A Report from the Typhoon Disaster Zone

Dr Rick & Nurse Sue

Our Advance Team has been on the ground in the Philippines working in and around Ormoc City for several days now.  It’s made up of three people: a HHI staffer, a doctor and a nurse.  While they have been working through the logistics of deploying more medical volunteers (that are arriving), they have also been traveling and have seen hundreds of patients in a variety of locations with myriad afflictions. One doctor & one nurse. Seeing hundreds of patients.

Rick Randolph, MD is a physician based in the Kansas City Metro, and a HHI board member.
Sue Mangicaro, RN 
is volunteering for the Advance Team, on “loan” from Welch Allyn where she is the Director of Clinical Affairs.

What follows is some of what Sue has seen and done in the past few days in the Philippines.

2013-11-19 14.00.13SUE:  This one afternoon was spent seeing more than 50 patients in a barangay (neighborhood) a short distance from our first clinic.  While not far, the damage here was more severe and there were more casualties.  When we arrived we learned that large sacks of rice had been delivered just a short time before, and we had little space to set up.  But going with our “make do” approach we compromised and set up an “exam area” among the rice sacks.

The patients Dr. Rick and I saw had infections from nail punctures, lacerations and open wounds from the rubble and debris from the typhoon.  Many appeared to have  post traumatic stress but all were extremely grateful for the care.  Toward the end of the day we met a young man who had lost everything in the typhoon, and then to make matter worse had lost his wallet while trying to get food for his family.

He had a badly infected foot that had been cut by some tin scrap.  He needed a tetanus shot, antibiotics and to have his leg cleaned and apply a dressing. He began to weep when I was applying the bandages, not because of the pain, but because of everything he had been through and was going through.  We all prayed with him and he left smiling, and returned with his 5-year-old son to be checked out.  Fortunately, he just needed reassurance – something so easy to give, so hard to receive by the many victims of the disaster.

Look for more reports from Sue, and hear from Dr. Rick in our next blog installment.

Please support Heart to Heart International by Donating Now
to our Disaster Readiness & Response Fund
.
Your donations will help deliver aid and support our relief efforts
in the Philippines, as well as help keep HHI prepared for
disasters like Typhoon Haiyan.

HHI Uses “Ripple Effect” to Provide Supplies to High School Clinic

Bulldoc_Clinic_13This week, program staff with Heart to Heart International (HHI) delivered medical equipment worth more than $30,000 to a free clinic established inside a Kansas City area high school.

Bulldoc_Clinic_6The BullDoc Health Center occupies a handful of old classrooms in a corner of the historic Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas. The name is a clever play on words as Wyandotte High is the Home of the Bulldogs. The clinic operates one morning a week on Wednesdays and according to Robbie Howard, a Wyandotte High health sciences teacher, when it is open, 25 to 35 students will be seen by the volunteer medical staff.
University of Kansas medical students staff the clinic along with a rotation of KU Hospital doctors who specialize in family medicine.  Several of Howard’s students work in the clinic as well, gaining exposure to a ‘real world’ health clinic environment.

Bulldoc_Clinic_4The BullDoc Health Center is just one of a several free and safety-net clinics that Heart to Heart supports around the greater Kansas City region.  The recent delivery for BullDoc consisted of stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and other basic items to outfit and properly run a clinic.  The equipment comes from medical equipment manufacturer Welch Allyn through its Ripple Effect program.
Ripple Effect works like this:  Medical students around the country purchase specific discounted Welch Allyn products; Welch Allyn then gives credits to HHI based on the sale;  HHI then uses those credits to acquire Welch Allyn products and deliver needed items to clinics.

 
ripple effect MED STUDENTS! Click the photo above to learn about Ripple Effect and enter to win a humanitarian trip with Welch Allyn & Heart to Heart International!

Click the photos below to see a slideshow of the delivery to the BullDoc Health Center at Wyandotte High School (email subscribers please visit the blog to view slideshow).

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Welch Allyn Volunteer Team in Haiti – Slideshow

Recently, a five-member team of Welch Allyn employees traveled to Haiti on a Volunteer Service Trip (VST) to assist our Haiti Operations.
For a week, the team conducted training on donated equipment, provided direct patient care and even got sweaty and covered in paint putting finishing touches on a Heart to Heart clinic.
We’ve recently showcased their trip in two blog posts written by team member Sue Mangicaro, RN, Director of Clinical Affairs at Welch Allyn, originally published on advanceweb.com.

Now we’d like to share more of the best photos from the team’s trip in a slideshow.  You can access Part One of Sue’s guest blog here… and Part Two here.

