September 08, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Albany, NY – Stephanie Van Dyke, co-founder of the Engeye Health Clinic in Uganda, has been named a "Daily Point of Light" by the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. In 2000, as a volunteer in Katooke Village in rural Uganda, Van Dyke witnessed the urgent need for basic medical care, inspiring her to pursue a career in medicine with the ultimate goal of building and running self-sustaining clinics in Uganda. Stephanie is currently a medical student at Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. Stephanie graduated from Whitman College in Washington State with a B.S. in Psychology and attended the Scripps College post-baccalaureate pre-med program.

Stephanie and John Kalule, a Ugandan of Ddegeya Village, worked together to establish the Engeye Health Clinic, which is run by a small group of Americans and Ugandans, working to improve the living conditions and reduce the suffering in rural Africa through education and health care. The word Engeye means "white monkey" in Ugandan and is Kalule's family clan name. The official Mission Statement of the Engeye Health Clinic is: “To improve living conditions and reduce unnecessary suffering in rural Africa through education and compassionate health care.”

The Engeye Health Clinic and two volunteer houses were constructed last summer at an estimated cost of $50,000. All the funds came from the volunteer group's personal contributions and donations collected from the public. Van Dyke contributed $35,000 she inherited from her grandfather. A laboratory is currently being constructed next to the clinic. The addition of laboratory tests will facilitate better medical care and treatment. In addition to servicing the needs of the Engeye Clinic, the laboratory will serve as a fund-raising tool as it will enable Engeye Clinic to run tests for other clinics, a luxury currently nonexistent in the region.

In spring 2007, a small group of second year and fourth year medical students from Albany Medical College were joined by two physicians and a nurse to Ddegeya Village where they provided medical care to the villagers. One of the doctors, Dr. Paeglow of Albany Medical College, was profiled in People magazine in 2006 as a “Hero Among Us” for his charity work and community involvement. The spring visit marked the beginning of a sustainable health care system for the villagers and the next medical mission is scheduled for November of 2007. In the meantime, local nurses and physicians will be available to help the people and provide them with treatment. Engeye, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) tax deductible, non-profit organization and the website is:

The Daily Point of Light Award honors individuals and volunteer groups for their commitment to connect Americans through service to help meet critical needs in their communities. It focuses on the goals for children and youth set by the President's Summit for America's Future. Each weekday, one volunteer or volunteer effort in the country receives a Daily Point of Light Award. Stephanie was designated as “Daily Point of Light No. 3528” for August 13, 2007.

The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network engages and mobilizes millions of volunteers who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities. Through a variety of programs and services, the Foundation encourages people from all walks of life to volunteer. Based in Washington, D.C., the Foundation advocates community service through a partnership with the Volunteer Center National Network. Together, they reach millions of people in thousands of communities to help mobilize people and resources, which deliver solutions that address community problems. The Foundation has gained a national reputation as America's Address for Volunteering. As President George W. Bush commented, "The Points of Light Foundation embodies America's spirit of volunteerism and the goodwill of its citizens." For more information, please go to: