October 5, 2010

Thank You, Lamar Advertising!


The Water=Hope Campaign on Billboards across the United States!

We want to thank the Lamar Advertising Company for creating and posting the billboard below in small and medium size markets across the nation beginning this week! They are helping us spread the word across the country that YOU can help bring safe, clean water to people around the world.

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We are excited to be working with them and to be spreading the word about this very important global health issue.

From the Senate to the House...

On Monday, September 20, the Senate passed by unanimous consent the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act (S. 624). The Water for the World Act would enable the United States to help provide sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation for up to 100 million of the world's poorest people over the next six years.

After the Senate passed the bill, the bill went to the House of Representatives. The Water=Hope Campaign sent a letter to 185 Congressional Representatives in 20 states to let them know that over 14,000 people among their states support the Water for the World Act. If the Congressional Representative already was co-sponsoring the bill, we sent them a Thank You letter. If they were not, we asked them to co-sponsor and support the bill.

It appears the bill will come up for vote after the election. We would encourage you to personally contact your Member in the House of Representatives and urge that s/he support the Water for the World Act's passage in the House.

Click Here for a TEMPLATE LETTER to write your Congressional Representative to support the Water for the World Act. 

Help Us Build Wells

We need your donation. We are working with charity:water to build wells in Ethiopia, Liberia, and Uganda, and we are supporting water purification systems in Appalachia through Living Waters for the World. Help us bring clean, safe water to villages in Africa and homes in Appalachia. Help us help others promote health as a currency for peace. We appreciate your support.

Sincerely,

Bill Frist Signature

Bill Frist, M.D.

October 4, 2010

by Lauren Eppinger
Vanderbilt School of Nursing
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

lauren eppinger 1

I arrived in Guatemala almost two weeks ago. The experience of walking out of the airport into Guatemala City is a five-sense sensation—the colors, the voices, the rain, and the pollution that you can smell and taste. The intensity hasn't lessened at all since getting here.

I spend half of each day volunteering at a clinic called Primeros Pasos. The clinic is located in a rural area, where most of the patients are Quiche Maya. The clinic sees mostly children, but has been expanding to treat more women and men as well. The cost of care is relatively low (about 60 cents for a child's visit and medicine, or a tenth of a day's wage), but people still receive care inconsistently. Preventative visits are particularly rare, as most people only visit the clinic when they are sick, often after a problem has persisted for a while. The clinic has a unique model, where patients are seen by local and foreign medical students, which shows the strong value that the clinic places on education. Nurse practitioners (like Cody Bowers and me) are also part of the clinical staff, headed by a Guatemalan doctor. The clinic also works with schools, offering preventative care and education for children. Recent outreach efforts have brought a significant number of women into an educational program as well, covering nutrition, hygiene, health, medical care, and natural medicine.

The diseases seen at the clinic are extremely different from what is seen at home. It is surprising how much an environment can affect the body. Many factors come into play, such as hygiene, clean water, indoor cooking fires, physical labor, exposures, immunizations, and the high cost of care at most places. Immunizations here are inconsistent, and almost none of the children receive all of the recommended immunizations. In my first two weeks I have seen both varicella and hepatitis A, which are both almost entirely absent in the pediatric population at home. I have also treated several children for various GI infections from bacteria, parasites, and worms.

Interestingly, many of the children in the community are born with midwives at home, and are not examined by doctors until they are a few months old. Therefore, careful examination of infants at sick visits is extremely important, because it may be their first medical examination! Most babies have no records of their birth weights so it is impossible to monitor their growth rates. If the children were brought in regularly for well baby visits, we could monitor their growth, and provide immunizations, etc. but that is not the custom here.

Another prevalent issue is malnutrition. Fortunately, the clinic has made significant improvements in the nutritional status of the local children through several outreach programs. These days most children are only mildly or moderately malnourished, while in the past many were severely malnourished. However, despite this improvement, every day I have seen at least one child, and sometimes several with some degree of malnutrition. Over the next couple of months I would like to work on developing an effective way to treat these children, who so easily fall through the cracks because they are not seen to be "severely" ill.

