The 2015-2016 Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) program is launching! This year’s class of volunteers is an outstanding group of physicians and nurses from across the United States, representing 10 medical and nursing specialties, and ranging in age from 26 to 74 years old. We are especially excited to have 4 GHSP Volunteers staying on for an additional year of service and 3 former Peace Corps Volunteers returning as GHSP Volunteers.
In addition, this class mark an important milestone: over the past three years, over 100 GHSP physicians and nurses have been sent into the field. Seed has also helped offset over $2.5 million of their debt, often a barrier to public service.
This week, our new volunteers are diving into their orientation sessions where they are hearing from experts and former GHSP Volunteers about current health systems, local disease burdens, and key training methods before leaving for their in-country orientations next week.
Over the next year, these GHSP Volunteers will be working alongside local colleagues at 13 institutions and 16 sites in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda. They will help build on the legacy of the first two years during which volunteers train over 2,500 students and faculty annually.
Meet Two 2015 GHSP Volunteers!
Nandakumaran Ponthenkandath, MBBS, DA, MD
Cherie Clark, MSN, BSN, RN
Ms. Clark has more than three decades of experience working as a nurse in countries where people often do not have access to basic healthcare: doctors, nurses, midwives or medicines. Her career in pediatric nursing and orphan care has taken her around the world. She has cared for countless children in war-torn Vietnam, worked with Mother Theresa, helped open pediatric clinics, and established a training program for doctors and nurses in West Bengal, India. Ms. Clark has also provided clinical care in Iraq, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Jordan. As she looks towards the year ahead, Ms. Clark explains: “I would really like to help [my Ugandan colleagues] improve on what they are doing… but I am also very aware that I will be learning a lot…That has always been my experience, everywhere I have gone…”