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Recent Articles

Project Access Home Pages Project Access: Coordinated Healthcare for the Uninsured Poor

by Shyla Nambiar

Project Access has been such a success that 13,000 out of 15,000 qualified county residents receive healthcare access now. Uninsured residents who enroll with Project Access are less likely to go to the ER and more likely to report being in good health than insured residents... . . . more


Volunteers Reaching New Heights: The Himalayan Health Exchange

by Shyla Nambiar

India's Himalayan country covers a rugged terrain dotted with stunning, snow-clad mountains, waterfalls, Buddhist monasteries, and Hindu temples. But villages here are often isolated from the rest of the world for seven months at a time by heavy snows and avalanches. Residents have no access to nearby healthcare and must walk long distances to get to a clinic.. . . . more


Father Tom Streit Multiple Hurdles in Treating Lymphatic Filariasis in Haiti

by Zeena Nackerdien, PhD

Medical supplies rapidly dwindled as the staff treated thousands of hungry, dehydrated and wounded Leogane residents. It was the UND staff on the ground who facilitated the transformation of a local highway into a makeshift landing strip so that much-needed additional supplies could be flown in to save lives. Against a distant backdrop of debris and growing refugee camps, a number of medical teams worked feverishly to treat the traumatized residents. . . . more


The Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project: Improving Access to Services in California

by Mary N. Wessling, PhD

In 2000, it was the combined frustration of two health professionals, Dr. Lotte Marcus, a clinical psychologist, and Dr. Gerard Lehrer, a neurologist, and the frustrations of their patients and clients with MS, that provided the momentum. What evolved over the past 9 years is a vital organization that, rather than providing medical services, instead facilitates access to them for those with MS. . . . more


Women for World Health president Denise Cucurny with patients and family in the Andes, 2007 Women for World Health: Saving the World, One Patient at a Time

by Shyla Nambiar

The nun brought the little orphan girl to the mission site in Ecuador. She had a cleft palate and needed surgery. After the successful surgery, the little girl returned three or four days later. She brought a picture of her class at school, with her in it. It was the only thing she had of herself, and she wanted the doctors to remember her by it. . . . more


Travel Log: Dr. Randall Jacobs and Medical Teams International in Uganda

An eight-year-old Congolese refugee arrived with extensive burns. The rebel troops killed his father and then poured boiling water on him. Part of his ring finger was badly damaged from a bore hole pump. We were able to shorten his finger and close the wound. He was so incredibly brave and did not complain for a moment. He expressed his thanks in French as he left. He was an amazing child. . . . more


Dr. Stoller consoles an infant prior to his hernia surgery Our Chance International: Ghana 2009

by Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

What draws people to travel for almost 24 hours in order to work 12-hour days without compensation? "It just grounds me", said Jill Stoller, MD, a pediatrician from New Jersey and medical director for Our Chance International. . . . more


Nguyen Thi Phuong and her parents and grandmother. Orbis International: Eye Doctors Wing it to Volunteer in Developing Countries

by Pippa Wysong


Look, up in the sky, it's an eye hospital on a DC-10 airplane!

Its mission: to fly to poor parts of the world where eye care is desperately needed.

Read more here.


Dr. Mark Smith (left) performs head tumor surgery with Patty Webster assisting. Amazon Promise: Sustainable Health for Peru

by Kathleen O'Malley

Patty Webster is not a medical professional. But one day, while working as a tour guide in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, she found herself using a traveler's sewing kit to close a wound on a boy from a local village. . . . more


A RAM clinic
Remote Area Medical: Making Global House Calls

by Shyla Nambiar

Motivated by his experiences, Stan Brock, known from his work on the original Wild Kingdom show, came up with the concept of an all-volunteer healthcare program that would provide free services to people in need in remote parts of the world. In 1985, RAM was born, with a mission to provide free medical, dental, vision, and veterinary care to underserved people living in isolated areas within the United States and around the world. . . . more


Bev Small (left), Christine Placidi (center), and Judy Hurley. Photo by Matt Cyr for Children's Hospital Boston. The Hearts and Minds of Ghana

by Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

Ghana has only one cardiologist for every million inhabitants. There are only two pediatric cardiologists in all of Ghana, but no pediatric cardiac surgeons. Children born with heart defects have no hope of cure. They have no hope of a normal life.
  The team from Children's Hospital Boston wants to change that. "Every child in the world should be treated equally and given a chance," said Bev Small. . . . more


Fr. Tom Streit and patients Fighting Poverty by Treating Parasites

by Zeena Nackerdien, PhD and Toni Nicholls, PhD

The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is an example of what happens when academia, the public and private sector collaborate successfully to fulfill the wishes implicit in one of Dr. Sabin's quotes: "A scientist who is also a human being cannot rest while knowledge which might reduce suffering rests on the shelf." more


