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IVUmed Volunteer Featured in Local Paper

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IVUmed is currently conducting a female reconstructive urology workshop in Pignon, Haiti at the Hopital Bienfaisance de Pignon until March 27, followed by a male reconstructive urology workshop through April 5th. The Morrison County Record out of Minnesota interviewed Justin Lindhart, a CRNA volunteer on the female urology team, on his fifth medical service trip to Haiti.

 

In his interview, Lindhardt shared details regarding his work with IVUmed and insights into providing medical training and care in Haiti, giving a perspective on the challenges and rewards of working in resource-poor areas around the world.

 

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Lindhardt is quoted, saying,  “IVUmed takes care of the background checks, helps with booking flights, places to stay, insurance and proof of licensure, etc. They make it much easier for us…Our goal is to teach the Haitian physicians and nurses the necessary skills in current urology practice.”

“The hospital at Pignon, in comparison to other third world countries, is outstanding. They have Stryker Endo Suites which means they have high definition monitors and video equipment. They are able to hook up by satellite to any hospital around the world to assist in teaching and learning from others. By using this equipment they are able to watch other procedures at other sites,” Lindhardt said.

“The thing that impresses me the most is the resilience of the patients. An example is we did a procedure on a 3-year-old boy who had a hernia. The next day he got on a motorcycle with his dad for the three-hour trip home. Never complaining or fussing at all.”

“In other years we had support  in the form of supplies from St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Catholic Health Initiatives, and Little Falls Anesthesia which we were very thankful for. Now there is funding through IVUmed and others. They have everything we need ready for us when we get there,” he said.

Lindhardt concluded his interview by saying, “It is an absolutely wonderful learning experience. I would encourage anyone who can to try the experience.”

 

Our thanks to the Morrison County Record for covering this story, and to Justin Lindhardt and all of the many IVUmed volunteers who serve around the world to help realize IVUmed’s goal to make quality urological care available to all people.

Read the original interview on The Morrison County Record website here.

 

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Vietnam: An Enduring Partnership

 

A team, including IVUmed board member, Steven E. Kahan, MD, JD., is wrapping up our latest workshop today – a general urology workshop at Hue Central Hospital, in Hue, Vietnam. IVUmed has a long, successful history of partnership in Vietnam.  Our volunteers began working with Vietnamese pediatric surgeons in 1994, predating our official incorporation in 1995.

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Vietnam has a population of approximately 95.5 million people, but have access to only  1.224 doctors per 1000 people. In 1994, fewer than 100 pediatric urology patients were treated annually there.  After many years of successful training, our partner surgeons now run their own training programs independently and treat over 1000 patients annually.

 

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IVUmed specialty workshops in Vietnam have included general urology, pediatric urology, and endourology. Dr. Kahan shared this photo taken at the classroom lecture portion of the workshop at Hue Central Hospital:

 

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Notes from the Field: Reconstruction in Rwanda

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Jeremy Myers, MD, of the Department of Genitourinary Injury and Reconstructive Urology at University of Utah School of Medicine, recently returned from an IVUmed reconstructive urology workshop trip to Rwanda. Upon returning to the United States, Dr. Myers recorded his thoughts on working with IVUmed and his experience in Rwanda. He has kindly allowed us to share his thoughts here:

 

Jeremy Myers 3/17/2014 – University of Utah and IVUmed:Rwanda_countryside

“I am just returning from a 2 week trip from Rwanda, Africa with IVUmed.  The focus of this group, headed by Catherine DeVries MD, is on increasing global urologic access through education of local surgeons.  The motto of the organization is “Teach One, Reach Many.”  This philosophy differs substantially from many relief organizations or mission trips.  Most often these trips seek to give aid and provide surgical care in resource poor countries.  While this is a noble sentiment, the impact of these trips may not be very great when they are viewed in the context of a country’s overall population and needs.  How much impact can a single trip have, with 20-40 operations performed in a country with a population of millions?

“This is why IVUmed’s mission and guiding principles are so important.  As opposed to impacting a few patients, surgeons can impact a population by identifying sites where surgeons are wanting to increase the level of care they provide and have the basic resources needed to create this change.

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“In Rwanda, there are 2 urologists for a population of 12 million people!  They are talented surgeons that are concentrated on providing quality care and also upon training more urologists.  They are now training 2 other urologists and anticipate a residency in urology in the future.

“Our trip was the first adult reconstructive urology workshop in Rwanda.  We found that the surgeons there were very talented.  They had excellent fine dissection and made the most of the resources they had.  They perform about 50-60 urethroplasties a year.

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We were able to demonstrate new techniques [that will enhance the local care of severe pelvic injuries].  The [local surgeons] should be able to incorporate [them] into their skill set with their already impressive urethroplasty experience.  These were challenging cases, but not something the Rwandan surgeons had had much exposure to.

“Our team consisted of 2 adult reconstructive urologists, a urology resident, a radiologist who was married to one of the reconstructive urologists, and an anesthesiologist.  We performed about 26 operations in 2 weeks.

 

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“We were able to have the weekend in Kigali, which is the main city in Rwanda.  Our weekend was spent visiting the markets in the city and relaxing.  We also made a visit to the genocide museum.  While this was a difficult visit to make, we felt this was something important to do in order to understand how the genocide has affected all of Rwanda and shaped its current government and culture.

