Dr. Andre Gvozden is a pediatrician in Maryland and a valuable Heart to Heart International volunteer. He most recently returned from a deployment to Papua New Guinea where he helped train local healthcare workers on COVID-19 health issues as well as basic life support and care.
How long have you been volunteering with HHI?
Actually, my first non-local volunteer mission was with HHI. I was scheduled to be deployed in West Africa for the Ebola response, but that response didn’t materialize. I then went to Houston, for Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and very shortly after to Puerto Rico for Maria. Papua New Guinea is my 6th HHI deployment
What do you like about it?
Volunteering, although considered an altruistic act, is incredibly rewarding on a personal level. All of us have something to contribute to help our planet and our common humanity. I feel fortunate to have skills that help people when they need it the most.
What about the Heart to Heart International’s cause is inspiring?
HHI and its staff truly embrace humanitarian principles, with a genuine and unbiased goal of helping those in need. HHI is particularly nimble in delivering fast, effective and meaningful care during disaster responses.
What do you tell your friends/family about Heart to Heart International?
HHI has provided me with the support and the infrastructure needed to accomplish a lifetime goal. It is an organization that values its volunteers and helped me grow tremendously in this role.
Anything stories to share?
Many stories to share of practicing disaster medicine in the most unusual circumstances, but the memories that always come back are of a heartfelt hug, a bunch of fresh fruit or an invitation to share a meal in gratitude to our services.