Have you heard of Impatient Optimists? It’s an offshoot of the Gates Foundation that features the work of the foundation’s partners regarding health, alleviation of poverty, and other important social issues. It’s a pretty cool site and this week it featured a discussion of the Global Newborn Health Conference that recently took place in South Africa. It’s terrific to see organizations like the Gates Foundation, USAID, UNICEF and the WHO working together to raise awareness of newborn health in the developing world. Take a minute to check out Impatient Optimists and learn a bit more about the work that’s being done to educate the public about improving newborn health!
Image via Impatient Optimists
Mommybites Summit is a unique and fun night-out for New York moms and moms-to-be to come together and mingle at the beautiful New Yorker Hotel where they can shop, schmooze, enjoy free gifts, and hear a guest speakers (including Martha Stewart, Oprah, and GTV guest Andrew Mellen).
Saving Mothers will be there at our very own table, manned by some of our team members, spreading awareness of our surgical missions, selling exclusive SM merchandise for donations, promoting our upcoming SoulCycle Ride for Charity (May 4th) and Mothers Day campaign (through May 12).
Not an event to be missed!! All info can be found here:
See you on May 1st, NY Mamas!
Check out this guest blog on balancing medicine and motherhood by our very own Medical Programs Director, Dr. Taraneh Shirazian
Calling all New Yorkers: Tomorrow, Tuesday April 16th, stop off at the Pinkberry in Gramercy (350 3rd Ave btwn 25th & 26th), have yourself a tasty snack, and watch 20% of the proceeds go to Saving Mothers! Just show them this attached photo and YOU CAN HELP US SAVE LIVES!
From Dr. Erin Gertz, Saving Mothers Global Health Fellow:
"I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the D.R. 2 weeks ahead of the surgical team in order to see and screen patients in the rural areas where ILAC works. Side-by-side with the Cooperadores, we were able to see 297 patients with gynecologic issues in that short time! Each community welcomed me with open arms and made me as if I was one of their own.
ILAC works with 142 “Cooperadores” - the rural healthcare volunteers chosen by their own community to provide basic healthcare outreach and referral. The Cooperadores also accompany patients from their community to ILAC on the day of surgery, room overnight with the patients, and travel back home with them, while keeping a watchful eye for any sign of post-operative complications.”
From March 30th to April 5th, our Saving Mothers surgical team descended on Santiago, DR to screen, treat, and educate 137 different patients. During our week of surgeries, our team performed 42 separate life-saving and completely FREE gynecological procedures on 35 different women, many of whom had never seen a doctor before in their lives.
We worked closely with local health care professionals, showing them new techniques, sharing ideas, and continuing to strengthen the relationship Saving Mothers has built with the Santiago community.
We did our work in the clinic at the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) Center, housed at “La Mision” located 7.5 kilometers outside Santiago. Located in the second largest city of the Dominican Republic, the ILAC Center provides numerous opportunities for students and health care professionals to grow personally, professionally and spiritually through service to others. We had two operating rooms going simultaneously, plus several exam rooms and a fully-functioning PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit), which allowed us to treat many women at different stages all at the same time.
We were able to perform more difficult surgeries than on past missions, due to some amazing equipment donated by generous people around the world. Our standouts were our new headlamp, which allowed for MUCH better visibility, and our crown jewel, the cystoscope and monitor provided by STORZ, which we used to provide dozens of cystoscopies for the first time.
We had a wonderful time meeting so many amazing people and doing meaningful, life-saving work. The full team in attendance was:
Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, Ob/Gyn, Saving Mothers Medical Programs Director; Dr. Erin Gertz, Ob/Gyn SM Global Fellow; Dr. Mamta Mamik, UroGyn; Dr. Salma Rahimi, UroGyn Fellow; Dr. Laura Desrosiers, UroGyn Fellow; Dr. Irene Osborn, Anesthesia; Dr. Andrew Perez, Anesthesia; Dr. Carrie Hamby, Anesthesia Resident; Ingrid Garnes, Registered Nurse; Valerie Davis, Registered Nurse; Samantha Smith, Registered Nurse; Estrelania Williams, Medical Student; Jonah Platt, PR Coordinator
We can’t wait for the chance to go back to the DR to continue working with the amazing people of the Santiago community. Please take a moment to donate now — every single dollar helps us afford to bring health care to women around the globe, and we literally can’t do it without you!
At the end of March, Saving Mothers is returning to the Dominican Republic to continue working with ILAC (Institute for Latin American Concern) with support from the Platt Foundation.
By working with “cooperadores,” locally trained community health workers, through the ILAC Cooperadores de Salud Education Program Health Outreach Initiative, we will continue to gather health information and screen thousands of people in hard-to-reach rural villages where there is no formal medical care.
In August 2012, the Saving Mothers team trained over 160 cooperadores to screen for prolapse, incontinence, and abnormal pap smears. In October 2012, we returned to perform surgical repairs and to teach local health care providers fundamental skills.
Overall, 119 patients were evaluated and 40 received life-changing surgeries, such as sling procedures and vaginal hysterectomies. Later this month, our cohort of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses will return to perform an even larger number of procedures. Stay tuned to hear updates!
Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.