Click any photo below to enter the slideshow.  And enjoy!
DW HHI

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Welch Allyn Volunteer Team in Haiti (Part Two)

Recently, a five-member team of Welch Allyn employees traveled to the Caribbean on a Volunteer Service Trip (VST) to assist our Haiti Operations.
For a week, the team conducted training on donated equipment, provided direct patient care and even got sweaty and covered in paint putting finishing touches on a Heart to Heart clinic.

What follows is Part Two of a guest blog by Sue Mangicaro, RN, Director of Clinical Affairs at Welch Allyn, originally published on advanceweb.com, as she describes some of the team’s experiences as volunteers with Heart to Heart.
To read Part One, click…

Sue Mangicaro:  Today, John Haberstock and I headed to Dufort, Haiti, to work with two volunteer doctors from the United States and Dr. Jean-Anis Louis, the Haitian clinician who works with Heart to Heart. We drove to the clinic through an area that looked like a jungle with lush vegetation on roads that were really just a dirt path.

 

 

 

There were mango and papaya trees along the way, as well as goats, roosters, mules and oxen. While we may not always have what we need, we follow the Haitian saying, “dégagé,” which means to do the best with what you have.  Most of the time we have no running water nor electricity (at clinic sites), but are able to treat people with what we have available to us. We are seeing some Malaria, hypertension, dehydration and multiple infections. I can not stress how reassuring it is to have our Welch Allyn equipment with us, knowing that the devices are reliable, and the amazing group of interpreters who’ve become like family after years of working side-by-side.

 

The team that has been helping Heart to Heart construct a new healthcare clinic has also been very busy. They are determined to finish what they set out to do – get the clinic as close to being ready for use as possible. The team has completely finished painting the outside of the building, installed ceilings in five rooms, painted all five rooms and built the patient waiting area. All of this work was done in extreme heat and humidity with the help of the Haitian construction crew.
Jim Colvin said how grateful he was to be working with the Haitian crew, who were incredibly skilled, because they made it that much easier for our team to work together and complete this task. Steve Hower, director of corporate relations at Heart to Heart, was also a key participant and was willing to tackle any task at hand.

Click a photo below to enter slideshow mode…

Look for Part Three soon, with more photos from the Welch Allyn Volunteer Service Trip to Haiti with Heart to Heart International…
DW HHI

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Welch Allyn Volunteer Team in Haiti (Part One)

One of the many great things about the people at Welch Allyn is… they get it.  The medical equipment manufacturer has a great relationship with Heart to Heart International that continues to grow, and you’ll find the company’s support across many of our programs and projects.
Recently, a five-member team of Welch Allyn employees traveled to the Caribbean on a Volunteer Service Trip (VST) to assist our Haiti Operations.  For a week, the team conducted training on donated equipment, provided direct patient care and even got sweaty and covered in paint putting finishing touches on a Heart to Heart clinic.
What follows is from a guest blog from Sue Mangicaro, RN, Director of Clinical Affairs at Welch Allyn, as she describes some of the team’s experiences as volunteers.
DW HHI

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Sue Mangicaro:  Today we worked at a clinic in Bel Air, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince, which is close to the former palace. I was struck by the progress and poverty in the region.
First the progress: When I first came to Haiti in January 2010, one month after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, and then a year later in February 2011, the area looked as though it was a war zone. So many homes and government buildings, including the palace, were destroyed and there was rubble everywhere. People were living in tents as far as the eye could see-not much had changed from January 2010 to February 2011.

During this 2013 trip, I immediately noticed a significant change on the drive to the clinic. Where the collapsed palace once stood, for a full year without any change, was now a clean open space. The tents that surrounded the palace for more than a year were now all gone. While there are still some tents scattered in the area, there is a significantly less than in 2011.

There were also drastic improvements made to the clinic in Bel Air. We once saw patients in makeshift exam areas, sometimes out in the open. We now have real exam rooms. And, where we used to dispense meds from a crude set up, they now have a small pharmacy. Finally, we previously had to send patients requiring blood work away, but now there is a small lab at the clinic to run tests.

Welch Allyn is donating equipment to the clinics here in Haiti. To make sure these clinics will get the most out of the devices, we have been training the Haitian triage nurse, the nurse manager and the Haitian family physician to use the Spot Vital Signs® Lxi that we left behind. The triage nurse was thrilled to have a device that could capture all the vital parameters she was currently capturing manually (with the exception of thermometry using a Braun ear thermometer) in such a short time.

After visiting the the clinic in the morning, we went to a nearby hospital that also has a teaching program for resident physicians. We met up with several ophthalmology residents and the chief resident, along with Dr. Frantz Codio, Heart to Heart’s Medical Logistics Director who coordinated the visit.
John Haberstock (in red in photo) trained the Haitian medical staff to use the iExaminer and they were thrilled to use the donated device.  I spoke to them about the value of acquiring vital signs, regardless of specialty, while Winsome Graham provided training on the donated Spot Lxi. Each resident physician wanted to use the products and were also very grateful for the donation to their program.