Doctor and patient. Photo by Steve Mason The Smallest of These: Project Niños

by Rashada Alexander, PhD

How do children end up in the prison with their parents?
It happens when the mother or father is sentenced to serve a prison term and there is no one outside the prison who can care for the children. In the case of the men's prison, San Pedro, the entire family -- wives and children -- often lives in the prison when the husband is incarcerated. . . . more


Dr. Mark Kline examining a young patient at the BIPAI center in Lesotho Treating Pediatric AIDS Globally
Mark Kline, MD and BIPAI

by Shyla Nambiar

The children would typically be brought in wrapped in blankets that covered their wasted bodies, near death, malnourished and needing medical attention immediately. They were treated in the hospital for two weeks, survived, got started on treatment, and six months later would be doing well. . . . more


Tracy Maltz (third from left) with President Kikwete of Tanzania (second from left, in blue jacket) and members of his staff The Power of One

by Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

Crutches were everywhere. They were stacked against the walls. They were stacked next to her desk. Every available space was taken. Dr. Maltz's office had become a storage room. It was all for a good cause, and she didn't have any regrets. But something had to be done. . . . more


Paul Gardner and a patient in Paraguay. Operation Smile from a Surgeon's Perspective: Dr. Paul Gardner

by Kelly L. McCoy

"In most of the places we go, people with birth defects are shunned by society. Early on, they become reclusive; they don't get a chance to become normal kids." . . . more


Blind man and child Neglected Tropical Diseases and
Drug Donation Programs:
Successes and Challenges

by Zeena Nackerdien, PhD

The successful treatment of onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness), the world’s second leading infectious cause of blindness, illustrates the medical benefits of corporate giving. Merck was the first company to make such a commitment, by donating Mectizan, a human formulation of the veterinary drug ivermectin, for the treatment of river blindness in sub-Saharan Africa. . . . more


Children of Nepal Nyaya Health:
Improving Healthcare in Western Nepal

by Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

The clinic building is ideally located: it sits above the flood plain, at the end of the only paved road leading into Achham. It was originally a 1200 square foot grain shed. But it was structurally sound, and the owner was agreeable to its transformation. On April 7, 2008 the former grain shed doors opened as a new clinic with a delivery suite, pharmacy, counseling room, procedure room, laboratory and storage room. . . more


Virginia Carbonell teaching respiratory physiotherapy to local health promotors Dr. Lanny Smith and Doctors for Global Health

by Shyla Nambiar

For Dr. Lanny Smith, the pivotal moment came when he traveled to Nicaragua in 1985 with a peacemaking group and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. In a "life-changing experience," Dr. Smith lived with a Nicaraguan family and experienced firsthand the living conditions of poor Nicaraguans, as well as the political climate. "We heard gunfire every day. . ." more


A village women's group in action Book Excerpt:
The New Humanitarians:
Inspiration, Innovations and Blueprints for Visionaries

by Chris E. Stout, PsyD

Welcome to a trip around the world. You will travel to six continents, led by men and women of various ages and backgrounds. Be warned, you may go to some fairly desperate places, but they all have a seed of hope. You will not be traveling as a tourist, but rather as an activist with more than three dozen organizations —- each one incredible. . . . more


Danielle Butin with repurposed wheelchairs Danielle Butin: Following Her Signposts to Improving Global Healthcare

by Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

In February, duffel bags filled with supplies went with a surgical mission to New Delhi, and sutures were sent to Liberia to support Physicians for Peace in their efforts at cleft palate repair. On March 13, the first 40-foot container of unused medical supplies left for Haiti to support the work of Partners in Health. . . . more


When the rivers are too deep to drive through, alternate and creative ways are found to get trucks and team members across Jeff Solheim, RN, Penny Edwards, and Project Helping Hands

by Kelly L. McCoy

The luckier groups wake up at four in the morning to stand in line. Others arrive after walking for two days. They all come to receive free health care or dental work, and they all leave after being treated by a physician, nurse, or dentist. More importantly, they walk away with an education. . . . more


Nurse auxiliary graduates Doing More with Less:
Dr. Emily Dow and Doctors of the World in Chiapas, Mexico

by Rashada Alexander, PhD

The partnership between DOW and the Hospital San Carlos in Altamirano, Chiapas, began in 1994 when the Zapatista uprising led to the mass departure of local healthcare workers in response to the unrest and violence. Nearly half of the citizens in Chiapas are indigenous Mayan, and a quarter of the population does not speak Spanish. With a history of neglect and discrimination, this community already suffered from high rates of malnutrition, maternal mortality, and tuberculosis. . . . more


