Project HOPE, the global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, today announced its Volunteer of the Year award and honored other exceptional volunteers of 2014. At a ceremony to kick off National Volunteer Week, Matthew Peterson, Deputy to the President and CEO of Project HOPE, named Grace Deveney, RN, Volunteer of the Year. Deveney received the honor for her exceptional service as a volunteer aiding Project HOPE’s relief work in the Philippines and Sierra Leone in 2014.
“Grace was chosen for the exceptional impact she made in her 152 hours of volunteer service – as a disaster responder – in the Philippines and Sierra Leone in 2014,” said Peterson. “Her expertise, compassion, and dedication undoubtedly improved the lives of many following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and also contributed to the development of multiple long-term program proposals in Sierra Leone in an effort to combat the horrific Ebola epidemic raging in western Africa.”
Volunteers with health care and other expertise make immense contributions to Project HOPE’s overall mission. Volunteers donate their time and skills for various lengths of time throughout the year. Project HOPE names its Volunteer of the Year annually on the Friday before National Volunteer Week, honoring the volunteer who made the most substantial contributions to the organization during the previous calendar year.
Deveney, a staff nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was among one of the first disaster response teams that went to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan (known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines). Reaching out to communities made inaccessible by the typhoon, Deveney took part in patient examinations, administration and supply management. In September 2014, Deveney joined a small field team of experts in Sierra Leone to perform a rapid site assessment to help Project HOPE determine what its long-term response to the Ebola crisis should be.
“Standing in the middle of an Ebola Treatment Center in Sierra Leone, I remember having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude in being afforded the opportunity to use the skills and share the knowledge that I have accrued over the years to aid this crisis,” said Deveney.
The first runner-up for Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Dr. Janet Kinney, who trained health workers at HOPE programs in Macedonia, Hungary and Serbia. The second runner-up was awarded to Dr. Cam-Tu Tran, a long-time HOPE volunteer, who donated more than 400 hours of her time helping underserved communities in the Philippines, Nepal, Mongolia and Tonga.
The 2014 Global Corporate Volunteer of the Year award was presented to a team of five Medtronic Global Innovation Fellows, who conducted a health care assessment in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam to identify solutions that would improve health care access and quality for the local people.
Held annually in April, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to inspire, recognize and encourage community and volunteer service throughout the United States. National Volunteer Week was established by the foundation, Points of Light, in 1974.
In addition to the aforementioned honorees attending the April 10 awards ceremony, this week Project HOPE recognized 106 of its volunteers who received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from Points of Light for their service to Project HOPE in 2014.
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 more than 30 countries. Follow us on Twitter at @projecthopeorg. www.projecthope.org
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