This week one of my prenatal patients that I had been caring for since I first arrived here in Xela had her baby. She was a gestational diabetic, so although she had had her last 5 children at home with a comadrona she agreed to go to the public hospital for the delivery. She borrowed a cell phone from her neighbor to call me when she started went into labor and decided to go to the hospital. I met her there as soon as a finished seeing my patients at the clinic. I couldn't play any major role at the hospital, but I think it was good to see a familiar face; she cried when she saw me at the OB triage station.
Nyamata, Rwanda

The last few weeks I have been leaving the Nyamata Hospital to work in the community health centers. Getting to the centers often entails a few hours of travel in a four-wheel drive over rough, dirt roads. There are 11 centers in the Burgessa district and more than 400 in Rwanda.

These health centers are the front line healthcare for most Rwandans. Each center is responsible for a population of roughly 20,000 people. Patients using the public hospitals must start at these community based centers. If the case is complicated, they are transferred to a district hospital like Nyamata. The staff care for sick patients, deliver babies, provide vaccinations, distribute food given from the government and non-governmental organizations. They also have daily classes on topics such as family planning, gardening for nutrition, and proper sanitation and food preparation. These centers are truly the best hope the country has in the areas of disease prevention and early intervention.
Do you remember the story of Olken Foncime? He was the Haitian orphan who had congenital heart disease and received surgery from Dr. Christian Gilbert in October.

We just received a photo and an update. His doctor reports that since the surgery, he has gained 10 lbs. and has a remarkable increase in activity. He's doing really well.

Thanks to Dr. Gilbert for the update!
December 1, 2009

by Jenny Dyer, Ph.D.

Last night, Senator Frist spoke at Vanderbilt University's Student Life Center to over 250 friends, students, faculty, and guests in honor of World AIDS Day. The title of the talk: "Celebrating Life, Mourning Death: Continuing the Fight against Global AIDS" focused on where we've come from and where we're going, especially in terms of policy. Recounting his personal experiences in Africa with the AIDS pandemic and how he was able to use those experiences to shape and inform President Bush's decision to move forward to commit historic funding to fight a single virus, the Senator relayed the beginning of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003.
I have now transitioned to working with the physicians. Each physician is responsible for admitted patients on one of the floors and seeing patients in the outpatient consultation area. This change has been eye-opening.

Each morning starts at 7:00 with prayers, singing, and a short sermon. Watching my colleges sing and dance is an incredible way to start the day. By 7:30 we start rounds. There are usually about 40 patients to see and it has to be finished by 9:30 when the outpatient consulting begins.
Everyone in Xela is getting geared up for Christmas and consequently the patient load throughout the clinic is winding down. This week marks the last week of women's group meetings for the year. They will start again in January. I lead the closing project with the Tierra Colorada Baja group today. We made fertility necklaces out of brown, black, cream and red wooden beads. The placement of the different colors on the necklace indicate when the woman is most fertile and can be used either for family planning or to help conceive. The project was a big hit, but most importantly it sparked some interesting conversation and important questions.
Belmont University hosted an event today with Senator Bob Corker announcing his co-sponsorship of the Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009. Joining Senator Corker included water activists Dan Haseltine and Jars of Clay with Blood: Water Mission, Dave Barnes with Mocha Club, and Bill Hearns of EMI for Healing Water International.

Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH) and Soles4Souls

Join Forces to Create "Hope4Schools"

Senator-Doctor Bill Frist's Hope Through Healing Hands joins Soles4Souls to provide shoes for

Central American, South American, and Caribbean children living in extreme poverty.

Nashville, TN -- Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH), a nonprofit founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., has announced a partnership with Nashville-based Soles4Souls to bring aid children living in extreme poverty in Central America, South America, and the Carribbean. 

Soles4Souls, an international charity that has distributed over 6 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes to people in need, both in the United States and around the world, has set up a website: www.hopeshoes.org to provide more information and to reserve sponsorships for new shoes.

"Shoes are integral to combating neglected tropical diseases, like podoconiosis and other soil-transmitted diseases, which disable, disfigure, and cause death to over 1.4 billion people around the world. Shoes are also necessary as a part of the school uniform in many countries. When a child living in extreme poverty receives a pair of shoes, you are offering her the opportunity for better health and an education," states Dr. Frist.