Steven Lin and Elizabeth Chao Treating a Stealthy Killer:
Hep B Free at the Pacific Free Clinic

by Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

Beginning with only free screening and counseling, the clinic has been an unqualified success. It now offers a full range of free services, from screening to immunizations to treatment referral and follow-up care. All are dedicated to providing education and care to this underserved community. . . more


A happy patient Medical Teams International and the Mobile Dental Program

by Marilyn Fonseca

Over 600 students fill the classrooms of Vose Elementary School, in Beaverton, Oregon, a diverse student body in a district where 61 different languages are represented. But there is one issue that unites many of the students -- lack of dental care. And so, on a cold winter day, students venture outside to a large Winnebago in the school parking lot. . . . more


Dr. Jill Ginsberg and patient Jill Ginsberg, MD, and the North by Northeast Community Health Center

by Marilyn Fonseca

Like people all over the US, many residents of Oregon lack medical insurance. They often skimp on or skip entirely the medication they need, and they use the emergency room when their symptoms can no longer be ignored. Fortunately for the people in north and northeast Portland, Oregon, Dr. Jill Ginsberg is motivated by her faith and inspired by her mentors to serve the uninsured and underserved. . . . more


Serle Epstein examining a patient Serle Epstein, MD, and the Mission Clinic of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ecuador

by Mary Lou Bernardo, PhD, MSN

Perhaps it was serendipity. Perhaps it was how God answered the Padre's prayers. Perhaps it was just meant to be. . . . more


Dr. Samuel So with children in Qinghai Passionate About Preventing Hepatitis B:
Dr. Samuel So, the Asian Liver Center, and the Jade Ribbon Campaign

by Beatriz Manzor Mitrzyk, PharmD

Sam has traveled to parts of China with the greatest burden of hepatitis B to provide catch up doses for children. In partnership with student interns and support of the local government, Sam was able to immunize over 100,000 preschool- and kindergarten-aged children with the entire hepatitis B series. . . more


Alex at her first lemonade stand Alex's Lemonade Stand

by Kelly L. McCoy

Like many kids her age, four-year old Alex Scott set up a lemonade stand in her front yard to earn some extra money. What sets Alex apart from her peers is that she did not want to spend the money on some new toy. Rather, she planned to donate the proceeds from her lemonade sales to "her hospital" to help her doctors find a cure for childhood cancer. . . . more


Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD FOCOS: World-Class Orthopedist Brings the Caring Home

by Marcia Stone

. . . And then, in the mid-1990s, Boachie-Adjei went home, but not alone. He brought along an entire orthopedic team. Using his own money for startup costs, Boachie-Adjei established a foundation providing orthopedic spine services to people in Ghana, Barbados and other countries unable to afford adequate medical care. . . . more


A sealant team Something to Smile About:
Drs. Jim Cecil and M. Raynor Mullins and Seal Kentucky

by Rachel R. Ahmed, MS

"A child cannot grow, learn, or develop at a normal rate if they have these types of problems. That's where we get our sense of mission. . . . "more


Dr. Kline and smiling children in Malawi Dr. Mark Kline and the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative

by Richard S. Spira, DVM

Together with modern drug therapy, Dr. Kline wanted to bring simple procedural changes into the clinics and healthful social changes in their communities. . . . more


Providing home care Kisumu Medical and Education Trust of Kenya

by Louiza Patsis

K-MET workers make sure to empower the community. They involve them in family planning, community-based service, distribute contraceptives and educate the community. . . . more


Care with a smile The Least of These:
Lackey Free Family Medicine Clinic

by Marisa Loeffler

The Lackey Free Clinic provides primary health care, chronic disease management, and counseling to an average of 1000 individuals per year, all available at no cost to patients. . . more


Kathy Majette with a boy named Tola in Belarus. Photo by Marc
Ascher. When You're Smilin': Kathy Majette, RN, and Operation Smile

by Harry Goldhagen

"I wish everybody had the chance to have the feeling -- that feeling when the parents see their child for the first time. The doors open, the parents run, everybody else in the ward runs, just to get a look at that child. . . it's just so exciting. It never gets old."more


They Called Them Angels Book Excerpt: They Called Them Angels: American Military Nurses of World War II

by Kathi Jackson

"He said he was just under 18, but he didn't look more than 16. His ship sunk, a tanker I think, and there was flaming oil everywhere. He was a mass of scars, and some of his fingers were burned off. Most of his body was burned. He was the most pathetic thing you ever saw, but it didn't make me sick because I knew I could talk to him and the other patients would crack jokes with him."more


