Friday, February 6, 2009

Project HOPE Volunteers Return to Ghana in February

It’s that time of year again as Project HOPE gets ready to begin a lengthy season of humanitarian missions with our U.S. Navy partners and other non-governmental organizations. This year brings our second trip to West Africa for Africa Partnership Station and yours truly will once again be joining our volunteers in Ghana documenting their three week mission. Ghana will be our only stop this time around and our wonderful volunteers, all 11of them, will be integrated into three different locations to provide health care professional education, mentoring to their local counterparts and also providing care to the local populations. Our team consists of both new and returning HOPE volunteers as well as our own maternal and child health expert Ruth Madison. Some names our faithful readers might recognize from previous posts include Michael Polifka, Gabriel Siebel, Joanne Machin, Marina Rivera, Joyce Johnson, Brian Crawford and Earl Rogers. Earl, a pharmacist from Richmond, VA, is by far the volunteer with the most HOPE memories as he was on the original SS HOPE in 1972 in Brazil and has continued to volunteer since. This is also Vermont ER doctor Michael’s sixth mission with Project HOPE so you see we have some seasoned folks on this trip.

New HOPIES joining us are a certified nurse midwife Marilyn Ringstaff, ER nurse Donna Featherstone, nurse educators Lara Holbrook and Jennifer Oh, and physical therapist Beth Habelow.

This is my second time with Project HOPE in Ghana. My first trip was also the first I was able to spend time with volunteers and shadow them as they worked in the community providing education and health care. It was a really rewarding experience with lasting memories. I am excited to again be visiting Ghana and its lovely people. Once the mission gets underway I hope to write more about our new and returning volunteers and about their adventures and experiences as they work in and with the community in Ghana. Make sure to check back in mid-February for updates!


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