Millwood, VA, May 23, 2013

Medical volunteers from Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, today are embarking on Pacific Partnership 2013, a four-month training exercise and humanitarian mission led by the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet to remote islands in the South Pacific.

Departing from Honolulu and travelling aboard the USS Pearl Harbor, an amphibious dock landing ship, the HOPE volunteers will visit the island nations of Western Samoa, Tonga, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.  At multiple land-based sites throughout these countries, the HOPE volunteers will offer free medical care with a focus on primary care and health screenings.  The volunteers will also train and mentor local health care professionals and contribute to public health programs.

Project HOPE’s team of volunteers includes physicians, nurses, community health workers, a logistics expert, a social worker and a physical therapist.

Dr. Lynn Bemiller, an internal medicine physician and former U.S. Navy Captain from San Diego will serve as Project HOPE’s Medical Director for the mission.  Pacific Partnership 2013 will be Dr. Bemiller’s sixth volunteer mission with Project HOPE.

“It is hard to quantify the impact that Project HOPE’s volunteers will have on these communities,” said Dr. Bemiller.  “We will see patients who may never have seen a physician or had a health examination.  I am thrilled to have this opportunity to help.”

“Project HOPE is pleased to continue its partnership with the U.S. Navy on Pacific Partnership 2013,” said Matt Peterson, Project HOPE’s Senior Manager of Volunteer Operations.  “Our volunteers are committed to doing all that they can to improve the quality of health care on these distant shores.”

Pacific Partnership 2013 will be Project HOPE’s 31st mission with the United States Department of Defense since 2005, when HOPE partnered with the U.S. Navy to provide disaster relief following the Indian Ocean Tsunami.  Project HOPE medical volunteers now participate in several missions with the U.S. Navy and Air Force each year at locations throughout the world.

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    

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