All in all, it was another great day in Haiti. The team commented on how quickly the week was going and how hard it is to believe it is our last day in clinic tomorrow. We head up to the mountains in Fondwa, about a three hour drive.  It will by my second trip to this clinic and I’m looking forward to the day!

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Look for Part Two soon as the team works construction and heads into the mountains, along with more photos of the volunteer team’s trip…
DW HHI

Assessment Team in Guatemala… Part III

Our joint Heart to Heart & Welch Allyn Assessment Team continues to report from Guatemala, as they search out ways to broaden access to healthcare.
Today, we have some guest bloggers — the team from Welch Allyn. Here are some of their thoughts and photos from the ongoing trip.
– DW HHI

Welch Allyn Team: We had a long day in the southern area of Guatemala working with doctors and medical students. Their passion and commitment is contagious.  We came home in a driving rain storm through some mountains with poor roads which made the trip even more, shall we say… interesting!

The next day we spent time at two very different hospitals in Antigua, Guatemala. We were hosted by The Order of Malta, a charitable organization. The first hospital we visited was Hermano Pedro Obras Sociales—a Catholic, private hospital run by the Franciscans. They have approximately 350 beds and also see another 300 people per day for basic clinical, nutritional and clothing needs. Check out the amount of people waiting to be seen by a clinician.

The staff at Hermano Pedro Obras Sociales was very professional and their funding is provided by private donations. The surgeons who provide care at the hospital are all volunteers from the United States and Canada. They typically bring teams of clinicians with them as well as their own equipment.  Most of the monitors and surgical instruments were very dated. They did have an internal computer system where they stored medical records. As you might imagine connectivity and true electronic medical records are not in place. Welch Allyn provides equipment through Heart To Heart and patients are simply asked to pay whatever they can afford for the care.

Our next stop was a government run hospital called The National Hospital of Antigua which serves all types of patients. They see approximately 6000 patients per month and are cash strapped. They had one vital sign monitor for a large emergency room and one EKG for the hospital. This facility was also a teaching hospital.

 

 

 

They don’t have a lot of technology or equipment because they don’t have the biomeds to repair equipment. The needs are great, as you might expect, and if not for organizations like The Order of Malta and Heart to Heart, they would be hard pressed to survive. Take a look at an ambulance at the National Hospital.  The amazing thing about the healthcare professionals at both facilities is that they are consummate professionals who do their best to help patients. They care deeply about their jobs and for the people they care for. They do not complain and are grateful for our interest and for the solutions we provide. They share everything, including training, and any medical device is received with incredible gratitude and respect.

There is a special spirit throughout Guatemala that has something to do with the Mayan culture and the melting pot of ethnicities that seek to find a way to collaborate and help each other. This spirit of community has energized all of us!

Tomorrow we travel to San Andres Itzapa to a convent that provides healthcare and recently installed Welch Allyn equipment.

Until then… ¡Que tengas un dia magnifico!

Matt Chadderdon
David Allyn
Danielle Gillmore
Sue Mangicaro

Assessment Team in Guatemala… Part II

Our joint Heart to Heart & Welch Allyn Assessment Team continues to travel in Guatemala, exploring ways to broaden access to healthcare.
More now from Ginny Stehle, Heart to Heart’s Corporate Relations Director, with more thoughts and photos from the ongoing assessment trip. Part I is here. Remember to click the photos for full size.
–DW HHI

June 5/6, 2012
Guatemala City & Antigua

Ginny:  The team returned to Camino Seguro in Guatemala City to work as volunteers for the day.  We began at the main school building where we assisted with a high school English class. We sat and carried on a conversation with one or more teenagers, ages 16-18, to help them improve their English skills.  A young teacher from the UK named Grant, gave us some assistance to get the conversations going. It was challenging to find questions that would get them to talk. They are just like young people everywhere! They have hopes and dreams, they struggle with understanding what they want to do with their lives, they experience peer pressure and want to appear as though they fit in.  They were polite and cooperative.

 

 

 

 

Our next stop was the Planting Seeds preschool and we arrived just in time for recess.  The children were released to the playground for this period to have free play.  There were about 90 children between the ages of three and six. What a hoot!  The Welch Allyn team members were assigned to assist the teachers with supervising and playing with the children. The team members jumped right in and it was very difficult to tell who enjoyed the one on one interaction more–the children or the volunteers.  It was interesting to see that these children were already speaking some English to the volunteers more easily than the older children who did not have access to this program prior to high school.

