Category: Monthly Newsletters

September Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LFHC Sets Monthly Caseload Record

The dedicated doctors, nurses and other health-care providers at LFHC handled 3,019 medical cases in August – the highest monthly caseload since the hospital opened in 2015.

The growing caseload testifies to the high quality of care offered at the hospital.

 

 

 

 

LFHC Saves Malnourished Baby

   The parents of a 9-month-old child named Malisa became very concerned when she experienced bouts of vomiting for four days and had lost her appetite.

They brought their baby to the LFHC Outpatient Department, where the staff conducted an evaluation and compared Malisa’s weight and size to what would be expected for a child her age. The staff determined that Melisa was suffering from severe protein-calorie malnutrition.

The LFHC nutritionist instructed Malisa’s parents about proper nutrition and how to care for their daughter with RUTF (ready to use therapeutic food).

After several months, she had gained enough weight to leave the severe malnutrition program.

Last year, more than 150 children were treated for severe or moderate malnutrition. The hospital’s therapeutic food program is designed to dramatically reduce the need to hospitalize malnourished children for long periods.

   Read more here.

 

LFHC Nurse Anesthetist Observes Procedures in US

Nurse anesthetist Si Lee recently returned to LFHC after visiting the U.S. to observe anesthesia procedures at medical facilities in Pittsburgh.

Si received a Warfield Scholarship from Health Volunteers Overseas, a Washington D.C. nonprofit, to observe clinical activities at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian, West Penn Hospital and UPMC Children’s Hospital.

   Read more here.

 

 

 

Rugged Road to Health Care

 

The LFHC Outreach Team must conquer nearly impassable mountain roads to provide medical care to isolated families in northern Laos.

The team logged 446 visits last year to villages far and wide.

    Click here to watch a brief video of their bumpy ride.

 

 

 

 

Funny Garden Hosts Fundraiser for LFHC

   Funny Garden at Indigo Farm recently played host to a weekend fundraiser for LFHC.

Children and their families were treated to such activities as archery, pedal boats, zip line and table tennis. The site also features a water playground for children. Hospital staff and volunteers joined in the fun.

The event was sponsored by Indigo Farm, an organic farm, and Ori Bakery. The farm is about 13 miles from Luang Prabang.

Half of all the proceeds from the event, which came to about $347 U.S. dollars, was donated to the hospital.

Many thanks to Indigo Farm and Ori Bakery!

 

Help Build LFHC’s Pediatric Surgery Fund 

   Children stricken with cancer and heart maladies in northern Laos are dying because their families cannot afford the surgery that could save their lives.

LFHC has neither a staff oncologist nor a heart surgeon. Our doctors must refer children who need such specialists to hospitals in Vientiane or Bangkok. The parents of these children simply don’t have the money to pay for the expensive surgeries at these hospitals. They often return home and their children die.

To save these children we ask you to help finance our Pediatric Surgery Fund. Please click here to make a donation. As always, we thank you for your generous support.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Los Angeles Event

The second annual Los Angeles Event will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the NeueHouse on Sunset Boulevard. Proceeds from the event benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Friends of Friends New York Fundraising Event

The 20th annual fundraiser for Angkor Hospital for Children is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, in Manhattan. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets and tables.

Third Annual Luang Prabang Gala

The fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18, at the Pullman Hotel in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets and tables.

The Carlsberg Classic Golf Tournament

The fundraising tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Luang Prabang Golf Club. Proceeds benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children. The deadline for registration is Oct. 17. Register by email at: lpbgolfclubmarketing@hotmail.com

7th Run for the Children: Luang Prabang Half Marathon

The annual charity race is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20. Information about the race and online registration are available here.

POSITION AVAILABLE!

LFHC is seeking a Supervising Pediatrician to serve a one-year commitment. This is a salaried position. Information about the position and how to apply can be found here.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

LFHC is also looking for a Neonatal Nurse to volunteer for a period of 6-12 months. Information about the Neonatal Nurse position and how to apply can be found here.

