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Millwood, VA, May 12, 2013

Millwood, VA – May 12, 2013 – Medical volunteers from Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, are embarking today on a two-week humanitarian mission to the Central American nation of Belize.  The six Project HOPE volunteers are taking part in New Horizons 2013, a joint humanitarian assistance mission and training exercise conducted by the 12th U.S. Air Force out of Southern Command in partnership with Canadian and Belizean military personnel and NGO volunteers.

The Project HOPE volunteers, five of whom are medical professionals with specialty training in obstetrics, will be assigned to one of three different regions in Belize - Dangriga, Orange Walk and West Belmopan.  They will spend the first week working with the U.S. Air Force International Health Specialist department to conduct maternal health capacity assessments and train Belizean health care professionals about the methods and techniques of Advanced Life Support Obstetrics (ALSO).

During the second week of the mission, the HOPE volunteers will convene in the city of Dangriga to facilitate a seminar about Advanced Life Support Obstetrics for Belizean health care professionals.  The ALSO seminar will be taught by Alice Taylor, a certified nurse midwife and Project HOPE volunteer from Gold Beach, Oregon.

“I feel so fortunate to be able to offer my skills and experience to train Belizean health professionals about techniques and methods that can save maternal and newborn lives,” said Alice Taylor, who has over three decades of experience as a midwife in the United States.  “I am really excited to have the opportunity to help improve the quality of maternal health care in Belize.”

Amy Champagne, who previously spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, will serve as Project HOPE’s Volunteer Operations Coordinator on the mission.

“I am looking forward to utilizing my military background to facilitate communication between the Air Force health specialists and the Project HOPE volunteers, so that we can achieve the best possible maternal health capacity improvements in these underserved Belizean communities,” said Amy Champagne.

New Horizons is a U.S. military Southern Command-sponsored humanitarian assistance and training exercise that takes place annually in a Latin American or Caribbean country.

New Horizons 2013 is Project HOPE’s second consecutive year of participation in a New Horizons mission.  Last year 19 Project HOPE volunteers took part in New Horizons 2012 on the south coast of Peru, where they helped provide over 26,000 medical services and five health education sessions for Peruvian health care professionals.  Project HOPE has also partnered with the U.S. Air Force previously on humanitarian missions to Vietnam, Indonesia, Mongolia and Nepal.

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 provides medical training and health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.

Media Contact

Geraldine Carroll              Tel. 540.258.3746              gcarroll@projecthope.org

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