Healing the Children Northeast
Spring Newsletter - 2021
Newsletter Highlights and Updates:
  • Medical Trips Abroad
  • Domestic Kids
  • International Inbound
Dear Friends and Supporters,  
We hope everyone is staying well.
In past years we would have begun
our first newsletter with
“Wow!, What a year we’ve had!”. 

This statement is still true today, even with the pandemic! 

Covid-19 has caused many businesses to work remotely, school children are doing remote learning and home schooling, holidays were small gatherings of immediate households only, home delivery of groceries, restaurants doing take out, etc.  We could go on and on, but all of you know how it was and still is. 

 To the Healthcare workers and Essential workers we want to say THANK YOU!  
Both here and abroad there have been PPE supply shortages. 

We are not unlike other non-profits with seeing the decline in donations from our regular donors.
We began our year with our usual medical teams heading out to Bolivia, Ethiopia and Colombia before our trips were all postponed. Our hope was that we would travel again, not realizing how long of a time period it would truly be.  

Here we are in early 2021 and no teams will be returning to our sites until those regions are safe, the people are vaccinated and there is no need to quarantine upon arriving and returning home.  

As soon as we do schedule trips, we will post on our websites homepage as well as alert everyone.  

Before the postponements of our trips abroad we were able to provide services to 646 children.  We sent out 70 team members to these sites, 25 were new members.  The teams consisted of 3 cleft teams, 2 speech teams and 1 dental team. 

 We thank all of these members for their devotion and commitment as well as our hosts abroad who received our teams and made these trips possible.  

Meanwhile, we have been busy providing support to those sites we travel to.  They are in desperate need of PPE supplies.   
We have been working locally, providing support where needed in our region.  

In CT we provided funding to Camella’s Cupboard, which provides daily lunches to school children and also weekend lunch bags so those children have meals while school is not in session. During the summer months they provide daily lunches also.  Today, many families are struggling and have difficulty trying to stretch their already tight budget.  

In New York we provided 300 children with school essentials and supplies for children who needed help by securing simple school materials in poor rural areas.

We also were able to supply some local hospitals in CT & NY with much needed medical supplies to help fight this pandemic and keep them safe. Our volunteers supplied these hospitals with masks, gloves, gowns, surgical caps and shoe covers from our supply storage.

In New York we were able to sponsor therapeutic riding for 3 special needs children at a horse stable.  Without our help, these children would otherwise not have been able to participate in this program.  

We awarded 3 High School scholarships of $500.00 each to students who are pursuing a career in the medical field. Through all our efforts the Domestic Kids Program helped 1406 in 2020.  We will continue on this path and work locally to help where needed. 
When the pandemic hit we were alerted that the villages we travel to in Peru did not have any PPE supplies.  We quickly sent aid to 50 families in rural areas of Peru. 
We partnered with Dr. David Nolen, MD, an Otolaryngology head and neck surgeon in Kijabe, Kenya, Africa and provided flight transportation from Juba, South Sudan to Kijabe Kenya Africa for a 7 year old girl names Edina. She had been shot in the face a few years ago and needed surgery.

In May HTCNE will co-partner with Patrick Brady, at USAID to bring a child in from Ethiopia to New York for much needed surgery. Negalem is a 5 year old girl from Ethiopia who will receive surgery for a devastating facial deformity. Here is a synopsis of her case: Negalem, her father, and a translator will be traveling to the United States in May. Negalem is from the southern part of Ethiopia, near the border with Kenya. She and her family live in a very rural, remote area and have never even been in a car, much less had access to decent -- if any -- medical care. They only speak Gamo, so the language barrier will be a problem. The need for a translator is great to help them get through the travel and medical procedures ahead. 

Her medical history is unclear with reports of a one year history of left facial swelling, but also reports that swelling was present at 1 month of age. It can be difficult to get the full picture of the situation. She plays with other children and there is no stigma to her condition. However, she does experience intermittent pain. It also affects her speech, chewing and breathing. It will continue to grow, obstructing her airway or until a trauma causes it to rupture. Due to the type of malformation this is, the surgery requires a specialized surgical team and access to blood resources that are not available to her in Ethiopia.

We first heard about Negalem through our contact, Patrick Brady at USAID, who learned about her through a Project Harar team that was in Addis Ababa doing a mission there in January 2020, when our medical team was in Mekelle. Negalem’s family heard they were coming and brought her in with hope that she could have surgery. They were unable to treat her then. Thankfully she is coming to the USA! It has been a team effort of different organizations in different countries working together to get her the surgery she needs.  

Patrick has been working with the U.S. Embassy to obtain the travel visa for Negalem, her Father, and the translator to travel to the U.S. for the surgery. In Ethiopia, Project Harar's Ethiopian staff are finalizing the medical referral from Negalem's Ethiopian doctor at Black Lion Medical Board. Once approved she will be on her way.  Travel costs and incidentals for this child, her father, and the translator are estimated to be around $12,000.00.  It is expected that they will be here for 4 – 6 weeks.  

