Millwood, Virginia, June 1, 2012
Pacific Partnership 2012 team

Project HOPE medical volunteers from across the nation will participate in an eighteen-week mission with the U.S. Navy beginning June 1 to bring much-needed medical care to people in the coastal communities of Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Throughout the summer, 100 HOPE volunteers will take part in Pacific Partnership 2012, the annual U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance mission – the largest of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.  Some 1,100 people representing 23 NGOs, 13 countries and personnel of the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of State are involved in this endeavor, aboard the USNS Mercy, to bring medical, dental, veterinary and civil help to people in communities struggling with limited access to medical care and resources. 

Project HOPE’s team of volunteers include general surgeons, anesthesiologists, a neurologist,  practice and internal medicine physicians, pediatricians, pharmacists, midwives, and nurses.

“I’m looking forward to helping out in some of the developing areas in the countries that don’t have access to proper medical care,” said Dr. Robert Baxt, a HOPE volunteer and a surgeon from Reisterstown, Md.

Courtney Marsh, a registered nurse and first-time HOPE volunteer from San Diego, Calif., has aspired to do medical humanitarian work for years.  She saved up her vacation time to join the mission. 

“I’m keen to learn and work with medical volunteers from other NGOs aboard the Mercy. Also, I look forward to the experience of working with members of the U.S. military to learn how the handle health care situations,” said Marsh.

The Mercy set sail from San Diego almost a month ago, with stops in Pearl Harbor and Guam before the mission begins in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

HOPE volunteer, Kelly Scatton, an intensive care nurse from Oklahoma is eager to share her skills.  “I hope to be able to pass on some of my knowledge to local nurses and to help establish a system for them.”

More than a humanitarian effort, Pacific Partnership 2012, is also designed to hone common skills and collaboration that US and regional powers could quickly bring to bear in the event of a new natural disaster.

The current mission is HOPE’s 26th in partnership with the Department of Defense worldwide since the Mercy set sail to provide humanitarian relief after the Indian Ocean tsunami seven years ago. Since then, U.S. Navy personnel and volunteers from HOPE and other NGOs have cared for more than 750,000 patients, performed over 10,000 surgeries and trained over 200,000 health care workers and individuals.

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.

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Media Contact: Geraldine Carroll 540.257.3746

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