"We are honored to partner with Hope Through Healing Hands to benefit thousands of needy children in Central and South America," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "Hope4School is a program that aims to give needy children the attire needed to attend public schools. A pair of new shoes is a simple way to provide access to an education and a better life for so many children," he said.

One out of five people living in the world today survive on less than $1 per day.  Over 20% of our fellow human beings are categorized as living in extreme poverty -- without electricity, running water or adequate clothing.  This includes footwear, which is a luxury item in many parts of the world.

Many diseases, infections and injuries are caused through cuts, abrasions and bacteria accumulated through the feet.  In many developing nations, the difference between receiving an education or being refused is simply a pair of shoes, the final hurdle to gain access to school because it qualifies the child as having an adequate school uniform.

In this way, a pair of shoes is much more than a covering for one's feet -- they are a ticket to a better future. 

About Hope Through Healing Hands

Hope Through Healing Hands is a Nashville-based 501(c) (3) that promotes improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. HTHH supports health students and residents to do service and training in underserved clinics around the world. For more information, go to www.hopethroughhealinghands.org.

About Soles4Souls®

Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you.  The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 6 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 9 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States.  Soles4Souls has been featured in Runner's World, Ladies' Home Journal, National Geographic's Green Guide and The New York Times. It has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC, CNN and thousands of regional news outlets across North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit www.giveshoes.org to offer help and receive more information.

Contact:

Elizabeth Kirk, Soles4Souls, 615-391-5723, [email protected]

Jenny Dyer, Hope Through Healing Hands, 615-818-5579, [email protected]

 

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Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH) and Soles4Souls

Partner to Create "Step Up Tennessee"

Senator-Doctor Bill Frist's Hope Through Healing Hands joins Soles4Souls to benefit over 100,000 Tennessee children in need of athletic shoes.

Nashville, TN -- Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH), a nonprofit founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., has announced a partnership with Nashville-based Soles4Souls to benefit over 100,000 Tennessee children who are in need of a good pair of athletic shoes. This number, based upon a random sample analysis conducted by the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, represents a need in over 16% of Tennessee children in elementary and middle schools. The study was initiated and funded by both organizations.

Soles4Souls, the international charity that has distributed over 6 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes to people in need worldwide, has set up a fundraising website: www.hopeshoes.org to provide more information and to reserve sponsorships for new shoes.

"Providing shoes for children in need promotes wellness, physical education, and play; all key components for a strong, successful foundation in health and education. Fun exercise is one critical factor in combating childhood obesity and encouraging a healthier lifestyle," says Dr. Frist.

"We are honored to partner with Hope Through Healing Hands and work together to benefit needy children in Tennessee," said Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO of Soles4Souls.  "Step Up Tennessee is designed to provide a simple yet effective way for people to assist a child right here in our own state.  It's important that we offer real solutions to our neighbors at the same time we are reaching out to people around the world," he said.

A sponsorship of $20 from an individual or company will guarantee that an at-risk child in Tennessee will receive a new pair of athletic shoes.

About Hope Through Healing Hands

Hope Through Healing Hands is a Nashville-based 501(c) (3) that promotes improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. HTHH supports health students and residents to do service and training in underserved clinics around the world. For more information, go to www.hopethroughhealinghands.org.

About Soles4Souls®

Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you.  The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 6 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently distributing one pair every 9 seconds). The shoes have been distributed in 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States.  Soles4Souls has been featured in Runner's World, Ladies' Home Journal, National Geographic's Green Guide and The New York Times. It has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC, CNN and thousands of regional news outlets across North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit www.giveshoes.org to offer help and receive more information.

Contact:

Elizabeth Kirk, Soles4Souls, 615-391-5723, [email protected]

Jenny Dyer, Hope Through Healing Hands, 615-818-5579, [email protected]

 

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For immediate release: Laura Lefler Herzog, 202-224-3467
November 12, 2009

MEDIA ADVISORY

Senator Corker, Jars of Clay, Nashville Music Community Lead Efforts to Deliver Clean Water to the World

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., second-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will hold an event at Belmont University on Monday, November 23 to highlight efforts to give millions around the world access to clean water and improved sanitation. Corker and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, are sponsors of the Water for the World Act, S. 624, which sets a goal of reaching 100 million people with first-time, sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015. (See more on the bill below.)

