Project HOPE and U.S. Navy partner for the Thirteenth Time to Bring Humanitarian Assistance and Health Education to Those in Need
Four faculty and students from Shenandoah University volunteer for Project HOPE aboard the USNS Richard E. Byrd and ashore in five remote countries in the Oceania region
Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian assistance organization, is sending three pharmacy students and one faculty member from Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy to join the United States Navy, inter-agency and other non-governmental organizations in providing health care and health education to communities in the remote Oceania nations of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Western Samoa as part of Pacific Partnership 2009.
“From the very beginning, Project HOPE has recruited volunteers from some of the leading U.S. medical and educational institutions to provide care to those in need around the world,” said John P. Howe, III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE. “We are so pleased to draw from the medical expertise of our local community and send pharmacy volunteers from Shenandoah University on our latest mission with the U.S. Navy. The students and faculty members are providing critical pharmacy expertise.”
Alla Marks, Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, John Hammill and Stephen Creasy, both fourth-year professional pharmacy students, and Virginia Pharmacist John Nett are participating in the mission.
Earlier this year, Elizabeth Johnson, a fourth-year professional pharmacy student at Shenandoah, participated in a similar mission in Latin America onboard the USNS Comfort.
“This unique partnership between Shenandoah University, Project HOPE and the U.S. Navy is providing excellent service learning opportunities for our pharmacy students while also helping them to become more active global citizens, which is an important part of the university’s mission,” said Alan McKay, dean of the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy.
McKay added that Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons, a strong supporter of international partnerships such as these, has kept in touch with the students and faculty participating in the missions through the pharmacy school’s online blog. The pharmacy school created the blog, http://rxprojecthope.blogspot.com/, to help the community stay in contact and follow along with the adventures of those traveling on the missions.
Project HOPE first partnered with the U.S. Navy in 2005 in response to the catastrophic Indian Ocean Tsunami. Since 2005, Project HOPE has participated in 13 humanitarian missions with the U.S. Navy, sending volunteers to 27 countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa. Project HOPE has sent more than 700 Project HOPE medical volunteers, who along with their Navy counterparts, have cared for more than 300,000 people, provided health education to 66,000 and delivered more than $33 million in medicines and medical supplies.