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Recognizing Contributions to HVO’s Vision of Quality Care for All

Earlier this month, HVO celebrated World Health Day by announcing our Golden Apple honorees – HVO members, volunteers, partners and supporters who make extraordinary contributions to our mission to improve global health through the education, training, and professional development of the health workforce in resource-scarce countries.

Nancy Kelly, MHS noted in this year’s announcement of the honorees, “The HVO Golden Apple Award recipients are an integral part of HVO’s work to bring quality health care to all. As we focus on Universal Health Coverage this World Health Day, it is only fitting that we celebrate their individual and collective efforts, which lead to more people accessing quality health care delivered by local health professionals.”

We continue to celebrate the extraordinary contributions of the 2019 HVO Golden Apple honorees, who include:

  • Richard Fisher, MD – An active member of HVO since it began in 1986, Dr. Fisher has exemplified the HVO values of innovation, excellence, partnership and stewardship. He has made numerous, sustained contributions to our mission of improving the availability and quality of health care through education, training and professional development in multiple locations and across different professional groups. Dr. Fisher has also played a key role in fostering the growth of HVO and developing our organizational culture. During his tenure as chair of the Orthopaedics Overseas Board as well as the HVO Board, his low-key yet engaging leadership style engineered connections around the world and built cultural bridges.
  • Christoph Funk, MUDr – In 2018, Dr. Funk volunteered at HVO’s pediatric project site in Thimphu, Bhutan where he observed an ongoing, perplexing problem – the presentation of infants with suspected meningoencephalitis who did not respond to intensive efforts to save their lives. Dr. Funk searched the medical literature for similar cases in other parts of the world and discovered a report of infants in an isolated area of India with a similar clinical picture that was secondary to thiamine deficiency. Connecting this case, he worked with his Bhutanese colleague Dr. Dinesh Pradhan to conduct a research study and trial that resulted in a dramatic decrease in infant mortality at Bhutan’s National Referral Hospital. In a country with a small population, such as Bhutan, this dramatic decrease in mortality will most likely be reflected in a significant improvement in its national health care scorecard.
  • Brian Hollander, DMD – In 2015, Dr. Hollander collaborated with Dhulikhel Dental School in Kathmandu to launch HVO’s oral health project in Nepal. As project director, he has been instrumental in the recruitment and coordination of numerous volunteers, and works closely with the project’s onsite coordinator and 2018 Golden Apple recipient Dr. Dashrath Kafle to facilitate the teaching and training delivered by HVO volunteers, fostering improvement in the quality of dental service and dental graduates in Nepal.
  • Mimi Mynak, MD – As Head of the Pediatrics Department at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral (JDWNR) Hospital, Dr. Mimi is a supporter of the Bhutan pediatric residency program and an essential partner to HVO. She has served as on-site coordinator for HVO’s pediatric project at JDWNR since 2014, providing on-the-ground support and ensuring continuity in the education and training provided by HVO volunteers. Dr. Mimi also supports HVO’s mission to develop pediatric human resources and improve child health care.
  • George Pantely, MD – Since joining HVO in 2010, Dr. Pantely has completed eleven volunteer assignments in six different countries including Bhutan, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Peru. Dr. Pantely is an active member of the HVO Internal Medicine Steering Committee, serving two consecutive terms and providing thoughtful insights as a leader. In addition, he and his wife have staffed the HVO booth at the ACP annual meeting for at least the past five years. His colleagues note that Dr. Pantely contributes to HVO’s internal medicine program as both a superb teacher and outstanding advocate of all HVO does to reach out and teach health workers around the world.

This year’s honorees also include two groups recognized for their collective contribution to HVO’s global health mission:

  • Team of anesthesia providers at Angkor Hospital for Children – The team of anesthesia providers at Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) includes Chief Nurse Anesthetist Bunrum Ly, Eng Hor, Kang PuthCheat, Im Peng An, Ho Sophal and Dr. Nhoung Pheakdey. Through dedication, hard work and collaboration, these anesthesia providers have improved access to and quality of anesthesia care throughout their region, established AHC as a regional resource for education and training of nurse anesthetists, and ensured safe surgical care for children in Cambodia and Laos.
  • Editors of the HVO-sponsored Frontiers in Public Health eBook – In summer 2018, HVO announced the release of the Frontiers in Public Health Special Research Topic eBook, International Partnerships for Strengthening Health Care Capacity: Models of Collaborative Education. The purpose of this special collection was to document effective models of collaborative education that contribute sustainable solutions to strengthen health workforce capacity in resource-scarce countries. The tireless efforts of four volunteer editors ensured the project’s success. These volunteers included Jeanne Leffers, PhD, RN, FAAN (lead editor); Jennifer Audette, PhD, PT; Kevin S. Hardwick, DDS, MPH; and Wil Van Cleve, MD, MPH.

Visit our HVO Golden Apple honoree page to read more about each of these extraordinary individuals.

If you wish to follow the example of this year’s honorees, find out how you can get involved, and join us in our mission to increase access to high quality health care by investing in local health workers in resource-scarce countries.

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