If you would like to support HTCNE in her care, please write a check
and include her name on the notes / memo line so that it is received into her fund.
The address is HTCNE, PO BOX 129, New Milford, Connecticut 06776. 

Or you can donate on-line by going to HTCNE.ORG.  
On the homepage scroll down to the DONATE tab. Next enter the amount you want to donate.
Then click the down arrow in the line that reads (Optional) Use this donation for.  
Select NEGALEM Sponsorship / International Inbound Child.  

On May 6 & 7, Dr. Steven M. Roser, DMD, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Chief, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA held his first Interprofessional Collaboration in Global Surgery Symposium. The panels included Careers and Fields, Oncology, Maternal Health, Trauma, and Rural Surgery.  One of the speakers was Kate Pettorini, MSN, RN, CNOR, a Unit Nurse Educator and Operating Room Nurse at Emory.  Kate travels on our Bolivia missions with Dr. Roser and recently won an award.
Atlanta Health Care Heroes 2020
The Atlanta Business Chronicle selected several Emory faculty and healthcare providers as Health Care Heroes: Colleen Kraft, associate chief medical officer at Emory University Hospital, associate professor of infectious diseases and pathology, and medical director of Emory’s microbiology laboratories, who is on the state’s CPVOD task force, won the Physician Category.  

Kate Pettorini, Emory Healthcare nurse educator, won the Nursing Category for training nurses and mission work in Bolivia.  Justine Welsh, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of addiction services for Emory Healthcare, won the Rising Star Category.  Brian Vickery, associate sciences and director of addiction services for Emory Healthcare, won the RISING STAR CATEGORY.  Brian Vickery, associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Food Allergy Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, won the Health care Innovator/Researcher Category.

Congratulations, Kate Pettorini, RN, won the nursing category –you did a fine job with the Healing the Children Northeast team in Bolivia. 
A short bio from Kate:
My name is Kate Pettorini and I have been a volunteer with Healing the Children Northeast since 2014. Currently, I am the Unit Nurse Educator in the operating room at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA. When I began working in the OR at Emory, I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Steven Roser, a longtime volunteer with HTCNE, who has performed countless cleft surgeries around the globe. I knew I wanted to join his team, and have now participated in seven trips to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and one trip to Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, to perform life-changing surgery for children born with cleft lip and cleft palate birth defects. I knew this work would have an impact on the lives of the children we treated, but I had no idea how much of an effect it would have on me. Witnessing a mother greet her child for the first time after a cleft lip repair is something that will always stay with me. It is incredible to see the unbroken spirit of children, smiling on the way into the operating room, giggling with the volunteers, and smiling even brighter when they leave us. Building a lasting relationship with the Rotary Club in Santa Cruz has allowed our team to create a sustainable program that the residents of the area can rely on for care, returning year after year for subsequent procedures, as this birth defect usually requires multiple operations as a child grows. One patient of ours who will always stand out to me is a young lady who came in for a cleft palate repair. She came back to our team a few years later, but this time as a team member! She worked side-by-side with our speech pathologists, helping children learn techniques to improve their speech before, during, and after cleft surgery. A true picture of strength and grace, she provided hope to these children and their families. I am so proud to be a part of this team and can’t wait to be able to go back out to continue this meaningful and important work. The HTCNE team has become an international family to me and I am incredibly grateful for all of our volunteers and supporters!
Kate Pettorini, MSN, RN, CNOR

Healing the Children Northeast is honored to have Kate as one of our own.  Thank you Kate, for all you do, not only your fundraising efforts and assisting our office during your teams missions, but also for the children you help.   
Keep your ears open for an announcement of our plans
for a virtual 5K – coming soon.

These days everyone seems to be shopping on-line.  If you shop on Amazon, please know Amazon supports our charitable work.  

When you shop with Amazon, you can help us with every purchase by logging on to AmazonSmile.com.  You will be shopping on the same Amazon site that you are used to seeing, with same products and prices, but HTCNE will earn 0.5% on each purchase.

So remember to shop Amazon Smile, and select Healing the Children Northeast (HTCNE) as the charity of your choice when making your purchase. We will get 0.5% of your purchase.  We have seen an increase during these past few months. Every penny helps with our regular donations being down during this pandemic.

Thank you in advance.
How to Shop AmazonSmile:
1. Go to smile.amazon.com and bookmark the page
2. Set up an account and select Healing the Children Northeast as your charity of choice.
3. Shop as normal
Thank you for supporting us and the children we help! 
Please find us on Facebook and "like" our page.
Check out our website at www.HTCNE.org to see what’s new and exciting!