[Washington, DC - April 7, 2015] Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the tenth annual HVO Golden Apple Award. As part of its World Health Day observances and in celebration of World Health Worker Week, HVO recognizes the extraordinary contributions of HVO members and volunteers in support of HVO's mission, organization and/or project sites. Each HVO supporter honored with this award has demonstrated a strong commitment to HVO's mission to improve global health through the education, training, and professional development of the health workforce in resource-scarce countries.
The recipients of the 2015 Golden Apple Award are: Gaston Barnechea, MD; Barbara Billek-Sawhney, PT, EdD, DPT, MS, GCS; Peter Curran, MD, MHCDS, FACP; Brian Failla; Donald Lalonde, MD, FRCSC; Jeanne Leffers, PhD, RN; Susan Raber, PharmD, MPH; and Peter Trafton, MD, FACS.
The contributions made to HVO by these individuals include overseeing the development of new projects, raising awareness of HVO's need for volunteers and funding, monitoring the progress of active projects, identifying educational resources for sites, fostering partnerships to further HVO's mission, and serving as mentors to their colleagues overseas. The combined contribution of these supporters adds up to more than 1,000 days of committed service with HVO!
"The recipients of the 2015 Golden Apple are strengthening health systems around the world," stated HVO Executive Director Nancy Kelly, MHS. "By supporting HVO projects, recruiting and leading HVO volunteers, and contributing to the education and professional development of health workers overseas, these dedicated individuals are making a positive impact on the global health workforce shortage. They are transforming lives."
The Global Health Workforce Alliance reports, "...recent analysis conducted by the Global Health Workforce Alliance and [World Health Organization] estimated a gap of 7.2 million professional health workers in 2012, set to rise to 12.9 million over the next decades." The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has demonstrated the essential role of health workers and strong health systems in responding to health care needs.
The efforts of HVO's Golden Apple Award recipients are an integral part of HVO's response to the global shortage of health workers. 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.
Since 1950, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community have celebrated World Health Day on April 7. The day always focuses on a relevant global health issue and this year's theme is food safety. For more information on World Health Day 2015, visit the WHO website
World Health Worker Week, celebrated for the third consecutive year, runs from April 5-11. The week serves as an opportunity to mobilize communities, partners, and policy makers in support of health workers around the world. It is a time to celebrate the amazing work that they do and to raise awareness of the challenges they face every day. Learn more on the Global Health Workforce Alliance website
Health Volunteers Overseas is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve global health through education of the local health workforce in resource-scarce countries. HVO volunteers build local capacity by providing health care professionals in resource-scarce countries with knowledge, skills and professional development to address the health care needs of their communities. HVO volunteers are trained health care professionals - physicians, nurses, dentists, physical therapists and others - willing to donate their time and expertise to work side-by-side with their colleagues overseas. Since 1986, HVO staff and volunteers have collaborated with a variety of health institutions to design, develop and implement each HVO project, working toward better patient care around the globe in trauma care, child and maternal health, essential surgery, cancer care, rehabilitation, and more. Visit www.hvousa.org
to learn how you can become part of our global health community.