXIMUS Federal Services, Inc.,  a supporter of HOPE programs, presented the rural fellows with a set of IPods, loaded with a medical database that is able to be translated into any language, including Chinese. This technology will provide the rural fellows with complete up-to-date medical information when they return to their hometowns far away from the medical resources in Shanghai.

As we left SCMC, we noticed the Project HOPE flag flying proudly above the hospital in tandem with the Chinese national flag and the SCMC flag. While we live in a complicated world, the SCMC is a shining example of people coming together for the common good.



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