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Resident Scholar Dr. Tan Travels to Senegal

Dr. James Tan’s IVUmed scholarship experience in Dakar, Senegal was made possible by the generous support of the South Central Section of the AUA. During his time in Senegal, Dr. Tan was accompanied by mentor, Francis Schneck, MD.

Dr. Tan, reflecting on his experience, reported, “We quickly got through our intake of 30 plus patients with efficiency despite some of us still recovering from severe jet lag.  Amongst these we chose the most appropriate cases to proceed with and scheduled them appropriately on each of the operative days.  Despite the facilities being much different from what we were used to we were quick to unpack and start cases the following day.  It was clear from the get go that the aim of our time would be focused on training the local doctors new techniques and procedures.  There was a willingness to allow the local surgeons to have as much hands on time and struggles as possible much like during our residency training.  This would not be a time of pure observation.  They would get valuable experience with cases they’d never seen before.  Each day was long and tiring but at the end of the day there was a satisfaction I had in working with a great group of people as a team helping the kids we operated on.

My goal as I progress in my career is to eventually do continuous short-term mission trips.  I made many valuable observations.  Organization was key as we had a set schedule from the minute we landed.  This demands an established relationship with the local people and doctors that can only be developed through years of working together much like Dr. Schneck had with the Grand Yoff hospital.  As I learned, two of the local urologists had spent time in the U.S. and had visited Dr. Schneck and Tina the nurse who traveled with us.  An additional element of a successful trip was the need to teach your skills to as many as possible.  As the old saying goes give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.  The same can be said for doctors.  The most helpful thing for the local people besides sending more doctors is to teach the doctors already there new skills and techniques so that they may reach as many people as possible even when the team leaves.”

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The Latest from Rwanda

As our IVUmed team wrapped up their week in Rwanda, Dr. Alli Greening reported,

“I’m now finishing up about 40 hours of air travel in a little over a week, am confused as to what time it is, and exhausted from a busy OR and teaching schedlue. I am also really excited to have identified some problems with the anesthesia education and hopefully our next steps in Rwanda. I am already figuring out how to improve anesthesia education there, and hopefully not only bring it up to a  level commiserate with their surgical capabilities,  but make it self sustaining by beginning to work with a core group of providers and develop a curriculum that they can then teach and disseminate to others, something both myself and Bob Nguyen feel is a key concept in this project.

Despite the jet lag and exhaustion, when Bob asked if any of us would like to return next year, every one of us immediately raised our hands. As I sat at the Hotel Des Mille Collines (former Hotel Rwanda) celebrating with a drink on the way to the airport with part of the team we remarked this was each of our favorite mission ever. The team dynamic had been phenomenal, we had seen really substantial progress in the two surgeons, and were talking about future direction with very appreciative and committed higher ups at both hospitals.

Cheers to Rwanda 2016!”

 

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Surgical Groups Like IVUmed Can Help Combat Ebola Outbreak

“While the fear of Ebola delays efforts to treat surgical patients in need”, according to General Surgery News, “African surgeons do their best in time of fear and lacking resources.” See full article here.  For the last 20 years, IVUmed has sent groups of talented, dedicated medical volunteers into low-resource areas in Africa and around the world to teach local physicians and nurses patient care and management for surgical conditions in non-emergency situations. This training can also be applied to successfully manage public health emergencies like the Ebola outbreak. With strong surgical infrastructure in place, medical providers who have been taught by IVUmed already have the knowledge they need to meet the challenges of a crisis situation.

Local physicians and nurses are taught skills for acute care, patient management, sterile technique, and other key areas of surgical and infectious disease management. Additionally, successful treatment of the crippling effects of many surgical conditions builds the confidence of communities in their healthcare providers and hospitals to allow for more rapid and effective response to disease outbreaks. Since surgical success is plainly visible, local patients gain trust in the capabilities of their hospitals and hospital staff.

Through our Teach One, Reach Many model, IVUmed helps improve the overall strength of our global partner institutions.   Get involved and support the life-changing work of IVUmed today.  www.IVUmed.org

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World Impact: IVUmed President in the News

IVUmed president and founder, Dr. Catherine de Vries, was honored as a feature in the July issue of Salt Lake Magazine.

 

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Here are some highlights from the article:

 

“Pediatric urologist Catherine deVries sees patients at Salt Lake City’s Primary Children’s Hospital, but as president and founder of IVUmed, she sends doctors and urology residents around the world to train local medical professionals in countries with few resources. “

“…In 1994 DeVries started her own nonprofit, IVUmed, in Honduras and Vietnam. Today, it provides medical care to kids in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the West Bank in the Palestinian territories.

