May 21, 2017
What a trip! This past ten days has been a whirlwind of activities and locations. From the jungles of the Amazon to the mountains of the high Andes and the Sacred Valley of Cusco, to the cities of Lima, Carjamarca, Cusco, and Arequipa - our team has been busy.
Dr. Bob Gehringer was in-country continuing to advance the Neonatal Resuscitation Training Program (NRP) in collaboration with the Peruvian College of Midwives. Dr. Bob has been extremely successful in training over 88 trainers who have gone on to train almost 3,000 professionals in NRP. He has set-up 12 train-the-trainer programs in collaboration with regional Colleges of Midwives and the training teams have conducted over 180 trainings. This project is well on its way to meeting the objective of our 5-year agreement with the College of Midwives - to train every midwife in Peru with life-saving neonatal resuscitation techniques. We are really proud of Dr. Bob and his Herculean efforts.
Our Director of Nursing and Evaluation, Karen Falkenstein conducted a two-day training on trauma evaluation and emergency triage for Lima's preeminent hospital Clínica Delgado. Working with our staff, Carmen Zavala and Liz Stratton, Karen and the team pulled off two full days of training for nurses from around Lima. The training, a critical skill for nurses working in emergency departments to assess severity and assign triage, was an important part of our ongoing emergency medicine work to advance pre-hospital and hospital emergency care in Peru.
On the dental front, working in collaboration with our new Dental Director, Dr. Matt Allen, we provided comprehensive dental care to boys living in homes in the jungle city of Iquitos and the mountain community of Urubamba. Over four days of care, Dr. Allen and a team of volunteer Peruvian dentists provided cleanings, restorative care, and acute dental care to almost 100 patients. In addition to the care delivery to formerly abandon boys living in the Unión Bíblica del Perú Casa Girasoles homes, Dr. Allen was able to immerse himself in the work of HBI and gain critical time partnering with Peruvian colleagues.
On the same trip where we provided dental care, HBI piloted tested our Health Monitoring System (HMS) called the Girasoles Sanos System. The pilot testing included working with care delivery staff to conduct user testing and review the intent of the HMS. We collected a great deal of feedback and input that will help to make modifications to the system to be more aligned with the needs of homes and organizations working with extremely marginalized children.
Ms. Carmen Zavala, HBI's Peru Program Coordinator, hosted a team of nursing students from Texas Women's University. The team of 25 undergraduate and graduate nursing students spent a day with Carmen providing charlas (talks) for the girls living at the Hope House in San Juan de Lurigancho in the city of Lima. Carmen also provided the team with a grounding in the work of HBI and lessons in Peruvian history, politics, and healthcare systems.
Finally, on the last day of our trip - we took a full day to meet together as a staff and review our goals and plans for the remainder of 2017. The meeting included a review of our current programs and a brief strategic session to plan better mechanisms for communication and collaboration.
It has been a full ten days. These trips, when the team is going in so many different directions and operating on so many different levels, are when I fully realize how powerful the work of HBI is in making a difference in the world. I am so proud of our team and I am continually thankful to our donors and supporters.
Thank you so much for your belief in the work of HBI. Vamos Juntos!
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.