Happy New Year! I hope that your holiday season was enjoyable and relaxing and that you are reinvigorated to start the year.
As 2019 started to wind down, I had the opportunity to look over the results of surveys we recently sent to volunteers, which asked about whether they had been e-volunteering with a site after their assignment was officially over. While we have certainly had anecdotal information from volunteers over the years about their on-going engagement, this was our first chance to quantify these efforts from volunteers whose assignments ended a few years ago.
The results were impressive! Not only does HVO have a database of remarkable volunteers who fully commit themselves during their assignments,
but many remain engaged with the project sites, often for years. Eighty-three volunteers responded to the survey, with an estimated 3,255 hours committed across four categories of e-volunteer work: clinical consultation, training/teaching, research support, and general mentoring. These volunteers’ work involved 49 programs across 30 unique sites in 20 countries
This engagement covers the gamut, from exchanging email messages relating to cases or protocols, consulting on issues by Skype, serving on regularly scheduled tumor board conferences, sharing journals and articles of interest, mentoring faculty and students at a distance, editing and reviewing papers for publication, etc. The level of engagement ranged in intensity, but there was definitely a sense that the volunteers wanted to remain involved with the project site.
Not only was the survey response wonderful to see, but it reinforced some basic ideas about education:
- Education is a life-long process;
- Everyone is eager for a mentor to help them on their journey of learning;
- Education is a two-way street, with both the teacher and the student learning from the experience.
My wish for this new year, and new decade, is that each of us will continue our commitment to enhance global health through education and training. If you have not yet volunteered, but are thinking about it, please call our office and talk with one of our volunteer placement coordinators or
visit our website
to find the right project for you.
There are lots of opportunities to share your skills, and it may prove to be a life-changing experience for you!
Nancy A. Kelly
We are currently accepting applications for the
SEA-HVO Traveling fellowship
for senior anesthesia residents (
deadline extended to January 20
here are also funding opportunities for orthopaedic residents, hand surgery fellows, dentists, dermatologists and wound care volunteers (
see quick links below