Happy New Year. Maybe I should say - Happy Almost New Year!
In the final days of 2017 I've been spending a fair amount of time planning for a very busy first quarter of 2018. In fact, we hit the ground running with a trip to Perú on New Years eve. Yep, for the first time in a number of years my wife and our daughter are going with me to Perú. It's a big deal. For a number of reasons.
With so much of my life spent in Latin America, it feels weird that Lee and Alex know so little about my life and the work HBI. So, the first thing we are going to do in 2018 is go to Perú. It will be a chance for me to take them around (we're going to Lima, Arequipa, Cusco, Urubamba, and Machu Picchu) and show them parts of our work (we'll visit a couple Union Biblica Girasoles homes and tour the Ines Project; as well as work with Father Alex in Alto Cayma), and enjoy some rest and relaxation with my family.
Immediately after their departure, I will be joining a team from St. Olaf College in Minnesota for a medical and dental outreach project in the Sacred Valley. We'll be pilot testing a new electronic health record system for mobile outreach clinics (just a little side project we've been incubating for a couple of years now). If the mobile EMR works, it will allow outreach clinics to connect around a content access point to share records, tap into diagnostic and clinical support material, and create a virtual network - without the need to connect to the Internet. We're piloting the model, thanks in very large part to support we've received from an Intel technology genius and some donated hardware. If successful - it could be a model for remote outreach clinics to integrate technology to enhance patient care and advance evidence based care delivery.
When I leave the Sacred Valley I'll be heading back to Lima for meetings and then on to Arequipa to rejoin the St. Olaf Team for a week working with Father Alex and the Mission of Alta Cayma.
All of this activity will be taking place against the backdrop of a fresh start for my involvement with HBI. My all in work will be busy - and one of the things I've realized is that in order for HBI to be successful, for me to be successful, we need to work smart just as much as we need to work hard. To this end, we'll be sharpening our focus in 2018 and prioritizing our efforts on a few select programs and projects. In 2018, our mantra will be "prioritize and focus." We will be focusing our efforts to maximize our impact - and I know this will make us successful.
Okay, all of that is to say - stay tuned. This is going to be a great year for HBI. I am excited to share this experience. Thank you for all of the continued support.
I hope you have a healthy, happy and safe New Year's Celebration.
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.