In the last two weeks, Sacred Valley Health welcomed two new volunteers, Mary and Jenny, who will be with us for a year. Mary and Jenny are both registered nurses volunteering through the Catholic Medical Mission Board (www.cmmb.org), an organization that places medical volunteers in positions throughout the world. They spent the last year working in Honduras and are excited to use their skills in their new Community Coordinator roles with SVH!
Mary worked in labor and delivery in the U.S. before her year in Honduras. While in Honduras she worked at a free clinic for the poor where she saw patients for pre- and post-natal care, as well as for newborn check-ups and women’s health. Sacred Valley Health is discussing starting a Centering Pregnancy program, which would create opportunities for women to meet and support each other and learn about how to have a healthy birth. The plan is for these groups to be facilitated by SVH’s promotoras (community health workers). Mary is looking forward to collaborating on this program and offering her experience in maternal and child health and knowledge of Latin American culture.
Jenny worked in internal medicine in the States before moving to Honduras to spend a year working in a primary care clinic run by a nurse practitioner. There she helped treat patients of all ages for a variety of acute and chronic illness in a resource-poor setting. Because Jenny worked in an area without the all the conveniences of modern medicine, she learned to incorporate local and natural medicine practices, and she’s excited to integrate that knowledge into her work at SVH.
When asked why they chose SVH, Mary and Jenny said it’s because they are excited about the sustainability of Sacred Valley Health’s programming. While in Honduras, they both realized that problems can arise from the lack of stability when medical care is provided on a short-term basis by outsiders. They became increasingly aware of the importance of educating local health workers to care for their own communities, thus ensuring continuity of care. Both Mary and Jenny will be working to support the promotoras, assisting with community visits, trainings, and presentations.