“This was a fantastic trip and our team felt we were able to educate and show the Rwandan surgeons some advanced techniques that they can incorporate very readily into their practice.  I am looking forward to returning and reinforcing these techniques and observing what progress the urologist have made in shaping their urology training programs.  They were inspiring surgeons and individuals and very gracious hosts for our trip.  While it takes a while to get to Rwanda, the experience was worth it.”

 

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Programs Update: Kumasi, Ghana

 

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IVUmed Chair, Hiep “Bob” Nguyen, MD, recently returned from a pediatric urology workshop in Kumasi, Ghana. He reflected on the IVUmed team’s work there and shared these thoughts on the experience:

 

“It has been a wonderful trip. The team has been working very hard…everyone is exhausted but so energized from being able to take care of so many children. We received so much thanks from the parents, making us wish we could even do more, but there are only so many hours during the day and days during the week.

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“Our Ghanian hosts have been so generous with their time and assistance. They crowd our operating room wanting to learn and share their experience with us. 

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“The surgical workshops challenge you physically, mentally and spiritually. They give you a new perspective on health care and on kindness, making you a better person with each patient you take care of and each health care provider you help learn.”

 

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Deadlines for Abstract Submissions

 

The 34th Congress of the Société Internationale d’Urologie (SIU) will be held in Glasgow, Scotland from October 12-15, 2014.

Abstract submissions are due before April 1st.

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The Pediatric Urology Fall Conference will convene in Miami Beach, FL from October 24-26, 2014.

Abstract submission are due before Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.

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IVUmed Founder to Receive Physician of the Year Award

 

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IVUmed president and founder, Catherine deVries, M.D., has been awarded the Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award for Clinical Excellence. The Castle Connolly Award recognizes “physicians and leaders in healthcare whose dedication, talents, and skills have improved the lives of countless thousands of people throughout the world.”

 

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The Castle Connolly award presentation will be held in New York City on March 31, 2014. Congratulations to Catherine on receiving this prestigious and much deserved recognition for her years of medical service and the founding of IVUmed, dedicated to making quality surgical and urological training and care available worldwide.

 

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Women’s Month Feature: Kristin Chrouser

 

IVUmed Board Member and Volunteer:  Kristin Chrouser, MD

 

Dr. Kristin Chrouser was IVUmed’s first fellow and has been an IVUmed board member since 2004.

 

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Dr. Kristin Chrouser has trained and assisted doctors in Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, India, and elsewhere. Of her reconstructive urology work for women of Namibia, Dr. Chrouser stated, “the smiles and often spontaneous dances of joy that erupt when a woman leaves the hospital cured and dry make it all worthwhile”.

She became involved with IVUmed when she traveled to India as a Traveling Resident Scholar. She spent two weeks at a urology camp in Bhopal, India organized by local Hindu charity Jeev Sewa Sansthan (JSS), which translates as “Service to the Living”. The organization, founded on the principle that God is seen in all people, has founded several schools, an eye hospital, and provides several short-term urology and general surgery “camps” each year. IVUmed partners with JSS to provide US urologists and resident volunteers for JSS camps.

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Dr. Chrouser and mentor Dr Sakti Das, a veteran IVUmed mentor and long-time India camp participant, scrubbed in together on dozens of cases.

About her experience in India, Dr Chrouser reflected:

“Surgically, I had an amazing experience. There were moments of frustration—language barriers, incorrect suture, no sterile forceps with teeth, scissors that refused to cut, inadequate anesthesia, but overall, given the environment, things ran very smoothly… I learned that a dorsal lumbotomy incision can be used to access the collecting system in an adult (with minimal need for post-operative analgesia), as long as you’re willing to work in a hole! I found that almost anything can be done under spinal anesthesia—as long as you don’t mind your patient watching you operate…Despite my inability to speak Hindi, I saw in the eyes of my patients a message of hope. It made me forget the small inconveniences of working in India and remember the real reason for service to others.”

 

 

Read more about Dr. Chrouser’s work on her website: www.freewebs.com/chrouser.

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March is International Women’s Month

 

From our founder and president, Catherine DeVries, MD, to active board members, and specialists and nurses on the ground, IVUmed has been shaped by the dedicated involvement and expertise of many amazing, committed women. We’re highlighting their work as part of our celebration of International Women’s Month:

 

IVUmed Founder & President, Catherine deVries, MD6184-CatherineDevries_web

A graduate of Harvard University, Catherine deVries holds a Masters in Pathology from Duke University and an M.D. from Stanford University. She trained in Urology at Stanford University and completed her fellowship in Pediatric Urology at University of California, San Diego. Her awards include the American Red Cross International Hero Award in 2011, the American Urological Association’s 2009 Distinguished Contribution Award, The American Urological Association’s Honorary Member 2007, along with many others.

 

Catherine incorporated IVUmed in 1995, to address the enormous need for patient care and professional training in urology in resource-poor areas of the world. Initially established to help meet the staggering need for pediatric urology in developing countries, IVUmed has grown to include virtually all areas of urology and incorporates education for nurses, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists and other related areas of medical and surgical care. With a proven model that has helped to successfully build surgical training programs in countries as diverse as Honduras, Vietnam, Senegal and Mongolia, IVUmed tailors its efforts to the needs of each of its many partner hospitals and communities.

 

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In addition to founding IVUmed, Dr. deVries has served as an educator and leader in international surgical care and advocacy. In all of these domains, she said that her aim has been “to help make quality surgical care accessible and affordable to people worldwide and to support the surgeons who provide that care”.

 

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IVUmed is committed to making quality urological care available to people worldwide.