The hospital is also seeking experienced doctors and nurses to serve as volunteers. Information can be found here.

 

 

 

 

July Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friends of Friends New York Fundraising Event

The 20th annual fundraiser for Angkor Hospital for Children is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, in Manhattan. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets and tables.

Third Annual Luang Prabang Gala

The fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18. Details are forthcoming.

The Carlsberg Classic Golf Tournament

The fundraising tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19. Proceeds benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children. Details are forthcoming.

7th Run for the Children: Luang Prabang Half Marathon

The annual charity race is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20. Information about the race and online registration are available here.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

LFHC is seeking a Human Resources Specialist to serve as a volunteer to train the HR staff at the hospital.Details can be found here.

The hospital is also seekingexperienced doctors and nurses to serve as volunteers. Information can be found here.

LFHC also seeks a Supervising Pediatrician to serve a one-year commitment and a Neonatal Nurse for a period of 6-12 months. Information about the Supervising Pediatrician position and how to applycan be found here. Information about the Neonatal Nurse position and how to apply can be found here.

 

LFHC Participates in Major Research Study of Beriberi 

   Thiamine deficiency, commonly referred to as beriberi, is rampant among the patients brought to Lao Friends Hospital for Children, especially among the poorest and most isolated rural children. Without quick treatment, most of these children would die.

By caring for hundreds of children per year with a disease that is found throughout rural populations in Asia and Africa, LFHC has the opportunity to become a center of excellence for patient care, education, and research into beriberi and milder forms of thiamine deficiency.

We are thus proud to have partnered with colleagues at the Institute for Global Nutrition at the University of California, Davis and the Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute to undertake what may be the world’s most comprehensive study into the physiology and pathology of thiamine deficiency in infants. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a large team of researchers has joined LFHC to enroll nearly 700 hospitalized children over the course of the next year who have illnesses consistent with severe thiamine deficiency.

Read more here.

Nurse Anesthetists Program Gains International Recognition 

   LFHC’s process of training nurses in anesthesiology recently gained formal recognition by the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists.

Three staff members have met all the educational requirements to become graduates of the LFHC Nurse Anesthesia Program. Noy Keopaseuth and Si Ly are the latest graduates. They join nurse anesthetist Kuelee Lao Faiyia, who graduated from the program last year.

The scope of LFHC’s program has already been approved by the Luang Prabang Department of Health.

The three LFHC nurses spent 5-7 months at Angkor Hospital for Children as part of their education. The nurse anesthetists at AHC have received the Golden Apple award from the Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) organization for their teaching program in 2019.

In the next six months, Kulee will be traveling to the United Kingdom to observe anesthesia care and Si Ly will travel to Pittsburgh to observe anesthesia care.

Read more here.

Surgeons Save Teen Injured in Motorbike Accident

   A motorbike accident left 14-year-old Thong unconscious and injured, so his family rushed him to nearby Nambak District Hospital, where he was treated for his wounds and then referred to Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

After a five-hour journey, Thong and his parents arrived at LFHC. Emergency Room doctors immediately noted that the boy exhibited symptoms indicative of a severe head injury.

A surgical team successfully relieved the pressure from an epidural hemorrhage and Thong gradually recovered during a two-week hospital stay.

Read about his treatment and recovery here.

Luang Prabang Cares: Blood Drive Week 2019

   The Luang Prabang community came together last month to donate blood and support Lao Friends Hospital for Children and the Lao Red Cross in raising awareness about the need for blood donations.

A total of 171 blood donors contributed to the five-day campaign, which ended on World Blood Donor Day (June 14) – 60 more donors than the 2018 campaign.

The donated blood is used at LFHC during surgeries and for transfusions needed by children afflicted with thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder.

View more photos from the campaign here.

Support the Run with Heart Team

   Runners planning to participate in this year’s Run for the Children Luang Prabang Half Marathon are not only training for the event but also busy setting up crowdfunding sites.

