2008 GOLDEN APPLE HONOREES
Eugenio Beltran, DMD, MPH, DrPH, MS
In his 13 years as a member of Health Volunteers Overseas, Dr. Beltran has completed 15 overseas volunteer assignments, contributing over 1000 hours of volunteer service. In addition to his international assignments, Dr Beltran has been instrumental in the development and oversight of HVO's dental training programs worldwide. Recognized as a global leader in the field of dental public health, Dr. Beltran has been particularly effective in introducing the public health model, with its emphasis on a preventive rather than curative approach, to clinicians and policy makers in Cambodia and Vietnam among other places. His passion and commitment to teaching are evident in the enthusiasm of the students who consistently rate his courses as excellent. Dr. Valerie Robinson, former chair of the HVO Dentistry Steering Committee, states I have never seen anyone who can teach as well in cross-cultural settings as Dr. Beltran.
Dr. Beltran is currently on staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is a member of the American Dental Association, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, American Association for Dental Research, a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health, and the International Association for Dental Research. Dr. Beltran has been an active member of HVO since 1995 and currently serves on the HVO Dentistry Steering Committee and as Program Director for the dental training program in Nicaragua.
Cary Bjork, MD, FACP
Since joining HVO in 1996, Dr. Bjork has been a dedicated volunteer serving in numerous capacities including as an overseas volunteer, program director and steering committee member. He first volunteered to teach in Kampala, Uganda in the Department of Medicine at Mulago Hospital in 1997, and subsequently became director of that program a year later. In his capacity as program director, Dr. Bjork has greatly improved communications with staff at the site which, in turn, has resulted in better utilization of the time and expertise of the volunteers serving at the department. His personal commitment to the site and enthusiasm for volunteering has resulted in an increased number of placements. Dr. Bjork has been to the site two times. Claudia Leonard, MD, the chair of the internal medicine steering committee, states Dr. Bjork is a role model himself for how we would all want to be as volunteers: calm, respectful, kind, open-minded, intelligent and dedicated.
Dr. Bjork is currently practicing general internal medicine with Marquette Internal Medicine and Pediatric Associates. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the Marquette-Alger County Medical Society, Michigan State Medical Society and Alpha Omega Alpha.
Ann Carroll, RNC, NNP
Ms. Carroll was among the first nurse volunteers to participate in HVO's nursing education program. She is a neonatal nursing specialist, and has volunteered four times at the Special Baby Care Unit (SBCU) at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. There she has focused on teaching the nursing staff the proper techniques in neonatal resuscitation and maintenance of appropriate body temperature, the feeding of the high risk neonate, the role of proper nutrition and management of an infant with jaundice. Ms. Carroll donates not only her time, but also critically needed textbooks and medical equipment. In addition to her work at Mulago Hospital, Ms. Carroll was instrumental in developing an outreach program for nurses at outlying hospitals, in the more rural areas of Uganda. Julia Plotnick, HVO Board Member, states I have been impressed by Ms. Carroll's personal qualities of empathy, sensitivity, acceptance and her non-judgmental approach to others.
Ms. Carroll is currently a neonatal nurse practitioner at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Maine Medical Center in Portland. She is a member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses and the Academy of Neonatal Nursing. Ms. Carroll has been a member of HVO since 2001 and has volunteered over 500 hours to the program site in Uganda.
Lawrence Herman, DMD, MD
Dr. Herman has been leading and organizing volunteer trips though various organizations for over twenty years and was one of several clinicians involved in the founding of HVO in 1986. Since that time he has completed 16 overseas assignments with HVO in Nepal, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Cambodia and Samoa. Dr. Herman is a mentor for surgeons and residents abroad sharing his time and expertise generously. Sara Runnels, DMD, MD, a fellow HVO oral and maxillofacial surgery volunteer states his sense of altruism is contagious and on each trip he inspires countless others to pursue a lifetime of volunteerism, new friendships and adventures throughout our world.
Dr. Herman is currently on staff with Neponset Valley Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, which operate three offices in suburban Boston. Dr. Herman is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Dental Association, the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the Massachusetts Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons among others. He currently serves as Program Director of HVO's oral and maxillofacial surgery training program in Samoa.
R. Byron McCord, MD
Dr. McCord was selected for this recognition for his work with the Orthopaedic Training Program at Mulago Hospital in Uganda. His efforts have greatly improved trauma management, acute case management and overall quality of patient care. In addition to his clinical expertise, he has also provided computers, educational materials and orthopaedic equipment to the hospital. During annual visits, Dr. McCord teaches and rounds with residents, faculty and medical students. He also spends time on the emergency ward, helps evaluate educational activities, and mentors faculty and staff. Dr. Madewo, Interim Head of the Orthopaedic Department, states that Dr. McCord's devotion, regular visits and thorough advice in his approach to problem solving make him deserving of this award.
Dr. McCord closed his private practice in Alaska after 25 years to devote more time to volunteering. He most recently worked at the Indian Health Service Hospital in Shiprock, New Mexico. He has been an active member of HVO since 1986, and has completed 14 volunteer missions in that time, dedicating 2500 hours of service to HVO's programs.
