January 9, 2019
RE: Letter of Support for ME to WE Volunteer Trips
To Whom This May Concern,
I had the fortune to spend a week working at the Baraka Hospital in Narok County, Kenya in August 2018. I went with three other physicians to participate in a medical trip sponsored by CHG Healthgroup. In that week, I had the chance to work with medical and nursing staff, administrators, on both inpatient and outpatient sides of the hospital, covering pediatric and adult patients. In addition to clinical work, I also had the opportunity to give lectures to medical staff and to help analyze outpatient data. It was an incredible, valuable experience! The staff at Baraka are talented, hard-working, and bright, hungry to learn as well as generous in sharing their experiences. In that one intense week, coming from the starkly different backgrounds that we did, we worked alongside each other, learning from and teaching each other. Whether it was the premature infant with necrotizing enterocolitis, or the boy with spina bifida presenting in kidney failure, or the woman with a massive goiter, or the older man presenting with complications of advanced AIDS, it was valuable to discuss these cases together, to discuss what could and could not be done in this context, and to reflect on the bigger picture implications. Despite the general limitation of resources, oftentimes, I was struck by what was actually possible at this small hospital in the Masai Mara. In addition to smart and caring staff, Baraka has a good stock of medications and supplies, better-than-expected imaging and laboratory capacity, and access to internet. This was exciting for us as volunteers, expanding the type of teaching we could do and the recommendations we could make. The potential for longer-term impact was evident, and our hope was to contribute in a way that could impact patients beyond the scope of that week. It was also insightful to see other aspect’s of Me to We’s global development model. We met bright, young minds from the adjoining high school and college and visited with women who had been part of community initiatives to improve water, sanitation, and health. These women and children talked with us about their experiences, reflecting the incredible strength, resilience, and hope in that community. It was truly a life-changing experience for all of us. I have no doubt that Baraka can continue to thrive and grow, supported by a diverse network of global partners.
Jane Park MD Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
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