Corker will be joined by Dr. Bob Fisher, President of Belmont University, as well as:

Jars of Clay, the Grammy award winning band which has launched Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization promoting clean blood and water in Africa.

Dave Barnes, a Nashville singer/songwriter involved with Mocha Club, an on-line community of people giving up the cost of two mochas a month - or $7 - to fund relief and development projects in Africa, including clean water.

Bill Hearn, the President and CEO of EMI Christian Music Group involved with Healing Waters International, a non-profit organization working to reduce water-related illness and death in developing countries.


WHO: U.S. SENATOR BOB CORKER, member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee
DR. BOB FISHER, President of Belmont University
JARS OF CLAY, Grammy award winning band who has launched Blood:Water Mission
DAVE BARNES, Nashville singer/songwriter involved with Mocha Club
BILL HEARN, President/CEO of EMI Christian Music Group involved with Healing Waters

WHAT: Water for the World Event
WHEN: Monday, November 23 at 10:30 a.m. CT
WHERE: Belmont University, lobby of the Gordon E. Inman Center

RSVP: Members of the media with questions and interest in attending the event should contact Laura Herzog at [email protected] or 202-224-3467.

All other individuals and organizations interested in attending should RSVP to Hallie Williams at [email protected] or 202-228-5515 by Friday, Nov. 20.


The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009, S.624

Sponsored by U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Ten years ago the late Senator Paul Simon wrote the book "Tapped Out," which warned of the world's looming clean water crisis. His call for greater U.S. leadership on this issue led to the passage of the Water for the Poor Act of 2005, which has given millions of people access to clean water and improved sanitation. Yet our impact could be much greater.

Today almost 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and two of every five people do not have access to basic sanitation. These conditions contribute to nearly 10 percent of the world's disease.

Each year 1.8 million people-90 percent of them children under the age of five-die from preventable diarrheal diseases. Diarrheal diseases and related malnutrition account for virtually all of the deaths and nearly 90 percent of the overall disease burden associated with unsafe water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.

Water scarcity hinders economic growth, limits the opportunities of women and girls to work or go to school, and has contributed to political unrest in Sudan and elsewhere. Water and poverty are inextricably linked.

According to the United Nations Development Program, every $1 invested in safe drinking water and sanitation produces an $8 return in costs averted and productivity gained. Water is the right place to invest in these difficult economic times.

In fiscal year 2007, the U.S. obligated more than $900 million for water- and sanitation-related activities in developing countries. As a result, millions of people gained improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation, water resources are being managed more wisely and productively, and many communities are enjoying greater water security. In addition, nearly 2 million people gained first-time access to an improved water source, and more than 1.5 million gained first-time access to basic sanitation. We can do more.

To strengthen U.S. leadership on this critical issue, U.S. Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., have introduced the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009, S.624, which sets a goal of reaching 100 million people with first-time, sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015.

The bill implements recommendations made by the Center for Strategic & International Studies in their recently released report, "Global Water Futures." The bill would expand safe water and sanitation efforts in priority countries, promote research and technology development, and improve training and technical assistance to help meet the water needs of the world's poor. It would also increase capacity and sharpens the focus at USAID and the U.S. state department to implement these activities.

Corker and Durbin introduced the Water for the World Act on March 17, 2009 and it has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Specifically, the bill would:
-Establish an Office of Water within USAID,
-Establish the Bureau of International Water under the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs,
-Require a revisit of or the development of a strategy to meet water security goals,
-Establish a water and sanitation managers program in every priority country to train local leaders in best practices,
-Provide grants for low cost and sustainable technologies suitable for high priority countries, and
-Require an assessment of current and future political tensions over water resources and the expected impacts of climate change on water accessibility.


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Todd Womack
Chief of Staff
U. S. Senator Bob Corker

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