Project HOPE medical volunteers providing clinical care for underserved patients from Tonga to Micronesia

Millwood, Virginia, April 20, 2011

Medical volunteers from Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian aid organization, have embarked on a mission with the U.S. Navy to offer medical care and health education to underserved communities in the Oceania region.  

Alan Jaminson, a retired pediatrician from Tennessee, heads the seven-member team of HOPE volunteers on board the U.S. Navy ship, the USS Cleveland.  Dr. Jaminson served on two previous HOPE missions to Southeast Asia and Central America.  He said the rewarding relationships he developed as a medical volunteer with patients, their families, the U.S. Navy and partner nations inspired him to sign up again.

“I am excited about building bonds for a good working relationship on this mission to help bring better care to the people in the medical sites we are here to serve,” said Dr. Jaminson.

Project HOPE’s volunteer physicians and nurses specialized in internal medicines, pediatrics and women and children’s health are providing medical care to hundreds of patients in the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga before the USS Cleveland sails to Vanuatu.  Subsequent rotations of volunteers will provide medical assistance and training for local health professionals in Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Mircronesia until mid-July.   

William Aiken, a nurse from Washington State, boarded the USS Cleveland on the West coast of the United States and sailed across the Pacific, learning and preparing along the way for his position as HOPE’s Operations Officer and Emergency Room Nurse.

“This is going to be hard work, but I know all the Project HOPE volunteers will enjoy their time on board the USS Cleveland and ashore helping those in need of health care in the South Pacific,” said Aiken.

The mission, known as Pacific Partnership 2011, brings together a diverse cross-section of skills from allied partners Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and US government agencies including the US Army, Air Force and USAID and civil society organizations.  

“The sharp minds, skilled hands and caring hearts of HOPE volunteers on board the USS Cleveland will undoubtedly improve the lives of communities struggling with persistent health problems and lack of medical training in this remote region of the world. Project HOPE is honored to be part of this effort,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE.

Project HOPE and the U.S. Navy have conducted 22 humanitarian aid missions worldwide, treating over 550,000 patients, performing almost 9,000 surgeries and training over 190,000 health care workers.

About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health crises, 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. 

Media Contact: Geraldine Carroll (540) 257-3746

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