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Howard Hospital Staff Assist Hospital in Honduras

General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: September 15, 2008

Contact: Anthony Stahl
Director HR/Marketing
Howard Memorial Hospital
(707)-456-3101

Willits - "Rows 10 through 25 may board Continental flight 755 at this time." The announcement jolted me back to reality as I grabbed my carry-on bag and headed for the corridor that would lead me to my seat. All too soon I was settled in with seatbelt buckled and luggage stowed. I looked out the window to contemplate the final sights of Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras.

- "Rows 10 through 25 may board Continental flight 755 at this time." The announcement jolted me back to reality as I grabbed my carry-on bag and headed for the corridor that would lead me to my seat. All too soon I was settled in with seatbelt buckled and luggage stowed. I looked out the window to contemplate the final sights of Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras.

It seemed like yesterday our group of 12 Howard Memorial Hospital employees landed in Tegucigalpa ready to help a poor rural hospital and small orphanage in a town (Valley of the Angels) outside of the capital. So much planning and anticipation went into the trip. There were shots to take, suitcases to pack, fundraisers to conduct, and tickets to buy.

Landing in Tegucigalpa made the trip real. With a 40 minute bus drive through bustling, and sometimes out of control traffic, we arrived in Valley of the Angels ready to change the world one life at a time. The team worked in four different areas: CPR training, nutrition, biomed and an orphanage.

"The days went by so rapidly," commented Kristy Hosford, CPR trainer. "I'll never forget the fireman, nurses, boy scouts, and teachers we trained." The CPR team began their training at eight in the morning and didn't finish until evening. "You could tell they were just eating up the information," said Hosford. "They were so anxious to learn the latest CPR techniques." The team trained and certified over 40 people in CPR. "They were all so loving," said Jennifer Bender, trainer, "and so hungry for training and education." No doubt lives will be saved due to this initiative.

Meanwhile at the orphanage, four team members started their mornings at 7:40 teaching English to first graders, and then moving progressively on during the day up to sixth grade. "In the afternoon, we spent time playing and reading with the kids," stated Patsy Broeske. "These kids need so much love and attention."

"So many of the kids were left abandoned by their parents and were fortunate to find this orphanage," commented Kristen Colvig, HMH orphanage worker. The orphanage is training wonderful leaders for the country of Honduras. "In fact the director of the orphanage came to the facility at a young age and is now the leader," commented Broeske.

Back at the hospital other HMH staff members were busy assisting the dietary department. "We shared menus, reviewed administrative systems and helped the team cook for the patients," commented Leslie. It's exciting to see their garden where they obtain produce for the kitchen. "The smiles, hugs and words of appreciation made the whole trip worth it."

Of remarkable help to the hospital was the maintenance bio/med team lead by Tom Peterson. "We worked on assisting the hospital with a nurse call system," said Peterson. "The patients were using bells to call the nurses. Now nurses will see a light come on and hear a buzzer." The team also documented scores of other needs relating to equipment and repairs. "The hospital has only one defibrillator, and they're not even sure it works," commented Peterson. "I know we really made a difference for the folks at the hospital."

"We want to thank the Willits community and HMH employees for helping make this trip a possibility," stated Kevin Erich, HMH President and CEO. "It's these kinds of activities that give us more appreciation for what we have here at home."

Yes, the trip is over, but the images of those in need still remain. HMH will keep you updated as we plan future trips to continue support for the less fortunate.