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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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Reporting from Rwanda

Dr. Alli Greening reported the following regarding work by the IVUmed currently in Rwanda for a week-long pediatric workshop:

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“Where to start… the first day in the theater at the military hospital in Kigali was today. Rather than a hospital for military personell this is more like a hospital run by the military for the people of Rwanda,  a place that attracts a number of high complexity cases from around the country. With this being the 4th of 5 trips we’re expecting the local team to be doing, well, most of the doing as we slowly step back.

We managed to meet our goal of getting 4 cases in each of our two rooms despite having an almost continuous string of roadblocks hurled at us.  As soon as I would start talking and drawing on a topic the Rwandans turned into rabid learners. At one point I could barely move, with two medical students,  two nurse anesthetists,  and a physician anesthesiologist all practically on top of me while I was talking about airway obstruction.  This is exactly why I love IVUmed so much, we’re not just swooping in, doing cases, and coming home, but are there primarily to teach and our Rwandan teammates are not going to let a morsel of knowledge get by them.”

– Dr. Alli Greening

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The Year Was 1995…Look How Far We’ve Come!

Twenty years ago, IVUmed was incorporated by its award-winning founder, Catherine deVries, MD, to address the enormous need for patient care and professional training in urology in resource-poor areas of the world. From common congenital malformations to pelvic floor injuries, various cancers and other diseases, urology represents a vastly underserved area of global health.Vol. 1 Issue 1 Newsletter

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. IVUmed’s services have been requested in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America. 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.  Our partners in these sites have demonstrated strong long-term commitments to IVUmed’s work and mission and will ultimately serve as a bridge between today’s investment of resources and our shared vision for access to quality healthcare in the future.

Our success is based on uniting peers and strengthening relationships among medical providers with a common shared purpose of ensuring access to quality urological care.

* We connect physicians and nurses in low-resource settings with experienced colleagues for peer to peer interaction.
* We provide hands-on education through ongoing on-site surgical workshops.
* We build self-reliant surgical teaching programs capable of providing local and regional education.
* We are the chosen provider of care and education in partnership with multiple global urological organizations.
* We identify, support, and develop future generations of IVUmed volunteers and host colleagues.

We have refined our capacity-building model over two decades and have become the go-to organization for urology training in developing parts of the world. Our intensive, onsite hands-on workshops equip physicians and nurses throughout the world with the skills they need to serve their communities. Meanwhile, the greater objective of IVUmed training is to develop future generations of medical personnel by building lasting surgical teaching programs. Your support helps ensure that children and adults in resource-poor areas of the world will no longer have to suffer for years with treatable conditions that greatly affect their quality of life.

Our surgical workshops are complemented by distance consultation and other means of instruction and support to help ensure that our partners progress toward their training goals. We also utilize telehealth technology for distance education and are collaborating on educational modules comprised of surgical video, lectures, medical animation, and testing.

Please join us this 20th anniversary year, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.  Together, we will make a difference!

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IVUmed – Helping Children Around the World

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IVUmed in Rwanda

IVUmed’s Pediatric Urology Capacity Building Program makes quality surgical care available to children around the world – especially in low-resource areas. We accomplish this by building a global network of train-the-trainer centers of excellence. There are no pediatric urologists in sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti, and many places in India, leaving millions of children without access to care for debilitating urological conditions.

Pediatric urology diseases, malformations and injuries are among the most common conditions affecting children worldwide, and are up to 10 times more common than cleft lip and palate. In the US, when a baby boy is born with a condition such as hypospadias (a congenital condition in which the opening of the urethra is situated on the underside of the penis instead of at its tip), surgery can be performed before the child is even out of diapers, and there are few to no lasting effects. In countries where this type of surgery is not available however, shame, poor self-esteem and secrecy surround this condition, which often results in adult infertility if left unrepaired.

IVUmed’s teams of volunteer physicians, nurses, and anesthesiologists provide hands-on surgical workshops, lectures, online educational materials, telehealth consultation, and impact measures to equip doctors and nurses with the skills they need to care for children in their communities. In turn, these newly trained medical professionals build future capacity for care by passing along IVUmed training to their colleagues, fulfilling IVUmed’s motto, “Teach One, Reach Many”.

IVUmed’s focus on education stands out among global health organizations, as does our focus on urology. Another unique element to IVUmed is our collaborative model. While IVUmed is guided by a dedicated board and staff, leadership of our programs stems from the dynamic doctors and administrators at our many partner hospitals around the world. Their priorities lead our efforts, which are put into action by our volunteer doctors and nurses. Together, and with the generous donations of many benefactors, we are building a worldwide system of pediatric training programs, ensuring that children everywhere will have access to the care they need.

With the help of supporters like the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Societe Internationale d’Urologie (SIU), the American Urological Association (AUA), the Pan-African Urological Surgeons Association (PAUSA), and regional surgical associations, IVUmed is building a strong global network. Teaching hospitals throughout the world, skilled medical volunteers, ministries of health, local community leaders, international medical societies, regional colleges of surgeons, and charitable foundations combine strengths to give children everywhere the opportunity to lead the healthy, productive lives they deserve.

You can be involved too, whether a physician, engineer, photographer, philanthropist, medical student, etc.  We invite you to explore our volunteer opportunities here.  http://www.ivumed.org/how-you-can-help/

IVUmed patient in Vietnam

IVUmed in Vietnam

 

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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: San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Our recent workshop in Honduras is the 4th feature in our “Quotes from the Field” series. With five workshops around the world, March was our busiest month to date! 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:  San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Our pediatric and endo urology workshop in San Pedro Sula was lead by Rama Jayanthi, M.D.. Our IVUmed team saw 105 patients and performed 57 surgeries. They also provided training for 10 doctors and nurses.

 

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When asked to describe a most memorable experience or insight from the trip, volunteer surgeon, Anna Staudt, M.D., responded, “The whole thing! It’s just not work at all. The people were great, compassionate and helpful.”

 

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“This trip was an amazing experience on many levels. I learned techniques from the Honduran surgeons that I hadn’t seen before. The procedures they taught me were techniques that they had learned from other visiting urologists from Europe. This type of international exchange of knowledge was impressive.”  – Megan Schober, M.D., pediatric urologist

 

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“There were no conflicts. We all knew we had one goal and that was follow IVU’s mission. The local staff were receptive and willing to participate at all levels of care for the children.”  – Ashay Patel, D.O., urologist

“The IVU team cohesiveness was outstanding. From the moment of landing and getting of the plane, we really gelled and that made the week run very smoothly.”  – Doug Storm, M.D., pediatric urologist

 

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