The experience overall has been incredible. Each day I learn something new, see something new, and live with an intensity that feels unique to Guatemala.

September 22, 2010

Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act Passes Through Senate


Your Advocacy Saves Lives

The Water=Hope Campaign celebrates that on Monday, September 20, 2010, the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act passed through the Senate unanimously.

We want to thank the leadership of Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and their cosponsors for sponsoring this bill which places water in the forefront of America’s development priorities, seeking to reach 100 million people around the world with sustainable access to clean water and sanitation over the next six years.

Over 10,000 of your signatures were mailed in this summer letting your Senators know that you cared about providing clean, safe water to the world's poorest.

They heard your voice.

Thank you for taking the time to advocate with Water=Hope. Because you cared, lives will be saved.

More about the bill...

The Water for the World Act represents a robust U.S. contribution to the Millennium Development Goal on water, which is to reduce by 50 percent the proportion of the world population without safe water and sanitation by six years. The Senate passage of the bill comes at a time when there is a redoubling of efforts tied to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for water and sanitation at the MDG Summit in New York City this week.

To achieve the goal of reaching 100 million people with sustainable access to clean water and sanitation, the bill:

• Targets underdeveloped countries with focused initiatives to improve access to clean water and sanitation;

• Fosters global cooperation on research and technology development, including regional partnerships among experts on clean water;

• Provides technical assistance and capacity-building to develop expertise within countries facing water and sanitation challenges;

• Provides seed money for the deployment of clean water and sanitation technologies; and

• Strengthens the human infrastructure at USAID and the State Department to implement clean water and sanitation programs effectively and to ensure that water receives priority attention in our foreign policy efforts.

For more, see the Durbin-Corker Press Release.

What Next?

A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Donald Payne (D-NJ).

Click HERE to see if your congressional representative is a co-sponsor.

We will continue advocating with the House of Representatives to hopefully see the passage of this bill through the House and then on to the President. We hope you will join us in this effort.

Thanks for your support,

Bill Frist Signature

Bill Frist, M.D.

September 16, 2010

Journey of Action

This August, Kassidy and Ryan Brown of Nashville, TN will be driving the Pan American Highway-from Alaska to Argentina. A six month expedition that will take them into 14 different countries, covering over 15,000 miles. They will be volunteering with and showcasing social entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, universities, and high schools that are making a positive impact locally and abroad.

Two filmmakers will document the journey. Kassidy and Ryan will blog daily, upload their photography, and most importantly produce weekly webisodes. The webisodes will aim to entertain, educate, and inspire social activism within the Millennial Generation.

Kassidy and Ryan will aspire to be the social leaders of Generation Y, who are some of the world’s most influential, globally wired, technologically savvy and socially conscious people in the world, by bringing them the content they crave through the medium they consume.

Follow Kassidy and Ryan on their website: journeyofaction.com

 

September 16, 2010

Frist Global Health Leaders Touch over 5000 Lives This Summer


School has begun and autumn is here. We hope you had as wonderful a summer as we had here at Hope Through Healing Hands.

During the summer break, we had 7 Global Health Leaders travel to Peru, Honduras, Rwanda, Zambia, and Appalachia to promote health care through public health services and clinical care.

John Deason_pharmacy in zambiabeth dental class 

Photos: John Deason, Lipscomb College of Pharmacy, fills prescriptions in Namwianga, Zambia and Beth O'Connell, ETSU College of Public Health, teaches a dental hygiene class in Cygera, Rwanda.

In total, these students touched the lives of over 5000 people in villages around the world. They saw over 1800 patients, trained over 100 community health workers, educated over 2000 people on basic health such as dental hygiene, hand washing, and HIV/AIDS, and surveyed over 600 people to assess needs such as clean water and better family health care.

You can read all their blogs on our website:

Jennifer Hunt – Appalachia Region: Health Screenings for Migrant Workers

Beth O'Connell—Cygera, Rwanda: Over 1380 People Have Received Safe Water Education

John Deason—Namwianga, Zambia: The Mission Begins: Setting Up Clinics in Zambia

Please support our Global Health Leaders program so that we can continue to reach our goal of directly touching the lives of over 20,000 people around the world with health care in the next few years.

