Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Medical Care and Community Service

Medicine isn’t the only thing the Project HOPE volunteers practice during the Continuing Promise mission. Along with their Navy counterparts, our volunteers have completed about three community service projects in each of the seven countries we’ve visited this year on USNS Comfort.

Today, HOPE volunteer Elizabeth Roughead and I visited the Santa Eduvigis retirement home with a dozen or so Navy, Army, Air Force, and other NGO volunteers to fix their gutters, install a drainage ditch, generally clean up the outdoors areas, and—maybe most importantly—visit with the folks living there.

This service project, and others like it, which the Navy calls “COMREL” projects—Navy shorthand for “Community Service”—is just one of the events that Elizabeth has participated in during Continuing Promise. As a volunteer administrative assistant, she has rotated through each department onboard USNS Comfort, the Navy’s hospital ship and base of operations for the deployment.

“Its really a great experience, because I get to see a little of what everyone onboard does,” says Elizabeth. “When I heard that the Navy was shifting towards these type of cooperative deployments, I knew I had to get involved in some way. I have biology degree, but no medical background, so I help out wherever I’m needed…and there’s a lot to do.”

Elizabeth, whose father is Adm. Gary Roughead, the Navy’s top admiral, has had her finger on the pulse of the Navy’s humanitarian missions since 2005, when Project HOPE, the Navy, and other NGO’s pulled together for the first time to support the relief effort for the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

“Being able to come out and give back something that I know actually helps people—health care—has really made me glad to have done this,” says Elizabeth. “When you see someone’s life change overnight, like I have when I was working with the doctors and nurses in the OR and the post-op wards, makes it all worth it.”

Thanks for reading-Jacob

1 comment:

  1. Navy and other volunteers are working hard to provide medical services perfectly. They have a well built planning and they are moving along their plan.