HVO Members Recognized for Commitment to Global Health

April 09, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is pleased to announce the recipients of its third annual Golden Apple Award. As part of its World Health Day observances, HVO created this award to recognize the extraordinary educational contributions of volunteers to sites abroad. Each HVO volunteer honored with this award has demonstrated a strong commitment to HVO’s educational mission by working on curriculum development, teacher training, didactic or clinical training, or the enhancement of educational resources.

The recipients of the 2008 Golden Apple Awards are: Eugenio Beltran, DMD, MPH, DrPH, MS; Cary Bjork, MD; Ann Carroll, RNC, NNP; Lawrence Herman, DMD, MD; R. Byron McCord, MD; Ellen-Marie Milan, RNC; Michael O'Brien, MD; Celia Pechak, PT, MPH, PhD; and Yvonne Vaucher, MD, MPH. These volunteers combined have served over 9500 hours at HVO’s various program sites.

Many of these honorees have also served in leadership positions for HVO overseeing the development of new programs, monitoring the progress of active programs, identifying educational resources for sites, and serving as mentors to their colleagues overseas.

"As Gertrude Stein once said, 'a difference, to be a difference, must make a difference,' and these nominees certainly make a difference" stated Dr. Dennis Vargo, co-chair of the Golden Apple Selection Committee and HVO Board Member. "I am very proud that HVO is honoring our volunteers in this way. They all deserve to be recognized for their exceptional volunteer work."

According to recent reports from the World Health Organization, the global shortage of health care workers is estimated to be 4.3 million with the greatest shortages occurring in the poorest countries. The Executive Director of the WHO’s Global Health Workforce Alliance, Dr. Francis Omaswa, commenting on the health care shortage stated, "The single most important constraint is no longer money but skilled workers. It’s being recognized now as a big barrier."

The efforts of HVO’s Golden Apple Award recipients are an integral part of HVO’s response to the global health workforce crisis. By highlighting the achievements and contributions of the Golden Apple Award recipients, HVO fosters an awareness of global health issues, especially the human resource shortage, which serves as a serious constraint to the delivery of health care around the world.

World Health Day is celebrated annually by the World Health Organization and the international community. Since 1950, it has been held each year on April 7th and focuses on a relevant global health issue. This year’s theme is "Protecting Health from Climate Change." For more information about World Health Day 2008, visit http://www.who.int/world-health-day/en/index.html

A private, non-profit membership organization, HVO was founded in 1986 to improve global health through education. HVO designs and implements clinical education programs in child health, primary care, trauma and rehabilitation, essential surgical care, oral health, hematology, infectious disease, nursing education, burn management and wound care. In more than 25 resource-poor nations, volunteers train, mentor, and provide critical professional support to health care providers who care for the neediest populations in the most difficult of circumstances. For more information about volunteering, visit www.hvousa.org.