Six-month mission will offer lifesaving medical care to underserved communities in eleven countries

Millwood, VA, March 30, 2015
USNS Comfort

Medical volunteers from Project HOPE, the global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, embark from Norfolk, Virginia today on a humanitarian mission aboard the USNS Comfort, the U.S. Navy hospital ship. The six-month mission, known as Continuing Promise 2015, will offer medical and dental care and health care education to communities in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The USNS Comfort will sail from April to September, anchoring offshore in Belize, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Haiti, where Project HOPE volunteers together with Navy medical staff will provide primary care, surgical interventions and health education to communities in the region.  Volunteers participating in Continuing Promise 2015 include general surgeons, primary care physicians, pharmacists, and the full spectrum of nursing professionals.

“Project HOPE medical volunteers are eager to make a real difference in the lives of underserved patients in the Americas on this important humanitarian mission,” said John P. Howe, III. M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE.

Introduced in 2007, Continuing Promise is an annual training exercise and humanitarian mission to help communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Continuing Promise did not take place from 2012 to 2014 because of federal budget constraints. Continuing Promise is returning in 2015 with an enhanced focus that builds on relationships created in previous years to increase capacities of countries and communities to provide high-quality health care for themselves.

“I am looking forward to providing life-changing surgeries for patients who otherwise would not have the opportunity to have them,” said volunteer Robert Baxt, M.D., a general surgeon who will serve as the Project HOPE Medical Director for the first rotation of the Continuing Promise mission.

Project HOPE began providing volunteer health care professionals to the United States Department of Defense (DOD) for humanitarian and disaster relief missions in 2005 following the devastation wrought by the Indian Ocean tsunami. Together Project HOPE and the DOD have cared for more than 800,000 patients, performing more than 10,000 surgeries and training over 240,000 health care workers since 2005. 

Continuing Promise 2015 will be Project HOPE’s 35th humanitarian mission in partnership with the DOD and sixth Continuing Promise mission. 

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.

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Geraldine Carroll   Tel. 540.257.3746

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