“When we started in Vietnam, they had done less than 80 pediatric urological operations—total—in the year we started,” she says. “Now, 20 years later, they not only do a full range of surgery serving all of South and Central Vietnam, but also have a teaching program of their own—it’s exactly what we hoped for.”

“Beyond IVUmed, deVries’ supports global healthcare in other ways. She is the director of the University of Utah Center for Global Surgery, a member of the Global Alliance for Elimination of Filariasis, a parasitic disease spread by flies and mosquitoes that can lead to blindness, and she shares her experiences with students as a professor of surgery at the University of Utah.”

Read the full article here on the Salt Lake Magazine website.

Thank you to Salt Lake Magazine for this excellent article and interview with Dr. de Vries, for recognizing her personal commitment to global surgery and global health, and the efforts of the organization she founded and continues to lead today.

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Quotes from the Field: Dakar, Senegal

Our recent pediatric urology workshop in Dakar, Senegal was a great success! Enjoy quotes from IVUmed volunteer medical providers who served in Senegal and photographs from the region:

 

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“Seeing the surgeons who, a few years ago, were unable to even to basic cases, and now can evaluate and treat many of the cases we see, was very encouraging.” Mark Bellinger, MD (helped conduct the first IVUmed workshop in Senegal)

 

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“IVUmed continues to impress me with its tactical deployment of superb surgical services in locations interested in international collaboration and assistance. Thank you to the Board of Directors and the IVUmed staff for providing these enriching opportunities. All of the trips I have taken with IVUmed have been exhilarating and I am thrilled to use my skills to help others.” Robert Lembersky, MD

 

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“This trip was fabulous and it was so wonderful to see how eager to learn and improve the hosts were. I felt the “Teach One, Reach Many” mission was being honored.” Moira E. Dwyer, MD

 

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Quotes from the Field: Kilgali, Rwanda

IVUmed service last month included five workshops, making March our busiest month to date! We’re highlighting this tremendous work with quotes from IVUmed volunteer medical providers on those trips and photographs from the regions served.

 

Today’s Highlight:  Kilgali, Rwanda

Our reconstructive urology workshop in Kilgali was a great success. Lead by Jeremy Myers, M.D., our IVUmed team  saw 30 patients and performed 25 surgeries. They also provided training for 12 doctors and nurses.

 

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“This was very enlightening for me, allowing me to see and experience the challenges facing health care delivery in a developing country. It was a great opportunity to visit an area of the world previously unknown to me.”

– Stuart Anderson, MD

 

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“It means a lot to expand knowledge in an area where there are talented surgeons and in Rwanda the trip felt impactful.” Jeremy Myers, MD

 

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“Felt proud to be part of team that helped to pass on valuable skills to our Rwandan colleagues.” Olufenwa Famakinwa, MD

 

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Quotes from the Field: Kumasi, Ghana

March was our busiest month yet at IVUmed – including five workshops across the globe! We’re highlighting this excellent work with quotes from IVUmed volunteer medical providers on those trips and photographs from the regions served.

 

Today’s Highlight: Kumasi, Ghana

 

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“This was my first international trip. The lack of medical supplies and general knowledge was striking to me. Key is to working with what they have and building on basics to help create lasting education and change in practice. I left feeling like we made a difference in caring for these patients and teaching nursing staff how to care for our patients as well. I felt humbled and lucky to have the kind of medical care we have in the US. One of the most memorable things I saw in Ghana was how loving the families were– all of the children had parents there who loved them and were there taking care of them. On rounds in the ward, they all supported each other and it was one big community. I was so happy they were welcoming and were appreciative of what we were there to do.”  (Shared Anonymously)

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“It was fantastic. I really want to get heavily involved with IVUmed in the future! Let me help!!! Most memorable experience was how grateful the patients are. I work a lot with inner city patients who have no insurance, and I used to think that they would be grateful to have any medical care. I found this to not be the case, so it was just so nice to be able to operate and have patients just be so very grateful and to try to do exactly what the doctors said (even though in some cases there was a language barrier.)” Janae Preece, MD

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TODAY: Pediatric Urology Workshop in Senegal

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Featured above is a locally-made flyer posted in Dakar, Senegal, advertising the IVUmed pediatric urology workshop being conducted in Senegal at Hopital Général de Grand Yoff in Dakar.

This is the fifth pediatric urology workshop that IVUmed teams have conducted in Senegal. Each of the five Senegal urology workshops have been led by long-time IVUmed volunteer, Dr. Fran Schneck.

Our team will be in Senegal through tomorrow, but early reports indicate that the patient care and workshop training of physicians and nurses in Senegal is going “very well”.

We look forward to reporting additional feedback regarding this workshop and thank the IVUmed volunteers and staff who make this and all of our medical services possible.

 

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