Eli Lilly and Company Recognized as Corporate Volunteer of the Year

Millwood, VA, April 24, 2017
HOPE Centre Zandpsruit South Africa (Johannesburg) with Volunteer of the Year 2017

Project HOPE, an international development and relief organization, today named Beryl Brooks, a registered nurse from Savannah, Georgia, as its Volunteer of the Year.  Eli Lilly and Company was named Corporate Volunteer of the Year distinction, celebrating a longstanding partnership in advancing health care for underserved communities through its Connecting Hearts Abroad volunteer program.

Ms. Brooks contributed 376 hours of medical volunteer work to HOPE in 2016, training health care professionals in neonatal care and nursing in Sierra Leone, Hungary and the Dominican Republic. She was also part of a HOPE medical team that responded to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti last year. Ms. Brooks resides in Georgia, where she works on improving pregnancy outcomes for patients at the Memorial University Medical Center and serves as an adjunct faculty member in Health Sciences/Public Health at Armstrong Atlantic State University. 

Ms. Brooks said she was touched to receive this award during National Volunteer Week, and emphasized the need for the training of health workers in the developing world.

“There is always a need for medical expertise in underserved communities.  Health professionals try very hard to care for their own in difficult circumstances and I’m grateful that I have skills to share.  I have been very fortunate in my life and do not take that for granted, so I’m just passing it on,” said Ms. Brooks.  

“Beryl is a credit to her profession and has made an invaluable impact on newborn health by training health workers to save newborn lives and teaching the importance of newborn care in those critical first moments of life and the weeks and months that follow,” said Andrea Dunne- Sosa, Director of Volunteer Programs at Project HOPE.

National Volunteer Week occurs in April each year as an opportunity to inspire, recognize and encourage community and volunteer service and was established by the Points of Light Foundation, in 1990. HOPE’s Volunteer of the Year nominee is selected through a committee comprised of Project HOPE staff members and alumni. HOPE’s supporters participate through an online voting campaign to help select the award recipient.  

In 2016, Project HOPE relied on the expertise of 2,317 volunteers to provide care and training around the globe. Other medical volunteers who were recognized for their outstanding contributions in 2016 include Dr. Angela Trposka, Daniela Nicheska, Jim Schermerhorn, Jahn Moeller and Annie Borden.

HOPECentre Zandpsruit South Africa (Johannesburg) with Eli Lilly volunteers

Lilly was named Corporate Partner Volunteer of the Year for its longstanding partnership with Project HOPE. In 2016 Lilly sent nine Connecting Hearts Abroad volunteers to support Project HOPE’s HOPE Centre in South Africa. Together, the volunteers contributed 720 hours. The team created video segments and health education materials about diabetes, hypertension and exercise to benefit patients of the HOPE Centre and also provided technical training for Project HOPE staff on the Microsoft Office Suite, and business development and proposal writing skills.

Nearly 40 Lilly staff have served as volunteers at the HOPE Centre from 2013-2016.

“The Lilly Connecting Hearts Abroad program offers a cultural exchange experience where there is a transfer of skills and cultural awareness - they learn from us and vice versa,” said Erushka Pillay, Project HOPE’s Country Director in South Africa. “This program provides invaluable resources that support us in improving our health services in a cost effective manner with large outputs in a limited time frame.”

Watch our Volunteer of the Year videos to learn more about HOPE’s Volunteer of the Year Beryl Brooks and Lilly Connecting Hearts Abroad volunteers at HOPE Centre in South Africa.

For more information about volunteering for Project HOPE, please visit our website at

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 and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.

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