In partnership with New York City based Northwell Health, the City of Arequipa (Peru) Regional Bomberos Organization and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), Health Bridges International is leading the development of a sustainable first responder training program. Utilizing the train-the-trainer model, HBI and our partners are developing groups of trainers to pilot test a USAID first responder curriculum in a series of select volunteer firehouses in the City of Arequipa.
The project, a three year pilot designed at measuring the impact of the train-the-trainer curriculum, will include a formative evaluation plan. Completion of the Emergency Response Together training will allow firefighters to provide consistent and standardized medical assessment and care. In addition, the development and implementation of a standardized train-the-trainer curriculum will allow for scaling of trainings to other geographic areas throughout the country of Peru.
HBI is proud to be partnering with Northwell Health, FDNY, and the Arequipa Regional Bomberos to develop and implement this critically important project. To learn more about the ongoing activities of the Emergency Response Together project, contact HBI at: Info@HBInt.org
Once again, the Holiday Season is upon us.
The Holidays are a time for family get-togethers and socializing with friends. A time of generosity and good cheer. A time of reflection and gratitude. Most of all, the Holiday Season is a time to reach out to our local communities and get involved. A time to build a bridge. This Holiday Season, HBI encourages everyone to spend time volunteering with organizations and agencies you support.
Volunteer at your local shelter. Get involved in a clothing drive. Participate in your Church feeding program. Whatever you choose to do this Holiday Season, do something to build a bridge of hope and collaboration.
If you are looking for ways to get involved beyond your local community, consider joining HBI for an outreach trip, contribute your time and expertise to one of our projects or tell a friend about the work we are doing. You can find more ways to get involved with HBI at: http://www.hbint.org/get-involved.html. If you're looking for ways to support the ongoing programs and projects of HBI, consider making a donation at: http://www.hbint.org/donate.html
Finally - if you, like so many of us, will spend a portion of your Holiday in gift exchange - make HBI a part of your shopping experience through Amazon Smile.
We are blessed to have such a tremendous group of committed supporters. And, over the coming weeks we know that many of you will be reaching out to contribute to our work. We are incredibly grateful. Thank you and a very Happy Holidays!
Over the past 10 years, HBI has partnered with the Anglican Church of Peru to develop various projects focused on women and children living in extreme poverty. One of these projects, the Ines Project for Medically Fragile Children, started with one little girl and has quickly become a model program for care coordination within squatter communities. It has blossomed into a network of care ambassadors, health service providers, and community advocates who are now changing the lives of dozens of medically fragile children and their families.
A critical partner on the project is the Shalom Rehabilitation Center – providing physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychological counseling, and spiritual support for families with medically fragile children living in the poorest communities on the outskirts of Lima. The Shalom Center is a narrow four-story building that provides holistic services for patients with chronic medical conditions: cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis and other advanced neurological conditions. Many of the patients who receive services from the Shalom Center find it challenging, if not impossible, to walk on their own.
Last year at this time, we asked each of you to support our work and donate a total of $20,000 to the construction of an elevator for Shalom. In January you completed our funding goal, construction started in July, and the elevator was complete and christened in late September (see video below). Reverend Pat Blanchard, Shalom Director said, "The children and their families are happy that they don't have to be carried upstairs anymore, and there are children who are seeing the whole facility for the first time. Over the last month there have been countless positive moments due to the elevator. We would like to offer our thanks and blessings to everyone who supported this incredibly important work."
From all of us at HBI, we wish to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude. We are humbled by your continuous support and we look forward to building more bridges - together.
The HBI Team
Tomorrow night is the annual meeting for the Board of Directors of Health Bridges International. It's the one time of year when the Board (we meet on a quarterly basis) comes together to review the year-to-date activities of HBI and approve a budget for the coming year.
I always look forward to this process. Preparing for the meeting allows me to take stock of the impact and efforts of our NGO. It gives me a chance to step-back and look at the accomplishments of our incredibly talented staff. It offers me an opportunity to dream for the future - as Ben and I submit a proposed budget for the coming year. Its also a time for me to evaluate my own contributions; and decide where I want to be as we move forward.
Nothing is static. I get that. I know that change is constantly occurring all around me. This notion feels particularly pressing when I think about HBI. Our work, from humble beginnings running short-term medical campaigns to our efforts developing and standardizing models for serving the complex needs of medically fragile children, has taught me a very valuable lesson about change. All the planning in the world . . . yes, it is important and an incredibly valuable exercise, but - all the planning in the world can't possibly address the multitude of real-world challenges that come up everyday. To this end, I see my role as the Executive Director and my efforts in preparing the Board to determine our budget for 2017, more about assuring our staff and trusted collaborators have the tools and resources they need to meet the complex day-to-day nuances of our work - and less about structuring a rock-solid plan.
So much of the "bridge building" work of HBI happens in subtle ways. Connecting resources with need is less about delivering a service or a developing a program, and more about bringing people together. All of this is to say - as I plan for 2017, I know one thing for certain - our work is about empowering communities to build their own bridges and we will keep facilitating them . . . one relationship at a time.
Thank you for all of your ongoing support.
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.