Homeless 2 Samaritans in Ohio:
The Samaritan Homeless Clinic

by Marisa Loeffler

Tucked into the cozy Midwest, famous for Buckeye football and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ohio seems like an unlikely place to confront homelessness.. . . . more


Annie De Groot, MD How We Value a Life:
Doctors' Attitudes Make a Difference

by Annie De Groot, MD

I remember hearing my words translated into Bambara for a woman who does not exist any more. On that day in my memory, that woman, dressed in black, held a boy child in her lap. . . . more


Woman in Bolivian Jail Healthcare Missions Take Flight: Flying Doctors of America

by Brande Nicole Martin

Try envisioning a group of volunteer healthcare professionals who gather up their supplies, pack up a donated private airplane, and head to a prison in Bolivia to provide healthcare to more than 1200 children who accompany their imprisoned parents in jail. . . . more


Melissa and friends Book Excerpt: There Is No Me Without You

by Melissa Fay Greene

"Who was going to raise twelve million children? That's what I suddenly wanted to know. There were days that Donny and I thought we'd be driven insane by five children."more


Children at Tam Binh Orphanage Sharing Pediatric HIV Experience with the Third World: Philip LaRussa, MD, and Andrea Jurgrau, CPNP

by Harry Goldhagen

"After you've been driving for two or three hours in the countryside, the first thing you see is all this white. You can't figure out what it is until you get close. It's all the little white crosses for the kids that have died."more


Woman in Teal, by Tammy Williams (Federal Prison Camp, Alderson, West Virginia). Saving Lives in Massachusetts: Barbara McGovern and the Treatment of HIV and Hepatitis C in Prison

by Harry Goldhagen

For women who are in prison for a long period of time who receive the "right things" -- good psychiatric care, good medical care, frequent communication with the case manager -- there can be positive connections with people, and potentially these patients can turn around their lives. . . . more


Rainbow Dolls. Photo by Harry Goldhagen Caring for AIDS Orphans: Jane Aronson and the Worldwide Orphans Foundation

by Harry Goldhagen

One of the most tragic aspects of the global HIV epidemic affects those left behind. These are the orphans of parents who died from AIDS, or children abandoned because their parents were too sick to care for them.


W. Ramos, untitled, 1997 Hepatitis C in Prison: An Interview with Dr. Rena Fox

by Harry Goldhagen and Denise Baez

"We should take patients as they are, without the stigma of prison."


Smoking Man Antismoking Advocate for the World: Dr. Judith Longstaff Mackay

by Anne Ahlman, MPT

"One of the three most dangerous people in the world!"


Orphan Rangers

Burmese Refugee Camps Orphans in China

by Dr. Laura Robertson

Most children in Chinese orphanages are abandoned anonymously and nothing is known of their background. Many of the children were dressed to cover as much skin as possible and hide unsightly rashes from prospective parents.

Angels in Our Midst

Making a Home for Homeless Women

by Zoe Gollogly

Dr. Roseanna Means addresses issues relevant to homeless women in Boston, which include the threat of violence, sexual abuse, and child-care responsibilities.

Summer Camp for Children With Heart Disease

by Vicki Porter

Starting from scratch, a physician and nurse built a free camp so that children with heart disease can experience the joys of being a child.

Taking Healthcare to School

by Hope Vanderberg

The best way to provide healthcare to adolescents may be to bring it to them.

Training Villagers to Become Healthcare Workers

by Vicki Porter

Improved healthcare in underdeveloped countries starts with education.

Special Delivery

by Hope Vanderberg

How can you get unused HIV meds from the Bronx to Guatemala?

Angels on the Web

Free Flight for Patients in Need

by Vicki Porter

Pilots donate time and money for free air travel on private aircraft for the poor or those too ill for regular flights.

GAIA VF Newsletter

The Global Alliance to Immunize Against AIDS Vaccine Foundation (GAIA VF) is a Rhode Island-based non-profit organization. Its mission is to promote the development of a globally relevant, globally accessible HIV vaccine that will be distributed on a not-for-profit basis in the developing world.


Hope Center Baby, by S. Denice GAIA Vaccine Foundation Summer Newsletter

And so, in answer to that question -- what can we do do, faced with the great disparities in care that exist between our own experience and Africa? 590K Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file


Entering Electronic Medical Records, by S. Denice GAIA Vaccine Foundation Summer Newsletter, part 2

In the summer of 2004, with six donated laptops and a donated copy of the LabTracker Software system, GAIA volunteer Jared Meshekow traveled to Mali take part in a pilot program to implement LabTracker. . . 2565K Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file