Over the 24 days of Advent and the 2020 Holiday Season, we'll be posting a short story each day. The stories, drawn from our projects and programs will provide a deeper glimpse into the work of Health Bridges.
Day 1: We started the anemia project because of one man. Well, thousands of children - and the man who brought the need to our attention. Sr. Hoover has worked as a nutritionist with the Peruvian Ministry of Health for years. Steadily, he’s watched anemia get worse and worse. Concerned there was no current program that could truly address the complexity of anemia in impoverished communities in Perú, he started looking for options. He knew there was a need for a program that could address the concerns of the community and help to build an ongoing approach to prevention. He knew he needed partners. That's where we came in. We've helped to build a model program that brings together unique partners to truly address the multitude of issues that lead to iron deficiency anemia. Under the leadership of Karen Falkenstein, Director of Nursing and Evaluation, the program has grown to include three separate high-risk communities – helping hundreds of families. The program has also generated a great deal of attention. In November – Karen and Hoover, along with our Medical Director, Dr. Robert Gehringer, were invited to participate in a scientific symposium in Arequipa sponsored by the food manufacturing company Gloria – where we received the top prize and a financial award for the innovative approach our teams developed. By bringing together unique partners – we’re building a collaborative model that has the potential to save the lives of children in communities around Latin America. And, to think, it all started with one man . . . and a few thousand children. That’s pretty cool.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.