[Washington, DC - April 7, 2013] Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the eighth annual HVO Golden Apple Award. As part of its World Health Day observances, HVO created this award to recognize the extraordinary educational contributions of volunteers to international program sites. Each HVO volunteer honored with this award has demonstrated a strong commitment to HVO's educational mission by working on curriculum development, teacher training, didactic or clinical training, or the enhancement of educational resources.
The recipients of the 2013 Golden Apple Awards are: William Creasman, MD; Randall Culp, MD; Norman James, MD; Diana Davidson, CRNA; and Robert Kalb, MD. The combined service of all of these volunteers is in excess of 1500 hours at HVO's program sites!
Many of these honorees have also served in leadership positions for HVO, overseeing the development of new programs, monitoring the progress of active programs, identifying educational resources for sites, and serving as mentors to their colleagues overseas.
"Volunteers are the core of HVO," stated Richard Fisher, MD, HVO's Board Chair. "These dedicated volunteers have gone the extra mile and have made an on-going commitment to share their knowledge and skills to improve global health care. With each visit, professional linkages are forged, friendships are developed, and the global health community becomes a bit stronger."
The World Health Organization's Global Health Workforce Alliance reports, "Health workers are the heart and soul of health systems. And yet, the world is faced with a chronic shortage - an estimated 4.2 million health workers are needed to bridge the gap, with 1.5 million needed in Africa alone. The critical shortage is recognized as one of the most fundamental constraints to achieving progress on health and reaching health and development goals." In a sobering corollary, they estimate that one billion people in the world will never see a health worker in their lives.
The efforts of HVO's Golden Apple Award recipients are an integral part of HVO's response to the global health workforce shortage. By highlighting the achievements and contributions of the Golden Apple Award recipients, HVO fosters an awareness of global health issues, especially the human resource shortage that serves as a serious constraint to the delivery of health care around the world.
World Health Day is celebrated annually by the World Health Organization and the international community. Since 1950, it has been held each year on April 7th and focuses on a relevant global health issue. This year's theme is "High Blood Pressure" and the campaign will work on building awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness. WHO reports that, globally, one in three adults suffers from elevated blood pressure, yet it is preventable and treatable. For more information on World Health Day 2013, visit the WHO website.
A private, nonprofit organization, HVO was founded in 1986 to improve global health through education. HVO designs and implements clinical and didactic education programs in child health, primary care, trauma and rehabilitation, essential surgical care, oral health, blood disorders and cancer, infectious disease, nursing education, and wound management. In more than 25 resource-poor countries, HVO volunteers train, mentor, and provide critical professional support to health care providers who care for the neediest populations in the most difficult of circumstances. For more information, visit the HVO website.