Four faculty and students from Shenandoah University volunteer for Project HOPE aboard the USNS Richard E. Byrd and ashore in five remote countries in the Oceania region

Millwood, Virginia, July 22, 2009

Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian assistance organization, is sending three pharmacy students and one faculty member from Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy to join the United States Navy, inter-agency and other non-governmental organizations in providing health care and health education to communities in the remote Oceania nations of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Western Samoa as part of Pacific Partnership 2009.

“From the very beginning, Project HOPE has recruited volunteers from some of the leading U.S. medical and educational institutions to provide care to those in need around the world,” said John P. Howe, III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE. “We are so pleased to draw from the medical expertise of our local community and send pharmacy volunteers from Shenandoah University on our latest mission with the U.S. Navy. The students and faculty members are providing critical pharmacy expertise.” 

Alla Marks, Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, John Hammill and Stephen Creasy, both fourth-year professional pharmacy students, and Virginia Pharmacist John Nett are participating in the mission.

Earlier this year, Elizabeth Johnson, a fourth-year professional pharmacy student at Shenandoah, participated in a similar mission in Latin America onboard the USNS Comfort.

“This unique partnership between Shenandoah University, Project HOPE and the U.S. Navy is providing excellent service learning opportunities for our pharmacy students while also helping them to become more active global citizens, which is an important part of the university’s mission,” said Alan McKay, dean of the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy.

McKay added that Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons, a strong supporter of international partnerships such as these, has kept in touch with the students and faculty participating in the missions through the pharmacy school’s online blog. The pharmacy school created the blog,, to help the community stay in contact and follow along with the adventures of those traveling on the missions.

Project HOPE first partnered with the U.S. Navy in 2005 in response to the catastrophic Indian Ocean Tsunami. Since 2005, Project HOPE has participated in 13 humanitarian missions with the U.S. Navy, sending volunteers to 27 countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa. Project HOPE has sent more than 700 Project HOPE medical volunteers, who along with their Navy counterparts, have cared for more than 300,000 people, provided health education to 66,000 and delivered more than $33 million in medicines and medical supplies.


About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in 35 countries across five continents. For more information, please visit
For more information about Project HOPE contact:
Rand Walton, (540) 630-1017
Melanie Mullinax, (540) 837-9577


About Shenandoah University
Shenandoah University is a comprehensive private university with an enrollment of more than 3,300 students in six schools: College of Arts & Sciences, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, Shenandoah Conservatory, Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, School of Health Professions (Athletic Training, Nursing and Respiratory Care, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and Physical Therapy) and the School of Education & Human Development. The university offers nearly 90 programs of study at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. For more information, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at (540) 665-4510 or visit
For more information about Shenandoah University, contact:
Ann Campbell, (540) 665-5422,

Stay Informed

Get news from the field and updates on how your donations are being put to work.

Please leave this field empty

Join Us

Read and share stories about Project HOPE with your personal network.

255 Carter Hall Lane, PO Box 250, Millwood, VA 22646
Donor Services: +1.844.349.0188
© Project HOPE. All Rights Reserved. 501(c)(3)

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software