Ellen Milan, RNC
Ms. Milan was among the first nurse volunteers to travel overseas with HVO's nursing education program. She is a neonatal nursing specialist, and has volunteered five times in the Special Baby Care Unit at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. There she has focused on teaching the nursing staff the proper techniques in neonatal resuscitation, maintenance of appropriate body temperature, the feeding of the high risk neonate, the role of proper nutrition, problems and care of the premature baby, and the assessment and management of respiratory distress in newborns. Ms. Milan donates not only her time, but also critically needed textbooks and medical equipment. In addition to her work at Mulago Hospital, Ms. Milan was instrumental in developing an outreach program for nurses at outlying hospitals, in the more rural areas of Uganda. Julia Plotnick, HVO Board Member, states I have been impressed by Ms. Milan's personal qualities of empathy, sensitivity, acceptance and her non-judgmental approach to others.
Ms. Milan recently retired from the University of San Diego Medical Center after 28 years of service in the Infant Special Care Center. Ms. Milan is a member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Academy of Neonatal Nursing, and the Southern California Association of Neonatal Nurses. Ms. Milan has been an active member of HVO since 2001 and has dedicated over 1000 hours of volunteer service to the hospital in Uganda.
Michael O'Brien, MD
Dr. O'Brien is being honored with this award for his work in the diagnosis, management and treatment of spinal disorders at two hospitals in Managua, Nicaragua - Hospital Antonio Lenin Fonseca and Hospital Infantil Manuel de Jesus Rivera. Dr. O'Brien developed a curriculum that serves as the foundation for a series of training sessions at these facilities aimed at developing the capacity of the Nicaraguan staff and residents in the anesthesia, orthopaedic and neurosurgical departments. He is dedicated in his volunteer work, as well as to his practice in Miami, often taking on difficult cases which no one else will tackle. Cameron Carmody, a colleague, speaks very highly of Dr. O'Brien's surgical skills while also praising him for his general strength of character. Dr. Carmody states his dedication to the highest moral and professional standards set him apart from his peers, but it is his kindness and dedication to service that defines him.
Dr. O'Brien is currently on staff with Miami Children's Hospital, Department of Orthopedics, Center for Spinal Disorders. Dr. O'Brien is a member of the Scoliosis Research Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society, American Board of Spine Surgery, and the Florida Medical Association. Dr. O'Brien has been an active member of HVO since 2006 and in this short time has completed six volunteer assignments to the program site in Nicaragua.
Celia Pechak, PhD, PT, MPH
Dr. Pechak has a long history of service with HVO's physical therapy programs. She initiated a training program in partnership with another organization to train rehabilitation technicians in Haiti, and most recently served as a volunteer with a quality assurance project in Vietnam at the DaNang Rehabilitation Center. As part of this project, she mentored and collaborated with her Vietnamese colleagues in improving patient assessment and rehabilitation interventions for patients with stroke. In addition, her team focused upon implementing prevention strategies aimed at reducing the occurrence of strokes and complications of strokes.
Dr. Pechak has also been a leader in facilitating the flow of information between and among physical therapists interested in global health issues through a listserv that she developed and moderated for the Cross Cultural and International Special Interest Group (CCISIG) of the American Physical Therapy Association, and currently serves as the vice-chair for the CCISIG. Denise English, PT, a member of the physical therapy steering committee, states Celia responds with gentleness and a sense of humor, encouraging curiosity, humbleness, and a desire for a deeper understanding in others of the joys and responsibilities of working in the global setting.
Yvonne Vaucher, MD, MPH
Dr. Vaucher has been involved with HVO's pediatric section for the past ten years. During this time, she has completed 7 volunteer trips to Uganda where she teaches neonatology to house staff, faculty, medical students and nurses at Mulago Hospital- Makerere University, in Kampala. She had an integral role in the rebuilding and redesigning of the neonatal ward at Mulago Hospital. From donating essential equipment and books, to designing special areas for resuscitation, feeding and charting, Dr. Vaucher has made major improvements to the Special Baby Care Unit (SBCU). Dr. Vaucher has also acted as a mentor to three pediatricians (who provide the care to the SBCU), inviting one of them to spend time in her nursery in San Diego to learn new techniques and skills. She participated in a major research project with physicians at Mulago which focused on early discharge with kangaroo care and mother-administered tube-feeding at home. This study also included follow-up with infants who participated in the special kangaroo care clinic after discharge. In addition Dr. Vaucher acted as a mentor with projects on effective infection control and the effects of hypothermia on mortality. June Brady, MD, MPH, a fellow member of the Pediatric Steering Committee, states, Dr. Vaucher has had remarkable success in improving the teaching, training and skills of the staff in the SBCU. She has helped develop an excellent program, built on improving skills of local faculty and improved the care of thousands of newborns.
Dr. Vaucher is currently on staff at the University of California at San Diego as a neonatologist, and professor of pediatric medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Western Society for Pediatric Research, American Public Health Association, Ambulatory Pediatric Association, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and the California Association of Neonatologists. Dr. Vaucher has been an active member of HVO since 1998, and is currently the program director for the pediatric program in Uganda. She also served on the steering committee for Pediatrics for six years, and served as the committee chair from 2000 to 2003.