HVO Launches Wound Management Programs at Four Sites

October 05, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Health Volunteers Overseas is pleased to announce the establishment of the new wound care management program area with program sites in India, Peru, Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Siem Reap, Cambodia. These programs are the result of a partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) and its global initiative, the World Wound Care Association (WWCA). The main objective of these programs will be to increase student and staff knowledge of appropriate and effective management of wounds.

The program in India will train personnel in the Emergency Medicine, Plastic Surgery, General and Vascular Surgery, Physical Medicine and Endocrinology departments at the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, India. Volunteers will mentor faculty, staff and students by observing clinics and participating in ward rounds. Volunteers will also increase the collaboration between departments within CMC to provide a comprehensive approach to wound care for patients.

Harriett Loehne, PT, DPT, CWS, FACCWS will serve as the program director for the India program. "There is a serious, enthusiastic desire to promote training in modern wound care at CMC," states Dr. Loehne. "While there is awareness of some wound principles by the faculty, the staff generally appears to have limited wound care education. Volunteers can make a huge difference."

Volunteers fulfilling assignments in Peru will educate staff at Hospital Nacional Guillermo Almenara in Lima, Peru. Specific training areas at this site include wound healing, wound management, infection control, creative offloading, bedside debridement, moist wound healing, wound bed preparation and other areas of general wound care. There will also be an emphasis on supportive care, wound bed preparation, early diagnosis and differential diagnosis

Nicholas Przystawski, DPM will serve as the program director in Peru. "The best way to help Peruvians with wound care is through education," states Dr. Przystawski. "This experience will give volunteers the chance to be in the hospitals with the staff and show them, hands-on, how to improve their skills. I hope that this can be a growing trend within the health care system in Peru."

At Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope (SHCH) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, volunteers will educate general staff and at the in-house diabetic clinic, CIOMAL leprosy center and at Kosamak Hospital. Volunteers will provide a systematic education program for individual disciplines and develop instructional modules for nursing students and medical students. Volunteers will develop the staff's ability to train other Cambodian health care professionals and family members who provide home wound care. They will also expand the research and educational technology abilities of the SHCH staff.

Laurie Rappl, PT, CWS will serve as the program director in Cambodia. "The hospitalís top two values are training and compassionate care," states Ms. Rappl. "HVO volunteers are ideal candidates to embrace these visions while providing essential wound care education to the faculty at SHCH. The staff is very eager to learn from the volunteers."

Ms. Rappl will also lead the volunteer effort at the second program site in Cambodia, located at the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) in Siem Reap. At this site, volunteers will provide general wound management training and increase the staff's ability to train other Cambodian health care professinals in wound care who come to AHC for advanced training. Volunteers will focus on training of abcesses, burns, surgical incisions and traumatic wounds. In addition, they will develop education modules for wound cleaning, wound care and product selection.

"AHC is committed to increasing Cambodian nationalsí involvement in the hospital," states Ms. Rappl. "Volunteers can educate and train Cambodian wound care professionals in order for AHC to achieve their goal of becoming fully Cambodian-staffed. HVO volunteer presence at this hospital will leave a bigger footprint for all health care in Cambodia."

All volunteers will fulfill one - two week assignments. Teams of two - four will travel to the various sites several times a year. HVO is seeking physicians, nurses, podiatrists and physical and occupational therapist volunteers who specialize in wound care. Volunteers must have a current license to practice in their health care profession and be members of the AAWC.

A private, non-profit membership organization, Health Volunteers Overseas 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, 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. To learn more about volunteering with HVO, visit the web site (www.hvousa.org) or contact the HVO Program Department at (202) 296-0928.