Regards,

Bill Frist Signature

Bill Frist, M.D. 

P.S. Follow Vanderbilt School of Nursing students Cody Bowers and Lauren Eppinger as they report in from the Primeros Pasos clinic, focusing on maternal health and newborn care, from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala this fall.

Water = Hope goes to Washington! We just finished another fun weekend on the road with Brad Paisley and the H20 Tour, making stops in Spokane, Portland and the Gorge! 

We started our weekend off in Spokane with some great volunteer help: college students, a high school student and parents involved with a local home schooling organization all came out to lend a hand, doing a great job and signing up lots of new supporters for the Water = Hope campaign! Water = Hope volunteer crew in Spokane!

Our next stop was in Portland, where, after a summer of blazing heat and humidity, we were shocked to find ourselves...cold! Once again we were joined by an awesome volunteer crew: Chris just moved to Portland where he is soon to be joining the Portland Fire Department (congrats Chris!), and he was joined by Danielle, who is in nursing school in San Francisco but was visiting the Portland area. Ryan and Sarah are both students - Ryan is in med school, in fact! Portland volunteer crew And we also had Kate joining us, who literally just moved to Portland the week before to attend college, and was looking for volunteer opportunities to get involved in her community. All of our crew did a great job in Portland, roaming the lawn area and talking to fans about the campaign, gaining their support. Though it was a smaller show, Portland showed us lots of love and support and we are excited to continue our organizing efforts in the community.

Next up was the Gorge, located in the middle of Washington state, and quite possibly the most beautiful music venue in all of America. We were way excited to be working there, and it was a HUGE show, with more fans in attendance than almost any other show we’d been at!

Randy and Kim, Water = Hope volunteers and supporters!We were joined that night by Randy and Kim, a husband and wife team who had tickets to the show but wanted to help out. They came in went to work, signing up well over 100 new supporters in a short amount of time, talking to lots and lots of fans before joining their son and mom (or mom-in-law!) in their seats. They also made a very generous donation to Water = Hope, helping us reach our well building goal all that much faster, for which we are most appreciative!

 

 

 

 

We were also joined by our two recent Washington State U grads (a big Washington U rival game was going on that night, and, depending on who they talked to, they either got lots of love for their hoodies, or a lot of grief!) who were eager to get involved, and three new volunteers that Laura from Spokane had recruited for us (thanks Laura!). All in all, it was a great three days, full of inspiring stories from fans, and lots of support and enthusiasm about our work. Water = Hope support

We are nearing our final stretch of the H20 tour, with only two weekends remaining. Watch for us in San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix and Albuquerque this weekend!

Check out more photos from our weekend in Washington here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=198319&id=23133677902&ref=mf

September 15, 2010

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Photo 1: Senator Bill Frist and Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of The Hebrew University

Photo 2: Senator Bill Frist and Ambassador Dr. Josephine Ojiambo. An IMPH alumna and the newly appointed Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya to the UN

Last night, Senator Bill Frist, M.D. was the keynote speaker at the Maimonides Awards Dinner honoring George S. Barrett, chairman and chief executive officer of Cardinal Health. The Dinner was to benefit the International Master in Public Health Fellows at the Braun School of Public Health and the Faculty of Medicine at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Maimonides Award is conferred by the American Friends of The Hebrew University to honor philanthropic commitment to pioneering research in the field of medicine and health care conducted at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Maimonides award recipients are distinguished by their humanitarianism, communal leadership and work in support of research breakthroughs that will benefit mankind.

Senator Frist spoke on the role of the International Master of Public Health Program. More broadly, he spoke of global health in terms of peace and American health diplomacy.

September 3, 2010

Water=Hope Campaign Builds Wells and Writes Senators


The Brad Paisley H2O Tour Airs on GAC TV this Weekend

GAC's Top 20 crew made its way to Raleigh, NC this past weekend to catch up with Brad Paisley on his H2O Tour. Dive in and join GAC for the hottest videos of the week and behind the scenes interviews with Brad and his tourmates Steel Magnolia, Justin Moore, and Darius Rucker.

Brad makes a stop at the Water=Hope Booth with GAC TV to visit with Brande and Kim and our volunteers and to share about the campaign!

brad at booth

September 3, 2010 8:00pm ET
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6,306 Signatures Mailed to Senators in Washington D.C. for Water for the World Act

The Brad Paisley H2O Tour has swept through Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Texas in the past two months, and the Water=Hope Campaign has heard your voice! Over 6,300 signatures were collected during these concerts to support the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009.  

We asked Senators George S. LeMieux (FL), Bill Nelson (FL), Charles E. Schumer (NY), John Cornyn (TX), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) to sign the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009 as a co-sponsor to advance clean water and sanitation development activities accompanying your signatures. The Act would provide over 100,000,000 people with first-time access to safe drinking water and sanitation on a sustainable basis by 2015.

At the same time, we said Thank You to Senators Roland W. Burris (IL), Kirsten E. Gillibrand (NY) Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA), and Arlen Specter (PA) for already co-sponsoring this important bill. And, Senator Richard J. Durbin (IL) is the sponsor of the bill. We are proud of their leadership on this issue.

If you would like to call or write your Senator, click HERE to find his/her contact information.

Buy a T-Shirt to Build a Well

We are excited to announce that our Water=Hope Campaign t-shirts are now on sale on our online store! With each donation of $25, you will receive one (1) navy blue shirt, made by American Apparel. The Water=Hope logo was designed by the famous Hatch Print shop in Nashville, Tennessee especially for the campaign. 

A portion of the proceeds will go directly toward building wells in Ethiopia, Liberia, and Uganda and providing clean water through purification systems to families in the Appalachia Region. Please support this great initiative to provide thousands of people with clean water this year for the first time. Buy a tshirt; help us build a well.

hthh shirt

Thanks for your support,

JED signature

Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D.

Executive Director

August 31, 2010

by Brande Jackson

 

The Water = Hope campaign spent the past weekend in North Carolina with the H2O tour, getting even more country music fans involved with our campaign to bring people around the globe clean drinking water! We arrived in Charlotte on Friday morning and got to work, setting up for the day and preparing for our volunteer crew. We had 11 amazing volunteer join us: Joe, a volunteer from Cleveland, came out with his friend, and we had several groups of high school and college friends joining us as well.

Charlotte volunteer crew!

It’s been really inspiring to have so many students volunteering for us this summer, and we hope they are able to take the Water = Hope campaign back with them to their campuses this fall!

Water = Hope support

 

 

Our volunteers in Raleigh were a lot of fun; 7 of them came from Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, a college prep high school about an hour away (one of the volunteers, Lizzy, also brought her mom and a friend!), and our other three all attend a local Raleigh high school (sorry for forgetting the name, girls!). All were a blast to work with, and did a great job talking to fans all night long!  

Water = Hope volunteers in Raleigh

 

Water = Hope volunteers!

All weekend long, we talked with fans who were not only interested in supporting Water = Hope, but who told us stories of things they and family members were doing through churches, schools and in their communities to make clean water a priority for people around the globe - it’s so great to see this fan community engaged around this issue! The tour will resume next week in Spokane as we finally make our way out west with about nine more stops. We still have room for volunteers to join us, so be sure to get signed up today!

Charlotte gave us a lot of love - we talked to hundreds of fans about the importance of clean water, with many of our volunteers going out and working the parking lot and talking to the ‘tailgating’ crowd before they came in, to much success! We also got a nice shout out from a local radio station which helped us out quite a bit - lots of fans mentioned hearing about us before they came to the show that day. We also need to mention that we raised more money in Charlotte for our well building project than we have at any other show thus far on the tour, so a special thanks goes out to our volunteers that night and all the supportive fans!  The next day we were in Raleigh. Our normal set up routine had the added bonus of a GAC film crew being on site; shortly after our volunteers arrived, they came by with Brad to talk to me and Kim about what the Water = Hope campaign was doing on the tour, so watch for us at some point in the next week! Brad also took the time to talk to our volunteers, 10 high school girls (plus a mom and a boyfriend!) who, needless to say, were very excited to meet him! Brad Paisley meeting Water = Hope volunteers

