July 12 Peace Corps Information Session at MedShare

Are you familiar with the Peace Corps, and interested in learning more about volunteering for their organization? On July 12, we’ll be hosting an information session on learning what it takes to become a Peace Corps Volunteer at our Southeast Region Distribution Center.


Learn What it Takes to Become a Peace Corps Volunteer

Peace Corps has assignments around the globe for graduates interested in international service. Attend our next GlobeTalk info session and learn how Peace Corps offers an exceptional opportunity to put your education, experience and abilities to work in an overseas community. Peace Corps Recruiter Becky Ament will talk about her experience as a Health Volunteer in Malawi. MedShare representative, Stephanie Greene, will also share her experiences as a former Peace Corps Volunteer and provide information about MedShare.

Agenda

• Peace Corps Recruiter Becky Ament shares her overseas story

• DVD featuring Volunteers currently serving in the Peace Corps

• How to apply and how to be more competitive

• Updated details about our all-expenses-paid benefits package PLUS graduate school fellowships

• Open discussion and questions from the audience

Bring your friends/family and your questions! For more information, contact Becky Ament at rament@peacecorps.gov.

GlobeTalk Information Session

Tuesday, July 12th

6:00 – 7:30pm

MedShare

3240 Clifton Springs Rd

Decatur, GA 30034

Our organization has ties to the Peace Corps (we provided one of their teams in Ghana medical supplies and our Financial Director, Stephanie Green, is a Return Peace Corps Volunteer), and we’re excited to host this event!

MedShare Visits Guatemala: Our Hospital Partners Excel, Fight, and Innovate

As our plane approached the airport in Guatemala City, Amanda Paniagua, MedShare’s Shipments Manager, leans over and opens the window shade. As she looked out, she said, “look, we are in another country!” Indeed, we were. Once again a MedShare team was on its way to learn about our medical aid recipients and explore with them how we can best partner to improve healthcare for those in most need.

Team at Hospital Atitlan

Along with Amanda are myself, Josh Kravitz, COO, and Terry Monday, Volunteer Manager for MedShare’s Western Region. Our mission on this trip was to dive into the Guatemalan medical community to learn just who will be our best partner hospitals over the next year or two and truly understand their unique needs. Without a doubt, we prepared to leave this wonderful country with a better understanding that will lead to even higher quality medical aid shipments.

Since 2000, MedShare has shipped twenty-seven containers of medical aid and supplied countless MedTeams helping the Guatemalan people. We had a lot of options to start from, but chose to visit with two of our most trusted corporate partners, Dole and Kimberly-Clark. In the last few years, Dole has provided shipping for seven 40-foot containers on their vessels. While none have been to Guatemala, we were eager to learn how they are working to improve healthcare for the people here. As expected, they are working to improve lives in this important banana-growing region and are starting some new projects that MedShare hopes to help with.

It was in 2001 that MedShare sent our first container with Kimberly-Clark to Guatemala and we were excited to see the results of our numerous containers since.  We started with a visit to the Hospital Materno Infantil, where we were overjoyed to see a facility that provided not only high level care, but paying great respect to the families they served. Though the hospital may have been low on resources, they stretched themselves as far as they could while continuing to honor their patients with services that would satisfy any North American. Most impressive was their ability to build a sterilization capability with similar capacity of a US hospital. Following several visits to small clinics, we ended the first day by seeking some advice from the nuns at the Central American headquarters for the Daughters of Charity, as introduced to us by Accession Healthcare. In MedShare’s efforts to only work with the most honest and professional partners, we must seek advice from those who truly know local needs.

The following day, we met with Food for the Poor and their long time partner, the Knights of Malta. It goes without saying how impressed we were that together these two organizations partner to accept and distribute an average of two containers of medical and food aid every day. MedShare was proud to most recently have shipped a container of hospital beds from our Western Region in aid of their mission. Our first hospital stop was to visit their recipients at the National Hospital in Antigua, and we were shocked to see moldy ceilings, rusty beds and crumbling walls. The desperate situation became overwhelmingly real when we saw premature babies being warmed by nothing more than a floor lamp with an incandescent light bulb; a similar set-up to what caused an infant’s finger to be burned off at one of our recipient hospitals years earlier. Despite challenging circumstances, this hospital has amazingly set up Guatemala’s first breast milk bank so babies in crisis can still benefit from this simple, but fortifying nutrition. We finished this day by visiting the world famous Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro that conducts the highest quality services for the poor from orthopedic surgeries to caring for the mentally disabled.