One group of runners, the Run with Heart team, invites you to join them for the half marathon or to support their effort by making a donation to their Crowdrise campaign.

The team includes runners from the local community who are participating in the annual charity race to raise money to support Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

The annual half marathon is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20, in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Lao PDR.

Information about donating to the race or setting up your own Crowdrise campaign can be found here.

You can donate to support the Run with Heart team here.

  Information about the race and how to register can be seen here.

May Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

7th Run for the Children: Luang Prabang Half Marathon

The annual charity race is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20. Information about the race and online registration are available here.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

LFHC is seeking a Human Resources Specialist to serve as a volunteer to train the HR staff at the hospital.Details can be found here.

The hospital is also seekingexperienced doctors and nurses to serve as volunteers during the months of June, July and August. Information can be found here.

LFHC also seeks a Supervising Pediatrician to serve a one-year commitment and a Neonatal Nurse for a period of 6-12 months. The Neonatal Nurse position is primarily responsible for the education, training and development of the LFHC neonatal nursing team. Information about the position and how to apply can be found here.

 

Surgeons Save Brain-Injured Boy

   When little Nok Chante arrived at LFHC, he was unconscious. He had been in that condition since falling from a tree in his village 28 hours earlier.

Immediately after the accident, Nok’s family didn’t know what to do – they had no money to pay a doctor or hospital. They were extremely worried.

A neighbor heard about the Nok’s injury and told his family that he knew there was a children’s hospital in Luang Prabang that provided free medical care. So the famlly borrowed enough money for transportation and made the long journey to LFHC.

Emergency Room doctors quickly ordered a CT scan for the unconscious boy. The scan revealed a larger intracranial epidural hemorrhage – blood had filled the area between his brain and skull and was pressing down on his brain.

Read more here.

LFHC Trains District Hospital Staff in Transfusion Procedure

   During the past few months, LFHC staff has been training doctors and nurses from Namback District Hospital to safely give blood transfusions to thalassemia patients.

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder which afflicts many people in northern Lao PDR. Regularly scheduled blood transfusions can prevent anemia and related conditions caused by thalassemia.

Earlier this month, LFHC Dr. Lakiher Latongxai, nurse Bounhome Inthidate and Laboratory Manager Anousin Phonedala went to Namback District Hospital to help set up the thalassemia transfusion service there. The district hospital may eventually serve as many 40 transfusion-dependent patients.

It will be much more efficient and comfortable for some families to travel to Namback District Hospital for their transfusions every month; then every three months they will come to LFHC for a complete checkup.

Register Now for the Luang Prabang Half Marathon!

Online registration is now open for the Run for Children: Luang Prabang Half Marathon 2019!

The annual charity race will take place on Sunday, Oct. 20. All proceeds from the run support free patient care at Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Runners can choose a distance of 7km, 14km, or 21km along a scenic loop course that weaves past temples and local homes through the heart of the historic UNESCO town.

Last year, the event attracted 1,600 runners from 42 different countries.

Runners are encouraged to set up their own crowdfunding page to support LFHC. By raising $500 or more, a runner’s registration fee will be reimbursed during race pack pickup.

Click herer to register.

Click here to open your own crowdfunding page.

Pi Mai at LFHC 

   The hospital staff welcomed the Lao New Year last month with a traditional Baci ceremony.

Many families hold a Baci at their homes to ring in the new year and to wish their elders good health and long life. The Baci is held on the last day of Boun Pi Mai (Lao New Year’s Festival).

Boun Pi Mai is the most widely celebrated festival in Laos. While it’s typically celebrated for three days elsewhere in the country, Luang Prabang celebrates for almost a full week!

During this time, the festival of water is very popular and people throw water on each other (with water guns or buckets). The celebration includes a Grand Parade, in which about 200 monks and more than 1,000 people wearing traditional clothes and costumes march to Wat Xieng Thong, the most holy temple in town.

Sok Dee Pi Mai! (Happy Lao New Year!)

