Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the ninth 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 2014 Golden Apple Awards are: Dino Aguilar, MD; Robert Buchholz, Jr., CRNA, MSNA; David Frost, DDS, MS; Katharine Morley, MD, MPH; Tom Morton, MBChB, FACEM; Jose Angel Sanchez, MD; Linda Wolff, MPT. The combined service of all of these volunteers adds up to about 68 years of committed service with HVO!
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.
"Volunteerism is at the heart of HVO," stated Richard Fisher, MD, HVO's Board Chair. "These dedicated volunteers - from the US and from our partner programs overseas -- represent an ongoing commitment to improving global health. The professional collaboration that has developed through the work of these volunteers is making a significant difference in the lives of their patients and colleagues."
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, which 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 (WHO) 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 "Small Bite, Big Threat" which addresses vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue. The campaign will work on building awareness of the simple steps that can be taken to prevent these diseases. WHO reports that over half the world's population is at risk for vector-borne diseases, with 40% at risk for dengue alone. For more information on World Health Day 2014, visit the WHO website.