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WWGH Team Visits Guyana Sister Hospital

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A team of two Walla Walla General Hospital administrators and one physician recently returned from a visit to Davis Memorial Hospital, a 40-bed Adventist Health International hospital in Georgetown, Guyana. Their goal was to explore what will hopefully become a mutually beneficial relationship with this "sister" hospital.

"It was wonderful to visit this hospital," states Monty Knittel, WWGH president. "Even though the culture and healthcare practices were different than ours, the common thread of our mission was evident in everything they did and every person we met."

Knittel and the rest of the team—Vice President for Patient Care Marj Simons and Dr. Jack Hoehn—spent 48 hours on site. During the short visit they toured the hospital and met with administrators, employees and physicians to discuss the hospital’s needs and ways in which WWGH may be able to help.

Founded in 1954, Davis Memorial Hospital is part of Adventist Health International, an organization that connects the strengths of Adventist Health systems in the United States with Adventist hospitals in other countries. AHI currently works with 52 hospitals and clinics in 13 countries. Davis Memorial Hospital employs approximately 60 people and is one of six hospitals in the country's capital city. However, the small South American hospital struggles to maintain qualified staff and updated equipment.

"The staff and physicians are doing a great job under very difficult circumstances," says Hoehn. "Davis Memorial Hospital has a continuing Adventist Health care mission and is greatly needed in that country. We hope to strengthen the institution through the resources and talents we are fortunate to have here."

Some of the ways in which WWGH hopes to help include serving as an off-site resource for biomedical equipment, providing continuing education for staff or even adopting a particular unit in an "Extreme Makeover"-style.

WWGH has been providing health care services to the Walla Walla Valley since 1899. This sister hospital initiative is an extension of the hospital's mission to restore peace, hope and health in the way Christ did. Money for this first site visit—and for future partnerships with Davis Memorial Hospital—has been donated by individuals interested in furthering that mission.