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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.

Celebrating World Diabetes Day in China

Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on November 11, 2011

Labels: China , Chronic Disease, Health Care Education

World Diabetes Day

On our first day in Beijing, we visited the Zhanlanlu Community Health Service Center for an early World Diabetes Day (WDD) celebration. 

China has more than 92 million people with diabetes and 150 million with pre-diabetes. Project HOPE began partnering with the Ministry of Health in China and corporate partners Eli Lilly & Company, BD and Roche in 1998 to provide diabetes education for doctors and nurses. Since then, the program has been expanded, with continuing support from Lilly, to improve the accessibility and quality of diabetes care in rural and urban communities through community health centers like Zhanlanlu. 

World Diabetes Day

The Zhanlanlu Center was buzzing with excitement when we arrived for the early morning WDD celebration. Nearly 200 residents from the community signed up for the free diabetes testing and counseling offered at the celebration. One of these residents was Mrs. Liu. Mrs. Liu told me that she has been battling diabetes for seven years, and she is so grateful for the clinic near her home, on the outskirts of Beijing, where she can come for testing and advice on how to manage her disease. With the patient education she receives from HOPE-trained medical professionals at the Center, including advice on diet and exercise, Mrs. Liu told me she is determined to reduce blood sugar levels and live a healthier life. 

World Diabetes Day

In addition to patients and HOPE-trained medical professionals, the HOPE Delegation was also joined at the WDD event by Ministry of Health officials and representatives from the China Diabetes Society. We heard a recurring theme of praise from the Chinese officials as they recognized the outstanding efforts of the patients themselves, who are not only taking their education to heart and making lifestyle changes to improve their diabetes, but who are also sharing their knowledge with family, friends and colleagues. 

To date, Project HOPE diabetes education programs in China have reached 223,728 patients and family members. 

Be sure to check back on our website for more on the success of our diabetes programs in China on the official World Diabetes Day, Monday, November 14.

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Improving Women’s and Children’s Health in China

Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on November 10, 2011

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

On our last day in Chengdu, we traveled to the newly constructed Chengdu Women and Children’s Medical Center. Formerly known as the Chengdu Children’s Hospital, Project HOPE has partnered with this medical facility for years through our Rural Training Program. The goal of the Program is to enhance the pediatric care in selected children's hospitals in less developed regions of China by providing concentrated health professional training. 

We met with the impressive Dr. Mao Ming, President of the Chengdu Women and Children’s Medical Center. See described the challenges of treating women and children in the same hospital facility, a new concept in China. 

Dr. Mao also expressed hopes for a continued partnership with Project HOPE, before introducing, Richard Clark, our Board Chairman, and me to 12 of the 15 doctors and nurses, now working at the Medical Center, trained by the HOPE’s Rural Training Program. 

Mr. Clark and I spoke with each of the Fellows, all of whom had received their training at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. All were grateful for the experience they received and said they returned to Chengdu not only to use their improved skills to treat patients, but also to share their new knowledge with other doctors and nurses at the Medical Center. 

Many of the Fellows mentioned that they were hesitant to participate in the Program at first, because the commitment required them to leave Chengdu for a year of study and work in Shanghai. But every Fellow with whom we spoke said that their year-long experience at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center prepared them for leadership roles in their respective departments at the Medical Center. They currently hold critical positions such as Director of Emergency Room and Head of Pediatrics. Each of them said they would recommend the Program to others. 

Since the Program began in 2002, Project HOPE has graduated 248 fellows from 18 different provinces in China. Currently, 25 nurses and doctors are enrolled in the Program. We would like to do more. 

Before we left the Medical Center, one of the members of our delegation, James Shen, Government Affairs Director for Convidien China, received words of appreciation from Dr. Mao. Convidien has supported Project HOPE’s Children’s Health and Safety Program to promote child safety in China through professional health education courses taught at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and soon to be taught at the Medical Center in Chengdu. 

Tomorrow, we will be in Beijing for a review of HOPE’s diabetes prevention and education programs, just in time for World Diabetes Day.

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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.

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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.

John

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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.

John

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