Sunday, August 29, 2010

My 2003 Birthday Continues...

This will be my third trip to Can Tho as part of our medical mission team.

I first got involved by volunteering to work with Mission Peace as a way to celebrate my birthday in 2003. I joined just when Jenni Lehnert needed a replacement nurse while she stayed home with a new baby. My job in Can Tho is working in the operating room with the surgeons to ensure safe conditions and efficient use of the facilities.

I love helping the Vietnamese people and have grown very fond of our friends in CanTho! The staff at the hospital and our interpreters have been so helpful in making our team's effort come to fruition.

Stateside, I have been working as the International Extremity Project treasurer receiving donations and paying the bills. Right now, we're on a focused drive to get our flights to and from Vietnam secured, and our accomodations and transportation reserved.

Our interpreter friends in Can Tho are very excited in anticipation of our return and have been e-mailing us with their availability during our time there in November.

~Tina Ratto, RN

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ready for My Sixth Trip

I am excited to be a team surgeon and leader on our sixth visit to Can Tho, Vietnam. We will be traveling to Can Tho from November 11th through November 28th of this year.

We have re-united the core team members from our past medical missions and are looking forward to working with our friends and colleagues, the Orthopedic surgeons at Can Tho General Hospital.

I will give you some updates on the equipment and corporate product donations we receive in the near future as we work toward our departure.

~Dr. Jeff Spanko

Monday, August 23, 2010

A New Photographer & Fix-it Guy

Hello all, my name is Bob Heimer and this will be my first mission to Vietnam with the International Extremity Project.

I don't have a medical background but I do have an ability to fix things with whatever is handy, and I'm good at making people feel comfortable, both of which should be valuable skills for the team.

I feel extremely honored to have been included on the team for this mission. I have been looking for a way to give of my time and to help others, so it shouldn't surprise me that this opportunity fell into my lap.

One of my jobs will be to take lots of photographs of the great patients and the special doctors and nurses who are donating their time to help them walk better. (And it was a great excuse to purchase a camera I have been drooling over for years!) I hope my photographs do the mission justice.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Getting Ready for My First IEP Trip!

This is my first time participating with the International Extremity Project... and I'm PUMPED!!!  

I heard about this trip from Gurpreet Mukker when I was still a third-year student. Gurpreet went on the last official mission with IEP and was was so enthusiastic about her experience that I really wanted to participate if the opportunity arose. When I found out that Jane (Giang) and I were going, I was beside myself.

Trying to raise money for the trip has proved to be harder than I thought... but I'm still working on it. The Santa Clara Valley Podiatric Medical Society has very generously donated $2000 for Jane's and my expenses. We got pledges for an additional $700 or so in personal donations from others at the society's August kick-off meeting. We're still working on finding a corporate sponsor to help offset Jane's and my travel costs.

I'm looking forward to everything about the experience, from seeing the post-op patients from previous missions and hearing their stories to watching the process unfold with the new patients.

This is such an incredible chance to become involved. I am very grateful for the opportunity! 

Thank you!
Diane Koshimune
R3, DVA Palo Alto Healthcare System

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gaining Steam for November

We are really building steam as we enter into the final three months before our sixth medical mission as a group to Can Tho. This will be my seventh mission to Vietnam.

There are emails, phone calls, and decisions to make everyday.  Even though we’ve prepared for this trip before, each time is always a little different. 

This time it's especially different because Steve Warren died shortly after our 2007 mission. Now, having lost a key member of our original team, we are now working on the logistics of transportation, accommodations, and visas, too. 

Nonetheless, things are moving along smoothly and we can’t wait to see the old and new patients in Can Tho!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Next Trip! Mission #6 in November

Exciting news from Bruce!

"We are scheduled to go on our 6th trip to Can Tho on 11/12 and will return on 11/28.  We'll operate on 40 people and see about 150 in clinic." 

Oh, and he promises they'll blog everyday!