Savor Your Senses Hosts Magical Night

   Elaine Kwon and Kevin McCaffrey, founders of Savor Your Senses, along with Philipp Lajaunie, food and wine expert and FWAB Board Member, hosted a magical night earlier this month to support Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Guests were treated to a program of musical performances thoughtfully paired with excellent wine and food. The event was held at the Friends Gallery in Luang Prabang.

Elaine Kwon is an award-winning concert pianist, Lecturer in Music at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Co-founder/President/Artistic Directorr of Savor Your Senses. As part of thie evening, Elaine performed a special musical collaboration with Lao pop star and LFHC supporter Bidalack Syackhaphom (Touly).

Rolling Out the Red Carpet

   More than 300 guests gathered at the Edison Ballroom in Manhattan on May 15 for the 17th Annual New York Gala, an event that honored a member of Britain’s Royal Family and celebrated the birthday of the founder of Friends Without A Border.

The event raised a net total of $390,000 for the benefit of Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York was awarded the organization’s first Making A Difference Award for her recent support of the hospital.

The evening closed with a surprise birthday celebration for Friends Without A Border Founder Kenro Izu.

Click here to read about the event and see more pictures.

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April Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

17th Annual New York Gala
Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York will be honored at the 17th Annual New York Gala on Wednesday, May 15, in Manhattan. Tickets and tables may be purchased here.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

The hospital is seeking candidates for the positions of Executive Directorand Nurse Educator. These are full-time paid positions. Information can be seen on our website here.

LONG-TERM VOLUNTEER WANTED!

LFHC is seeking a Neonatal Nurse to volunteer at the hospital in Luang Prabang for a period of 6-12 months. The volunteer is primarily responsible for the education, training and development of the LFHC neonatal nursing team. Information about the position and how to apply can be found here.

 

LFHC Performs 1st Splenectomy for Thalassemia Patient

   When LFHC first opened its doors in 2015, one of its first patients was a 7-year-old boy named Bounsaweng Bouadichith, who was diagnosed with thalassemia when he was an infant.

He arrived weak and pale and LFHC doctors promptly started treating him. During the past four years, he has had frequent medical appointments and is one of the Thalassemia Clinic patients who received blood transfusions once or twice a month.

Bounsaweng was also diagnosed with an enlarged spleen. One of the functions of the spleen is to filter old or damaged red blood cells. Thalassemia destroys a large number of red blood cells and as they are filtered by the spleen, it becomes enlarged and has to work harder.

After extensive planning by a multidisciplinary team, Bounsaweng was wheeled into the Operating Theater on Feb. 20 and underwent the first elective splenectomy for a thalassemia patient at LFHC.

Read more here. 

Interplast Performs Surgeries at LFHC 

   An Interplast Team recently visited LFHC and provided free reconstructive surgeries to children and adults with such disabling conditions as burns or severe scars to the hands, fingers, toes and small joints.

The team, supported by Australian Aid, worked closely with the LFHC Operating Theater and performed 15 surgeries. The Interplast team also served as mentors and trainers for LFHC staff in the management of complex wound care.

The hospital is looking forward to their future visit as there are many more children who will benefit from their advanced reconstructive surgical care.

Interplast is an NGO that sends volunteer surgical teams and health care professionals to 17 countries across the Asia Pacific region.

Learning Infection Prevention

   A group of LFHC staff members recently gained insights into protecting patients and themselves from various types of infection.

The training session included information about the use of sterile gloves and masks, the proper disposal of infectious material and how to treat an accidental needle puncture.

The staff also learned how to identify patients who are more susceptible to infection and how to use isolation rooms.

As a teaching hospital, LFHC is constantly offering its staff classroom instruction and hands-on training.

Friends Without A Border Earns Top Rating, Again

   GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information about nonprofit organizations, has awarded its 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency to Friends Without A Border.

Friends received the Platinum Seal last year, as well. It is the highest rating awarded by GuideStar.

Read more here.