August 25, 2010

The Finale and Return 

By John Deason
Lipscomb College of Pharmacy
Namwianga, Zambia

john deason zambia

The clinic went very well.  We saw easily 3,000 plus patients a day and were out there for 6 days for a total of well over 16,000 patients in the end.  The other two villages we visited were not as exuberant in the welcoming, but they were happy to receive medical attention nonetheless.  I found I became rather adjusted to being completely covered in dirt while out there.  I’ll give credit to my dad for all those camping trips.  So even when we came back from the bush I really didn’t rush to go take a shower.  I turn 26 on the 26th of the month along with a new found friend Molly who turned 21.  They serve Mac and Cheese for us and I received a double helping of chocolate pudding at Supper.  All in all I dare say I couldn’t have had a better location for a Golden Birthday!

Our primary concern is collecting data for one day implementing a computer into the mission.  Each day me, Britt, Dr. Staggs (who insists I call him Bill), and Brandon Post (our tech guy we could not have survived this trip without) work on getting our quota of data we need to see the most common complaint, diagnosis, and medicine dispensed.  Once we achieve that, we work in different areas.   Most chose to stay in the pharmacy and lend a hand.  I usually go to various departments and see what they’re up to, which naturally means I get to lend a hand.  

Once all the clinics were over and everyone was taken care of, the entire group (minus most of the Zambians) went to Livingstone for a short break before we headed back top the States.  There we took in the sights such as Victoria Falls and a Beautiful Sunset Cruise.  It was also an opportunity to say goodbye to everyone that might not be on the same flight back.

Its incredibly hard for me to explain how I felt in those few days.  I had spent so much time in an area where electricity wasn’t even a guarantee, and yet, here we were in a pleasant little hotel with hot showers day and night and all kinds of places to eat and hang out.  It took some time to adjust, but I think the hardest feeling for me to face was that I soon would be leaving.

It’s so strange; after being here for so long, I found that Namwianga had become a home to me; the people I stayed with and the Zambians my family.  Working hand in hand with them, spending every minute of the day with them, and sharing our lives with each other really formed bonds that are difficult to describe...  As much as I desired a moment alone to collect my thoughts (you rarely get a chance to yourself with so many around), the idea of leaving them knowing you won’t see each other for a considerable amount of time, was unbearable. 

Goodbyes were eventually said in a bustling Dulles Airport while we clamored to find all of our luggage and rush to catch our connecting flights (some of which weren’t caught).  There was a sincere look in the eyes of each person I hugged and wished safety for in the next leg of their journey that they too would be missing each and every one they had spent just a fast paced, hectic, yet so beautifully wonderful time with.

Loneliness really didn’t register until I was on my flight back to Nashville.  As I looked back on the nearly two months spent in Zambia, I could only smile.  Only the best of memories kept coming back into my mind, though I know I had some hard days and times where I lost my temper, none of that seemed to be relocatable in my memory.   I knew God had granted me a wonderful time.

I was almost lost to my thoughts, then I saw the green hills of Tennessee.  It’s funny how you just know when you’re over your own State.  Instantly my heart skipped a beat.  All of my friends and family that I had been missing for so long came rushing back into mind.  For the first time since the trip began, I just jumping out of my seat wanting to be back home.  I landed to hugs and hellos and the rest is history.

I was talking to my friend about my trip, when he asked, “We’ll did you find what you needed while you were there?”  I replied, “Yes, I got everything I needed and have come back with new wants that I never knew I’d have!”  I explained that God was gracious in letting me look into the window of what he wanted from me out of my life.  While I didn’t come prepared to work and perform all the tasks I wanted to do, I was comforted by the fact that this is why I am still in school and why I was led to pharmacy to begin with.  I fully believe that God intends for me to come back and prepare myself, because next time I won’t be looking into a window, I’ll be walking though a door.

Praise God for this trip and for all those who have made it possible.  More importantly, thank you for all those who have taken an interest in reading this blog and praying for my on this journey!

 

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