Montefiore in the News
Montefiore Nurses Donate Their Vacation Time to Provide Medical Assistance to Underserved Countries
New York City, NY, (April 16, 2007) -- Nurses from Montefiore Medical Center are donating their vacation time to provide much-needed medical services to underserved populations around the world. As members of the Organization for International Development (OID), they recently visited Jamaica in January and are planning to return in June and have also visited Ethiopia and Ghana in Africa.
"We are thrilled to be able to use our nursing skills as our way of helping people who are so lacking in adequate medical care," said Janet Walker-Watson, RN, of The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, who has been volunteering with the OID for 15 years.
As part of a larger medical team, the nurses provide medical diagnosis, treatment, education and counseling. "During our visits, we found many of the people to be afflicted with diabetes, hypertension and cancer," said Walker-Watson.
In addition, Montefiore physicians Denise Levy, MD, of the Department of Vascular Surgery, Margaret Murray, MD, pediatrician and Pete Williams, MD, of the AIDS Center, participated in the January 2006 mission. Dr. Levy served as a primary care physician assessing patients' medical conditions. Dr. Williams added, "In Jamaica, we met with local health officials and physicians involved in HIV/AIDS care to explore methods for more effective collaboration."
The OID was founded 17 years ago by Dr. Roy W. Streete, a Bronx dentist, and a group of caring individuals who want to improve the quality of life for people living in the underserved areas of the world. Since then, the organization has grown substantially and is now able to provide a range of medical services which include dental care, medical treatment, nursing care, physical therapy, education and counseling on disease prevention and health maintenance. They have traveled to the Caribbean (Jamaica, Grenada and St. Lucia) and Africa (Ghana and Ethiopia) to provide needed services to the poor and underserved.
During their most recent healthcare mission to Jamaica in January, a team of 41 volunteers visited many rural areas of the country. The team administered dental and medical screening and health education and social services to approximately 1,000 community residents.
The Montefiore nurses who are members of this organization use two weeks of their vacation time and pay all expenses including travel, hotel and food. They include: Dorsett Brissett, RN, Joan Doig RN, Jannette Hamilton, RN, Madgorie Rose RN, Anastasia Roberts RN, Jacque Small, RN, Janet Walker-Watson, RN and Ena Wright, RN, who is also vice president of the OID.
The organization is holding its annual fundraising spring luncheon on April 29 at the VIP Country Club in New Rochelle, NY. The proceeds from this luncheon will help fund two upcoming trips to Jamaica in June and Africa in August.
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