Saturday, February 20, 2010

Volunteers Meet Chelsea Clinton

This afternoon the USNS Comfort had surprise visitors: UN Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti Dr. Paul Farmer and Chelsea Clinton, daughter of another UN Special Envoy to Haiti, former President Bill Clinton. Project HOPE Operations Officer Leland Byer had the pleasure of running into them in the main floor hallway and toured much of the boat with the delegation.

Chelsea Clinton, left, Special Envoy to Haiti poses with Project Hope volunteers Emily Ferguson, second from right, and Olga Smulders-Meyer, right, in the medical ward aboard the USNS Comfort off of the coast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Leland describes his experience with Dr. Farmer:

Walking through the Comfort with Dr. Paul Farmer was incredible. I grabbed as many project HOPE volunteers as I could to introduce them. I wish I could have introduced him to more members of our team. He is a living legend of humanitarian aid and "just-so-happens" to be the UN Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti.

As an infectious disease consultant he was outstanding. He was extremely knowledgeable and asked many well-thought-out pertinent questions while reviewing CT scans aboard the Comfort. It was an honor to witness his interaction with the Comfort's medical team and his obvious and natural concern for the patient was heart warming.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and for all of the volunteers, both NGO and military, here in Haiti. I was impressed that Dr. Farmer was willing to spend so much time talking to me and am very excited about speaking with him again when he returns in the next several days.

1 comment:

  1. Wow... I just returned from the first rotation of Project Hope volunteering in Haiti and I immediately started reading Mountains beyond Mountains which credits Dr. Farmers incredible work in Haiti. What an amazing oppurtunity it must have been to meet him. I truly hope someday I get the pleasure.
    Jennifer Garrity
    Massachusetts General PICU nurse