Millwood, VA, May 21, 2018

Mercy ship

Medical volunteers from Project HOPE, a leader in global health development and emergency relief programs, have joined the 2018 Pacific Partnership, the 13th annual humanitarian aid mission and disaster response exercise led by the United States Navy in the Asia Pacific region. HOPE volunteers will implement side-by-side trainings with local health care professionals in Nha Trang, Vietnam.

The mission brings partner nations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) together aboard the hospital ship, USNS Mercy, to build the capacity of the health workforce and establish regional coordination in preparation for potential humanitarian and disaster responses. Host countries also benefit from humanitarian aid in the form of engineering projects and health care instruction, trainings, and care.

“Our volunteers will be working with their counterparts and Pacific Partnership 2018 colleagues daily, sharing techniques and learning from one another to improve the skills of local health workers and readiness to respond to emergencies, said Andrea Dunne-Sosa, Director, Americas Region and Global Volunteer Programs at Project HOPE.

More than 800 military and civilian personnel from the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Peru, and Japan are partners in the mission which includes visits to Indonesia and Malaysia.   

HOPE volunteers will be serving at the Khanh Hoa General Hospital, as well as the Traditional Medicine Hospital, Mental Health Hospital, Cam Rahn General Hospital, and the Military Hospital in the Nha Trang region. They include a nurse, pharmacist, palliative care expert, and a hand surgeon.

“Returning to the Pacific Partnership this year feels very special,” said Anne Borden, nurse and HOPE’s team leader for the 2018 mission. “I feel lucky to not only help others through the work we do on this mission, but to learn from others’ experiences as well.”

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 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 is a leader in global health development and emergency relief programs. An international nonprofit organization, we save lives and improve health, especially among women and children. We accomplish our mission by improving the knowledge, abilities and tools of the health workforce to deliver high quality health services to communities in need. With programs in over 30 countries, we work at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg

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