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Millwood, VA, June 9, 2016

Medical volunteers from Project HOPE, the global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, have joined Pacific Partnership 2016, the 11th annual humanitarian aid mission and disaster response exercise led by the U.S. Navy to the Asia Pacific Region.  Traveling aboard the USNS Mercy, a 1,000-bed hospital ship, the medical volunteers will support the U.S. Navy and partner nations by providing medical care, teaching medical topics and implementing side-by-side trainings with local health care professionals.

The purpose of Pacific Partnership is to bring a group of partner nations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) together to prepare in a time of calm so that they will be ready to respond if and when a natural disaster does occur. At the same time the host countries benefit from humanitarian aid in the form of engineering projects and health care instruction, trainings and care.

Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the United Kingdom are all partners in the mission, conducting activities in the host countries Timor Leste, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Palau. Project HOPE is one of several organizations participating in Pacific Partnership 2016.

“Project HOPE is pleased to participate in this 11th Pacific Partnership mission,” said Andrea Dunne-Sosa, Project HOPE’s Director of Volunteer Programs. “Our volunteers are grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact on the health and health care of the communities served on this mission.”

Project HOPE volunteers will provide health care or health care instruction in Timor Leste, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. In each country, Project HOPE will provide 15-30 volunteers who will participate in specific engagements directly related to the host country’s needs and goals, such as providing hip and knee-replacement surgeries, nursing education, basic first responder courses, humanitarian aid and disaster response symposiums, surgical trainings, emergency care scenarios, and search and rescue trainings.

The Project HOPE volunteers on Pacific Partnership 2016 represent a wide array of medical specialties and include pediatric nurses, dieticians, burn specialists, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pharmacists, emergency room nurses, family medicine doctors and many others.

“Pacific Partnership 2016 will be my third mission volunteering with Project HOPE aboard a hospital ship,” said Harry Owens, M.D., a family and emergency medicine physician from McKenzie Bridge, OR who will serve as Project HOPE’s Team Leader on the mission. “On my past missions, I have seen many needy people be happy and grateful to receive a lot of health services. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help once again.”

Pacific Partnership began in 2005 in response to the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which devastated parts of Southeast Asia. Project HOPE medical volunteers joined the U.S. Navy aboard USNS Mercy on that mission providing surgeries and other medical care to people affected by the disaster. The U.S. Navy and Project HOPE volunteers have returned to the region in the summer of 2006 and every summer since for the annual Pacific Partnership missions.

About Project HOPE 

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solution 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 30 countries. Visit our website projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.

Media Contact

Geraldine Carroll            gcarroll@projecthope.org          Tel:  (540) 257-3746 

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