Stars Come Out at (Gala) Night

   Two stars of stage and screen will be lending their talents to the 17th Annual New York Gala.

Tony nominee and Emmy winner Liz Callaway is the featured musical performer and London-born television star Sean Maguire will serve as the event’s emcee.

Liz made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. She has gone on to star in Baby, Miss Saigon, The Look of Love, The Three Musketeers, and for five years appeared as Grizabella in Cats. Liz has six solo recordings, including her newest album, The Essential Liz Callaway.

Sean has appeared in numerous films and television productions, including the BBC series “Scott & Bailey,” the hit series “Criminal Minds” and “Timeless.” He is perhaps best known in the U.S. for his role as Robin Hood in the ABC series “Once Upon A Time.”

March Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

17th Annual New York Gala
Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York will be honored at the 17th Annual New York Gala on Wednesday, May 15, in Manhattan. Tickets and tables may be purchased here.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

The hospital is seeking candidates for the positions of Executive Director,Medical Director and Nurse Educator. These are full-time paid positions. Information can be seen onour website here.

LONG-TERM VOLUNTEER WANTED!

LFHC is seeking a Neonatal Nurse to volunteer at the hospital in Luang Prabang for a period of 6-12 months. The volunteer is primarily responsible for the education, training and development of the LFHC neonatal nursing team. Information about the position and how to apply can be found here.

LFHC Staff Teaches Neonatal Resuscitation

   LFHC doctors and nurses have conducted two neonatal resuscitation training sessions for staff members at LHFC and Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital. The training involves lectures and simulations focusing on the care of an infant immediately after birth.

The training is planned for once every month during the next three months by different LFHC nurses and doctors to ensure all of the staff are trained in neonatal resuscitation.

The training is also an opportunity for LFHC staff to collaborate with their Provincial Hospital colleagues who also see many neonates.

The sessions have been led by doctors Lakiher Latongxai and Annkham Thammaseng, nurses Somchit Bounnaphone and Somphone Lao and expat nurse volunteer Sam Hardeman.

LFHC Saves Toddler’s Life

   A multidisciplinary team at LFHC recently saved the life of a 2-year-old boy who was suffering from an “acute abdomen,” a medical emergency often associated with ruptured intestines or a perforated appendix.

The boy, Khamphan Nun, was feverish and dehydrated by diarrhea. After much questioning by staff, his family revealed that their son had been bitten by a dog in the scrotum and that he had an unrepaired inguinal hernia.

Khamphan was rushed into the Operating Theater, where a surgical team repaired a part of his intestine that had herniated into his scrotum, which had been bitten by the dog. The surgeon had to perform an ostomy.

Read more about Khamphan’s case on our website here.

Donors Respond to LFHC Blood Drive

   Monthly blood drives are a vital component of operations at Lao Friends Hospital for Children, which has seen an increase in surgeries and thalassemia patients.

Twenty-one people were donors during the February blood drive at the Friends Gallery in downtown Luang Prabang.

There always seems to be a shortage of blood in the province and LFHC encourages local residents, expats and tourists to donate.Read more here.

Follow-up Clinic Used in Treatment of Malnutrition

   The LFHC staff is ever-vigilant for signs of malnutrition in the children they see.

Last year, more than 150 children were treated for severe or moderate malnutrition and hospital administrators started a follow-up clinic that includes test-feeding (under medical supervision) of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF).

Nearly three tons of RUFT have been imported to ensure an adequate supply of this vital medication for the malnourished children in the region.

The hospital’s therapeutic food program is designed to dramatically reduce the need to hospitalize malnourished children for long periods.

Globally, about 45 percent of the deaths among children under the age of five are linked to poor nutrition, according to a UNICEF article published in October.Read more here.

Staff Gains Insights into Wound Care

   Among the many training activities that regularly occur at LFHC was a recent session about wound care.

Jack O’Meara, an ex-pat volunteer, taught a group of Lao doctors and nurses how to evaluate wounds and apply the appropriate dressing.

