February, 2024

Dear Friends,

With Valentine’s Day this month, it’s easy to have hearts on our minds. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, claiming 17.9 million lives annually. A 2023 report issued by the World Heart Federation shows that approximately four out of five of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, while progress made in cardiovascular health is mostly being achieved in high-income countries. HVO’s mission is to address inequities like this one through education, helping our partners access the knowledge and skills they need to strengthen their own health care systems and provide their patients with the high quality care they deserve. Since June 2023, HVO volunteers have been providing virtual training sessions to partners at Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital (SKMH) in Kampot, Cambodia, offering lectures on topics such as heart failure, myocardial infarct, electrocardiography, and clinical cardiologySKMH is now hoping to begin receiving in-person volunteers to continue cardiology instruction. Please reach out to us if you are interested in learning more.
I am always in awe of the love and kindness our global community shows to us and to each other, and February offers us a chance to celebrate that love. Here’s to advancing heart health together, all over the world!

April Pinner, MSPH, RD
Executive Director
Partner Spotlight
Dr. Mariela Haydee Fuentes has been the on-site coordinator for HVO’s hematology project in Arequipa, Peru since 2009. In that time, she has helped coordinate nearly a hundred assignments for HVO volunteers.
“I think partnership with HVO has been the best thing that could have happened to us. We are far from the capital and had felt somewhat abandoned. If doctors are well trained, then we are prepared to help our patients – and that training has been achieved with support from HVO. During the pandemic, things were more challenging, but still we were able to hold Zoom meetings to discuss difficult clinical cases. Despite the challenges, the program continues.
One volunteer, Dr. Antoinette Streit, liked it here in Arequipa so much that she moved here and started a foundation with a Brazilian doctor, Dr. Foggiato, and they fund Peruvian doctors to complete residencies in Brazil.
I think, for many reasons, these exchanges have allowed us to be at the forefront of current knowledge in medicine and have allowed us to interact with other doctors who are experts in hematology. We need constant training with well-trained doctors whose medicine is first-class. With their help, we will become better doctors every day.”
To learn more about our hematology project in Arequipa, visit https://hvousa.org/specialty-areas/hematology/.
If you participated in e-learning from October 1-December 31, 2023, please take a few seconds to report your volunteer hours for that time period by clicking here.
Feinberg Fellowship
Lao Friends Hospital for Children is recruiting a long-term volunteer to work with 16 nurses in the High Acuity Unit. Volunteers must be registered nurses with a minimum of three years of experience working in an ICU. The fellowship covers volunteers’ roundtrip airfare and housing costs, as well as assignment-related expenses such as visa(s), medical/nursing council registration, etc. In addition, the volunteer will receive a modest stipend to cover food, transportation, and other incidental costs. For more information, visit our website or contact Lisa Vu.
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Volunteering Opportunities
Hematology and Hematopathology, Tanzania is recruiting virtual and overseas volunteers to assist with a list of topics, including hematopathology and flow cytometry. Virtual volunteers are welcome to join ongoing online lectures and case discussions with our colleagues on-site. Interested volunteers should contact Lauren Franklin.
Internal Medicine, Kabale, Uganda is recruiting overseas volunteers with expertise in any topic. Interested volunteers should contact Natalie Cary.
Oncology, Nepal is recruiting radiation and medical oncologists with experience in pediatric topics to assist with reoccurring virtual tumor board discussions. Interested volunteers should contact Lauren Franklin.
Oral Health, Uganda is recruiting pediatric dentists to assist with creating and presenting e-learning lectures. Interested volunteers should contact  Lauren Franklin.
Orthopaedics, Asuncion, Paraguay is recruiting an in-person, orthopaedic surgery volunteer with a subspecialty in shoulder surgery for spring, 2024. Interested volunteers should contact Andrea Moody.
Nursing, Luang Prabang, Laos is recruiting in-person volunteers to provide support to the ED/ICU nursing department. Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of two months. Interested volunteers should contact Natalie Cary.
Guatemala map
Rehabilitation, Guatemala is recruiting physical therapists, speech language therapists, or occupational therapists for a team trip between April 13 and April 27, 2024. Spanish speaking volunteers are encouraged to apply. Interested volunteers should contact  Lauren Franklin.
To read about HVO's volunteers, partners, and projects, visit our blog.
We Want To Hear From You!
Are you an HVO volunteer with a story to tell? We are always looking for stories, big and small, to share on our social media and HVO blog. If you have something you would like shared, please contact Danielle Stonehirsch.
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