Two lovely Guatemalan women, Isa and Martha, were already very busy in the kitchen when I arrived. I was assigned to drying platos (plates), and watched as Martha expertly began to mix Masa Harina with water to make tortillas. Isa added ingredients to  a huge pot on the stove to make  a sort of pudding with an iron and vitamin fortified mix for the afternoon snack.  I was thrilled when they agreed to teach me how to make tortillas, and must confess that mine were not pretty.  Isa has three children in this program and was so grateful to be a part of it all.   In the program, children are fed breakfast, lunch and a snack to take home every day.

We also brought some brand new medical equipment for the clinic and Dave from Welch Allyn took a few minutes to teach the clinic nurse how to use the Macroview Otoscope, and the PanOptic Ophthalmoscope.  She learned very quickly and was surprised at how much more she could see with these new instruments.  She quietly replied, “Muchas gracias, we do not have technology like this in Guatemala. This will help us very much.”   Her sincerity was touching.
I concur. ¡Muchas Gracias Welch Allyn!  Thank you also to Camino Seguro for all that you do transform lives for these families, and all that you have done to transform us through such meaningful service.  Heart to Heart International is excited about the possibilities of working together in the future.

We next travel to a small village to join a medical team of US medical students and physicians.  They already have a Heart to Heart Ready Relief Box™! We’ll deliver more equipment, conduct some instrument training to the students and assist with the medical clinic.

–Ginny

Assessment Team in Guatemala…

Part of our mission here at Heart to Heart International is to broaden access to healthcare for those in need, here in the US and around the globe.  Currently, we have a team comprised of Heart to Heart staff and representatives from Welch Allyn, a HHI global partner, in Guatemala accessing those needs and exploring ways to broaden that healthcare access by joining with local, in-country partners.
Here now, Ginny Stehle, Heart to Heart’s Corporate Relations Director, with some thoughts and photos from the ongoing assessment trip.
–DW HHI

From Antigua, Guatemala
June 4, 2012
Ginny: Today we are working with an organization named Camino Seguro.  We began our day in their Antigua office, where we watched a short but powerful video and prepared for the day ahead.  We then drove to Guatemala City to began our tour at the public cemetery which provided an overlook of the city garbage dump, one mile below where we stood.

We watched a parade of trucks enter the chasm from the left, dumping their contents on the floor beneath us. Backhoes moved the heaps of trash around, and many people, who looked like ants, scavenged the piles of trash, loading items into large bags on their backs. Vultures circle overhead.  Our guide, Leigh Ellen told us that this dump supports the local zone economy and employs about 3000 people who buy annual permits to do their work. They walk 1 mile to get to the dumping area from the entrance to the grounds, and they have to carry their treasures out via the same route. They earn approximately $3 per day for their labors. Today, only those 14 and older can enter the dump. Before a huge methane fire in 2007, children were allowed to scavenge there as well as the adults.

We made our way to Camino Seguro’s main school, which has morning and afternoon programs for younger and older children. We stopped in the cafeteria to have a hot lunch of stir fry beef, vegetables and rice with the children.  The meals are nutritionally balanced and clean, purified water is offered at every meal to encourage the children to stay away from sodas and sugary drinks. This is an after/before school program intended to keep the kids off the streets and supplement the local public school education. The programs cover a lot: teaching the kids skill to carry into life, as well as providing nutrition, hygiene, healthcare, mental health, artistic expression and lots of positive role models. Amazing programs!! Amazing people.

A young American woman named Hanley Denning founded the program to get the children out of the dump. Her vision was to give them someplace safe to go, to raise their self esteem, give them love, nutrition, education, and so much more to enrich their lives and show them a way out of this life.
The name Camino Seguro means Safe Passage, the way out. Denning died in an auto accident in 2007, but the program has carried on and expanded with dedicated staff and volunteers. The current Executive Director knew Hanley, came as a volunteer and got hooked. His wife now heads the educational curriculum.  Hanley’s spirit is evident everywhere. It is amazing what this young woman started out with, and where it is today.  It’s nothing short of miraculous.

The program started with 40 children in a small church building in 1999, and now has more than 600 children in the program between ages of 4 and 18 and three facilities in the areas surrounding the dump in Guatemala City. The children’s families are also part of the program, and benefit by its services. What has grown in this place is just amazing!!

 

 

 

Our Heart to Heart & Welch Allyn team toured and learned quite a lot today.  We met the Executive Director, the Physician and Nurse, delivered some new donated Welch Allyn medical equipment for their clinic, listened to what they needed in their clinics, and participated in a health education class with the 4th grade students. Today’s lesson was about not smoking. It was great fun to interact with the children.

Tomorrow we’ll return to the same location and get to work as volunteers. It should be interesting!

 

–Ginny