Kenya Trip Notes from the Field: Angie Fife Engelberger

By Angie Fife Engelberger, MedShare Southeast Regional Council

Sign posted in the Men's Ward of St. Mary's Mission Hospital, Nairobi

My name is Angie Fife Engelberger, and I am currently a member of the Southeast Regional Council. This trip, which was originally scheduled for November, did not fit into my calendar.   As soon as I found out the trip had been rescheduled I jumped at the opportunity to join the traveling group  As a late addition I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to join this trip; I’ve been able to participate in many different phases of the MedShare process, from sorting supplies to sponsoring a container, and this is the perfect opportunity to “complete the picture”.  I have been so excited to see the beneficiaries of many MedShare containers and witness first hand how the supplies are being used.

Medshare-provided supplies

First thing Monday morning our group left the hotel for St. Mary’s Mission Hospital in Nairobi. The hospital was founded by Dr. Father Bill Fryda and opened in June 2001. We arrived at the hospital and were met by Fr. Barati, who took us through a waiting area filled with at least a hundred people, to meet Dr. Walter Konya. St. Mary’s has received 19 containers from MedShare since 2001, and I am so impressed by the number of people this long term relationship has affected. In addition to inpatients in this 325 bed hospital, 250,000 outpatients are seen each year by a staff of 20 doctors. Just do the math – the numbers are staggering!  Dr. Konya took us on a tour of the postpartum ward where encountered a room of premature babies, including this little guy, who has been spending the first days of his life in an incubator provided by MedShare.

Preemie in Medshare-provided incubator

We continued our tour and saw patients using wheelchairs provided by MedShare, boxes of supplies provided by MedShare, and an operating theater with much of the equipment provided by MedShare. I am truly in awe by the long reach a simple box of supplies has, and even more impressed by the gratitude Dr. Konya and the entire staff of St  Mary’s expressed for the supplies sent by MedShare. Believe me, I will not look at latex gloves, masks and gowns the same way again. Many thanks to St. Mary’s for their hospitality.  I look forward to following this well run hospital in the future!

Dr. Konya discussing MedShare-provided supplies

This post is part of a series we’re doing over the coming days while MedShare staff, Board of Trustee and Council members travel through Kenya from February 17 – 27. We invite you to share the experience with them by reading their stories; to access them, click on the “Africa Trip“  icon in the right sidebar. Safe travels, team!

MedShare: Mid-November Container Shipment Announcements

Mid-November Container Shipment Announcements

To view October’s Container Shipment Announcements, click here.

 

MedShare’s Consul of Ecuador Recognition and Welcome Lunch

On Friday, January 21st, 2011, MedShare hosted a lunch at Horseradish Grill to recognize the Honorary Consul of Ecuador, Patricia Boezio, for all her work on behalf of MedShare over the past ten years, and welcome the new Consul of Ecuador, Ambassador Francisco Riofrio.

MedShare CEO A.B. Short, Francisco Riofrio, and Patricia Boezio

 

In her role, Consul Boezio helped MedShare ship 43 containers of medical humanitarian aid to 38 different recipients in Ecuador, which totaled over $7.2 million in value.

Patricia Boezio and MedShare CEO A.B. Short

One of the most notable moments of our long relationship with Consul Boezio was at MedShare’s 500th Container Celebration, in which she gave a most dynamic and inspirational speech about the strength of the Ecuadorian people as well as the need for medical aid.  The recipient of the 500th container was the Angela Loayza de Ollague Obstetrical Hospital in Santa Rosa (near Machala) where staff struggle to care for the town’s maternal infant population with limited supplies, equipment and staff resources.

Consul Boezio’s commitment to go the extra mile to help MedShare meet our short deadlines is deeply appreciated, and far exceeded our greatest expectations.

Luis Gallegos, the Ambassador in Ecuador in Washington, D.C., sent a note to MedShare’s COO Josh Kravitz recognizing Consul Boezio’s work. The letter was read during the ceremony by MedShare’s Shipments Manager, Amanda Panaigua.

Dear Mr. Kravitz,

MedShare's Amanda Paniagua reading a letter from Luis Gallegos, Ambassador of Ecuador in Washington, D.C.

Thank you for your invitation to attend MedShare’s formal lunch in Atlanta to recognize Mrs. Boezio and to welcome the new Consul General, Ambassador Riofrio. Most unfortunately I will be unable to attend due to prior engagements. I would, however, like to be there in spirit through the reading of this letter at the lunch.

I proudly commend both Mrs. Boezio and MedShare for their truly wonderful and inspiring humanitarian service to medically underserved hospitals throughout Ecuador. I think I speak for all of Ecuador when I say how honored I am to know of fellow Ecuadorians like Mrs. Boezio and of humanitarian organizations like MedShare. You are gifts to the world and I thank you dearly for your beautiful will to serve others.

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to Ambassador Riofrio as the new Consul General of Ecuador in Atlanta. The great significance and importance this region of the United States has for our National Government has been underlined by the designation of an Ambassador, a career diplomat, to the Ecuadorian Consulate. I wish Ambassador Riofrio all the best at his new post in Georgia. I have no doubt that he will be well received by the wonderful people of that state, which I have had the pleasure of visiting on many occasions.

With warm regards and gratitude.

Sincerely,

Luis Gallegos, Washington D.C. Ambassador of Ecuador

We also welcome the new Consul of Ecuador, Francisco Riofrio. A career diplomat of over 35 years, Consul Riofrio has previously held the Consul of Ecuador position on San Franciso and was the Ambassador of Ecuador in Israel. He was appointed General Consul of Ecuador in Atlanta by the new government of Economista Rafael Correa, President of the Republic of Ecuador, and his jurisdiction includes NC, SC, TN, AL, and GA.

In attendance were a representative from Kimberly Clark and Southeastern Regional Council Members Sally Dean and Angie Engelberger.

Lunch attendees, including Kimberly Clark representative

La Vision, an Atlanta Hispanic newspaper, wrote a great article covering the event; it can be viewed here.

Attendees chatting post-lunch