Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Long-time Volunteer Continues Work in Vietnam

Earl Rogers says he began volunteering with Project HOPE in 1972 because he felt “a need to give back something,” having been fortunate enough to have the kind assistance of many people in his own life. Those who work with Earl on the USNS Mercy say that he is giving back in spades.

Earl is working as Pharmacist and also as mentor/sponsor/teacher to two advanced pharmacy students from Shenandoah University thanks to a program he helped facilitate in concert with Dean Alan McKay there and with Matt Peterson at Project HOPE. His students, Kristina Angelone and Renee Summerson, bring a splendid combination of professionalism and enthusiasm; and Earl finds that their perspectives enrich the humanitarian efforts onboard this military hospital ship.

Earl is happy to have young students learning in different cultures, having long prized such opportunities in his own development.

Initially he responded to a newspaper advertisement for serving with Project HOPE and became a part of the original mission to Brazil. As part of the exploration, he met his wife Lois Hofstra, who was serving as translator. More recently he has been a volunteer with Project HOPE in a range of places: Russia, Lithuania, and the Ukraine in 1992; the JFK Memorial Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2008; and in Ghana aboard the USS Nashville in 2009. He has helped to support effective pharmacies in developing countries through a number of Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (known as SMEEs).

During the current mission Earl has worked many days in the pharmacy onboard ship and many in the clinics set up in Binh Dinh province in Vietnam. In one picture here he is seen at the Phouc Hoa clinic using a high-tech system for prescribing and filling and labeling-in-translation the medications needed for each person; patients’ needs are recorded and tracked as they move from the room with the intake personnel, to the room with the diagnosing/treating doctors, to the room with the dispensing pharmacists.

Among the hundreds of families he saw was this set of grandmother, mother, and twin girls, who had minor treatable ailments of the stomach and the skin. (Top photo)

Thanks for reading - Mary Hamill, Ph.D., Project HOPE PAO

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