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In the News: Dr. Steven Kahan in Vietnam

IVUmed board member and long-time volunteer, Steve Kahan, MD, was recently featured by the online media outlet, Seacoastonline.com. Their article covers Dr. Kahan’s work on our recent general urology workshop in Hue, Vietnam, the progress IVUmed has made in providing quality surgical training to our Vietnamese partners, as well as Dr. Kahan’s his service history with IVUmed. We thank Dr. Kahan for his generous service to IVUmed and Seacoastonline.com for covering this story!

 

Enjoy the full article below:

 

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Doctor returns from mission trip to Vietnam

EXETER — Seacoast resident Steven Kahan, MD, recently returned from a surgical mission trip to Vietnam organized through International Volunteers in Urology.

Dr. Kahan, who practices at the Portsmouth location of Core Physicians’ Atlantic Urology Associates, was part of a group that volunteered during a two-week mission to Hue Central Hospital in Hue, Vietnam. During the trip, he educated other doctors, consulted on patient cases and conducted surgical procedures.

Kahan is a board member of IVU Med, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based organization that works to make quality urological care available to people in developing countries. Its services have been requested in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America. Kahan has traveled on six mission trips with the group to locations in both Vietnam and India.

“When you go and take part in something like this, it’s the purest form of medicine,” Kahan said. “This is the reason I went to medical school. This was about working one on one with students, caring directly for patients and teaching other doctors new techniques so that they can in turn treat patients on their own when we leave.”

The hospital in Hue where Kahan spent his time has 2,030 beds and serves as the main referral hospital in the central region. Kahan assisted with an average of six to 10 general adult urology patient cases per day. The Hue Central Hospital is also the key practical hospital for the Hue Medical College and University, the primary medical school in the region. During his trip, Kahan gave a handful of lectures on general urology and medicine to medical students from the university.

“Those of us on the trip were ambassadors for American medicine and the United States,” Kahan said.

There are only 1.2 doctors per 1,000 people in Vietnam, according to IVU Med. When the organization first began its volunteer missions to Vietnam in 1994, fewer than 100 pediatric urology patients were treated annually. Today, thanks to ongoing training from volunteers with IVU Med, Vietnamese partner surgeons now run their own training programs and treat more than 1,000 patients each year.

Kahan said he is considering a future mission trip to a hospital in Laos. However, he is also eager to return to Hue, where he has formed relationships with the Vietnamese doctors, some of whom have even consulted with him on cases after his return to the United States.

Core Physicians’ Atlantic Urology Associates has locations in Exeter and Portsmouth, offering patients state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the male and female urinary tract. The practice treats patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, hematuria, kidney cancer, incontinence, voiding dysfunction, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, testicular cancer and kidney stones.

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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: 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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Quotes from the Field: Pignon, Haiti

March was our busiest month yet at IVUmed – including five workshops across the globe! Our next few blog posts will highlight those trips with quotes from IVUmed volunteer medical providers and photographs from the regions served.

 

Today’s Highlight: Pignon, Haiti

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“It was heartening to see the level of enthusiasm from trainees at all levels. I felt that the Haitians are eager to develop the skills and to use them in their own practices. This is a transformative time for healthcare in Haiti, and we are lucky to be part of it.” Catherine deVries, MD

 

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“The local urologists were so grateful for the experience. After working with them for even a week, I could see improvement in their techniques. Making a difference like this (though it will take time) will truly improve the country. They were a great group of people, and with a refreshing drive to enhance their skills. It was inspiring to be a part such a great project that makes a real and immediate difference.” Jonathan Warner, MD

 

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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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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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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.