Dear Friends,

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
Executive Director

P.S. We are currently accepting applications for the SEA-HVO Traveling fellowship for senior anesthesia residents ( deadline extended to January 20 ) . There are also funding opportunities for orthopaedic residents, hand surgery fellows, dentists, dermatologists and wound care volunteers ( see quick links below).
AHC Anesthesia Providers.jpg
The team of anesthesia providers at Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia has become a regional resource for education and training of nurse anesthetists. In 2019, HVO recognized the team's efforts with the HVO Golden Apple award. Members of the team who received the award included (left to right): Nhoung Pheakdey, Ho Sophal, Im Peng An, Eng Hor, and Kang PuthCheat ( not pictured: Chief Nurse Anesthetist Bunrum Ly ).

Do you know outstanding HVO contributors – volunteers, on-site coordinators, members, or other partners – who make an exceptional contribution to HVO’s mission?

Nominate them for a 2020 HVO Golden Apple Award!

Nominate an honoree at
What We're Watching
The world will need an additional nine million nurses and midwives to achieve the commitment of providing all people with access to health care by 2030, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

Pediatrics nurses with HVO volunteer in Uganda
NPR staff share the 11 trends lines they're watching in 2020. Some likely trends give cause for optimism — signs of progress in solving the world's problems. Other trends are pessimistic — threats and challenges that are expected to worsen in the year ahead.

The latest issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics considers how health professions should respond to global public health emergencies. Professional engagement with governments, nongovernmental organizations, or individuals reluctant to support epidemic responses is critical resistance to isolationist stances that can undermine disease containment efforts. Advocacy is another important expression of clinicians’ obligations to promote and protect international and domestic communities of patients, especially during crises. 

At work overseas
Quick Links
Welcome to HVO!
HVO is pleased to welcome the Skin of Color Society as an associate-level partner in 2020!

Our corporate and organizational members provide crucial support in our efforts to improve the quality of health care around the world. Visit our website for more information about HVO's partnership.
Volunteers Needed!
Are you ready to share your knowledge and skills to improve global health?

As an HVO volunteer, you are part of a network of more than 10,000 health professionals who have volunteered their time and expertise to teach, train and collaborate with local health providers in resource-scarce countries over the past 30+ years. We are seeking volunteers through 2020 in nearly all program areas ( click here to review the list of projects on our website).
If you share our vision of a world where everyone, everywhere has access to quality care, delivered by local professionals, and you are committed to lifelong learning, please apply now!
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