Across the country, and around the world, daily lives have been upended and brought to a standstill as we shelter in place. Our natural system of congregating with friends and family to share our worries and grief has been disrupted, and we are all feeling adrift.
For health care professionals and the staff members who keep the hospitals clean and functioning, this is a very stressful, demanding, and personally challenging time. To all of you, we extend our profound gratitude for your commitment, professionalism and compassion.
For our partners and colleagues abroad, who work in resource-scarce environments on the best of days, the new challenges will be especially difficult. We have reached out to them, to let them know that HVO stands ready to help them through this challenging time, in appropriate ways, at a distance and as needed and requested. Whether they need emergency protocols, or online curricula to graduate a class of students, or wish to continue or initiate remote consultation and mentoring, HVO is eager to share skills and knowledge. We have also encouraged our colleagues to reach out to HVO volunteers to maintain professional connections because, in times like these, sometimes they may just wish to share their concerns and fears with a peer.
HVO’s work is grounded in the relationships we have developed over the years. W
e stand ready to reopen projects as soon as it is safe to do so and our partners are ready for volunteers to return
. However, we also understand that a project site’s needs may be altered after the pandemic. Just as we encourage volunteers to always remain flexible and be willing to adapt to changes, so, too, will HVO be flexible as we respond to the new environment at our sites and prepare to meet their new needs.
As we shelter in place, please know that HVO staff members are continuing their work from home, keeping lines of contact open with our sites, and preparing for the future.
To our many members, supporters, and friends, this global crisis is a chilling reminder of why HVO’s work is so critical, to provide the skills and training for health systems around the world to meet these challenges head-on. Here in the US, we are beginning to see the surge of patients in our hospitals, but in our partner institutions, the crisis could be even more severe.
Now, more than ever, please
generously to support our work of building strong, trained, resilient health care systems. In this interconnected world, our safety and security here at home are closely intertwined with that of our partners overseas. Strengthening the breadth and depth of their health systems contributes to better health for all. Your continued support is greatly needed and appreciated!
Again, to all the health workers - thank you!
Stay safe and be well. Together, we will get through this.
Nancy A. Kelly