Premature baby being warmed by a floor lamp

Pediatrician preparing donated milk

It was difficult to imagine we could see anything more heartbreaking or inspiring, but the trip went on. Wednesday began with a visit to the national hospital in Solola. This government hospital that serves primarily an indigenous and extremely poor population struggles to survive on an adequate budget that leaves them no choice but to operate with only one nurse for every 15 patients. We were shown intermediate care units with almost no working monitors, an operating room filled with broken equipment and a patient ward that reeked of urine and was filled with ancient mattresses on rusted beds.  Again, the facility persevered and managed to establish a blood bank where patients’ families could donate blood. This day ended on an extraordinary note with a visit to Dr. Louis Flores who is using his 401K money to build a clinic for one of the poorest villages on Lake Atitlan. This fascinating doctor, who recently retired to his native Guatemala after decades with the Mayo Clinic, will spend his “leisure” years giving nearly free care to one of the most medically under-resourced communities in the country. Then, just stay busy, Dr. Flores also hopes to teach painting to villagers on the weekend.

The National Hospital in Solola's blood bank

The trip concluded with an energizing stop at the Hospilito Atitlan in Santiago de Guatemala with the extraordinary mission of providing for the preventative, maternal and emergency health needs of the Lake Atitlan’s indigenous population. Through the interesting use of battery back-ups, generators, water purification, highly-trained staff, quality equipment and state of the art facilities, this hospital, with MedShare’s partnership, offers care at low or no cost to a population that can easily be called the “poorest of the poor” in a way that surpasses what even the United States’ best free clinics and public hospitals provide. Recently, MedShare shipped a container of medical aid to Hospitalito Atitlan in May 2010 that was sponsored by Mr. Bill Cuneo from Northern CA.

Once again, this visit proved that under almost unbearable circumstances, people can find creative solutions to seemingly insurmountable odds.  When most give up, our Guatemalan partners innovate. When many accept social injustice, our partners fight. When few succeed, our partners excel.

Amanda, Terry and I wish to thank the many who made this expedition possible, including Dole, Kimberly-Clark, Accession Health, Food for the Poor, Knights of Malta and former MedShare board chair Bonnie O’Neill. We are also grateful for the always important advice from MedShare staff and board members who helped craft a wonderful itinerary, including Stephanie Greene, Nell Diallo, Chuck Haupt and Pat Robinson.

To view more photos, click here.

July 12th Peace Corps Information Session at MedShare

Are you familiar with the Peace Corps, and interested in learning more about volunteering for their organization? On July 12, we’ll be hosting an information session on learning what it takes to become a Peace Corps Volunteer at our Southeast Region Distribution Center.


Learn What it Takes to Become a Peace Corps Volunteer

Peace Corps has assignments around the globe for graduates interested in international service. Attend our next GlobeTalk info session and learn how Peace Corps offers an exceptional opportunity to put your education, experience and abilities to work in an overseas community. Peace Corps Recruiter Becky Ament will talk about her experience as a Health Volunteer in Malawi. MedShare representative, Stephanie Greene, will also share her experiences as a former Peace Corps Volunteer and provide information about MedShare.

Agenda

• Peace Corps Recruiter Becky Ament shares her overseas story

• DVD featuring Volunteers currently serving in the Peace Corps

• How to apply and how to be more competitive

• Updated details about our all-expenses-paid benefits package PLUS graduate school fellowships

• Open discussion and questions from the audience

Bring your friends/family and your questions! For more information, contact Becky Ament at rament@peacecorps.gov.

GlobeTalk Information Session

Tuesday, July 12th

6:00 – 7:30pm

MedShare

3240 Clifton Springs Rd

Decatur, GA 30034

Our organization has ties to the Peace Corps (we provided one of their teams in Ghana medical supplies and our Financial Director, Stephanie Green, is a Return Peace Corps Volunteer), and we’re excited to host this event!

March 10th Peace Corps Event at MedShare

On March 10th, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, MedShare partnered with the Atlanta Regional office to host a Peace Corps information session.

The session was led by Recruiter Becky Ament and MedShare staff member & Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Stephanie Greene served on the panel and addressed questions about her Peace Corps experience.

Peace Corps event attendees

Info Table at Peace Corps event

The event was well attended and there was a great deal of enthusiasm about volunteer opportunities at MedShare.