Greetings and Happy New Year!
Thank you for your continued interest, prayer and financial support of the Medical Ambassador program with Paul Carlson Partnership. As we close out a decade (hard to believe we are here!) I would like to take this opportunity to share a few updates with you. It takes all of us doing a little to make a big impact, thank you!
It was a busy year in 2019 with two teaching trips, our first annual Medical Ambassador retreat held in Chicago, and the Karawa Nursing Dormitory rehabilitation project. Below are a few exciting ministry highlights of 2019:
April 2019: Emergency Medicine continues to develop in Loko Hospital area as well as the Karawa Hospital. Thank you to Dr. Jerry Oliaro, Emergency Medicine doctor who lead his third teaching trip along with Karen Kerner RN and missionary Sheryl Noren EMT. The dedication of this team was tremendous as they had to rewrite emergency medicine curriculum for developing countries to fit the beginning practices for our partners in Congo. Implementing a new service line into any health system is a huge undertaking and our Congolese medical professionals are moving forward slowly. There are many environmental barriers, such as small facilities, bad roads to travel upon (as they transport their ill and injured from a clinic to a hospital), as well as paradigm shifts to efficiencies in practice to provide true emergency medicine. Keep these teams in your prayers.
Master Trainers Advance the Mission
October 2019: We had a triad of training and went in three different directions! More importantly we took the “train the trainer” method to the next level by asking our partners to choose “Master Trainers” who would teach the courses and the PCP Medical Ambassadors would be coaches/mentors to our Congolese medical professional partners. These Master Trainers prepared their class materials prior to our arrival so they were ready to deliver the education to their counterparts, which they did with skill and ability. A great advancement in our partnership happened and we praise God for His presence with us! The three groups were:
- Dr. Jim Walker with missionary Marta Klein PA and interpreter, mentored a current medical student, clinic nurse, and hospital nurse as they trained Bogose Nubea area staff and Bokada hospital staff in maternal care.
- Dr. Eric Gunnoe and Karen Goeke RN mentored two clinic nurses as they trained Loko health nurses in pediatric care.
- Ann Hagensen RN and local missionary Sheryl Noren EMT were coaching nursing professors as they trained nursing students in head to toe assessments and nursing protocols at Karawa ISTM and ITM Schools of Nursing.
Nursing Dorm Rehab Update
October 2019: The Karawa dorms have been heavy on my heart for years and 2019 was the year to take action in fundraising. The largest dorm formerly housed all the missionary kids as they attended elementary and secondary schools close by. Over time and through war torn years the building has become uninhabitable. As the funds were dispersed in the first six months of 2019 and rehabilitation to the building progressed, the rumors within the community began to spread that “the white children will be returning.” A local CEUM Pastor was pleased to share with the local Karawa community that “our brothers and sisters in the U.S. are sending the funds to create a safe, clean, and comfortable dormitory space for our nursing students. Your children will have better study spaces, sleeping quarters, and a place for fellowship.” This Pastor is very encouraged that this will bring more families to local churches and more students to the nursing schools. God is at work, glory to His name! Check out the progress here.
First Annual Medical Ambassador Retreat
November 2019: We held our first Annual Medical Ambassador Retreat in Chicago. There were 15 volunteers and 3 PCP staff members joining together to reflect on our work of the past 10 years, celebrate, and recalibrate our structure. It was a fruitful time with breakthroughs in cultural insights coming to the forefront of our work, new ways of engagement emerged, and a plan for the next few years came forth.
- Training/Strategy Trip: From April 26 to possibly May 7, 2020, we will be doing follow-up nursing training and strategy meetings with our partners. We are also considering adding surgical training during this trip. If you know of an orthopedic surgeon, GYN surgeon, or general surgeon who may be a good fit as a Medical Ambassador and is interested in sharing one skill or technique with our Congolese surgical medical professionals, please contact Craig Anderson, Director of Medical and Health Programs.
- On this same trip we will be meeting with the Medical Leadership to engage in the same type of retreat format we did in November and come to a formal agreement as partners.
- Fall Trip October: Pediatric/Maternal Health Training
Thank you again for your continued interest at all levels. Please reach out to me or Craig Anderson, PCP Director of Medical and Health Programs, with any questions, thoughts, or ideas. Collaboration, empowerment, and partnership is what makes the Medical Ambassador program rich as we live out our God given gifts with love for our brothers and sisters of Congo.
May God bless you in 2020!
Ann Hagensen RN
Volunteer Medical Ambassador President