We celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Rural Medical Training Program whcih has graduted over 270 physicians and nurses from 100 hospitals.
It was just four years ago that Dr. Charles Sanders, then our Board Chairman, and I felt the aftershocks from a devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province, as we drove to Dujiangyan City, an hour and a half from the epicenter of one of China’s worst natural disasters.
We would later visit the Chengdu Children’s Hospital and see children suffering from sequelae of the earthquake: principally, major trauma. One little girl was the sole survivor of a school that collapsed on its students and teachers.
I won’t soon forget seeing 7-year-old twins: a boy with a fractured femur and his sister with an injured wrist. It was their birthday, celebrated without their parents, who died at the scene.
Neither will I forget seeing patients in the Hospital’s ICU and witnessing the expertise and experience of its 12 physicians and nurses. Each of them was a graduate of our Rural Medical Training Program (RMTP) at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, having spent a year in the Project HOPE program, learning the latest in intensive care.
Last Thursday evening, we gathered in Shanghai to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the RMTP. Over 270 physicians and nurses from 100 hospitals, including the Chengdu Children’s Hospital, in 53 cities in 18 provinces have graduated from this program, since 2002.
It was a most memorable celebration. The young twins, now 11 years old and fully healed, should have been cheering!