As a teaching hospital, LFHC trains dozens of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals every year. Last year, 44 medical volunteers and 60 nurses contributed to the training and mentoring of the LFHC staff.

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Copyright © 2017 Friends Without A Border, All rights reserved.

January Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

Lao Friends Hospital for Children 4th Anniversary
The anniversay celebration is scheduled for January 22 at the hospital in Luang Prabang, Laos.

 

Taste the World
The annual chairty wine-tasting event will be held on Tuesday, January 29, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Ballroom in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Click here for information and tickets.

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!

LFHC has a pressing need for nurses and physicians. The hospital is seeking pediatric, neonatal and operating room nurses.

The hospital is also seeking a volunteer Medical Laboratory Technician for a commitment of one to six months.

If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please refer them to our website for more information. 

LFHC Welcomes New Chief Administrator

   Lao Friends Hospital for Children is very pleased to welcome Dr. David Brewster as the facility’s new executive director.

   Dr. Brewster brings a wealth of experience in pediatrics and hospital management to LFHC. He has been active in acute clinical medicine since his graduation in 1973 from the medical school at McMaster University in Canada, and has worked in several countries.

   Since 2013, Dr. Brewster has served with an Australian Aid Project in the Southeast Asia country of Timor-Leste (East Timor). The project focuses on women and children’s health. He was also responsible there for pediatric postgraduate training.

   Before leaving for East Timor, he was the Clinical Director of Pediatrics at Canberra Hospital in Australia.

   Read more here.

Best Wishes to Simon and Chris

   During the past three years, Executive Director Simon Young and Medical Education Director Christine Sanderson have overseen a period of extraordinary growth at Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

   They will be leaving their posts this month at the conclusion of their three-year contracts, having spearheaded programs and projects that saved the lives of so many children and improved the health of countless others.

   “Friends Without A Border will be eternally grateful for the incredible contributions made by these two skilled pediatricians/administrators,” said FWAB Executive Director Nicole Pagourgis. “They will be greatly missed.”

Doctors See Rare Case of Child Diabetes

  Six-year-old Thorhua Wa was brought to LFHC last month after her parents became concerned that she wasn’t sleeping well and getting out of bed often to urinate.

   Doctors determined that Thorhua was afflicted with malnutrition-related diabetes. This is not a condition that LFHC doctors see very often and is extremely complicated to manage. Malnutrition-related diabetes is similar to Type 1 diabetes, but patients require 2-3 times more insulin to manage their disease.

   The staff instructed Thorhua’s parents about how to proceed after measuring her glucose, how to inject insulin safely, and how to read her symptoms — especially for signs of low blood-sugar which can cause seizure, coma or death if not quickly recognized and treated. The nutrition team devoted much time to teach the family about managing Thorhua’s diet.

 Read more here.

Nurse Keo Sysaythong, Breastfeeding Educator

   Breastfeeding is extremely important to the health of a newborn infant. At LFHC, nurse Keo Sysaythong serves as the hospital’s lactation consultant.

   In early 2017, Keo expressed an interest in learning more about maternal health and what could be done to help new mothers properly breastfeed their infants. Since then, she has completed breastfeeding training with specialists from France and Australia.

   She now spends two afternoons a week in LFHC’s Neonatal Unit, helping mothers express milk and feed their babies. She is also putting her knowledge to work in the maternity ward of the Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital.

   Hospital administrators say Keo’s passion and love for her job are contagious, and her patience and gentle nature make her an incredibly valuable support person for new mothers.

AccorHotels Visits LFHC for Solidarity Week

   Representatives of AccorHotels recently celebrated Solidarity Week with the patients, their families and staff of Lao Friends Hospital for Children. The group treated everyone to lunch (and cupcakes) and brought gifts and games for the children.

   They also provided a bit of musical entertainment for the children and managed to get a few of our doctors to sing along with them.

   The AccorHotels group included representatives from Pullman Luang Prabang, Sofitel Luang Prabang, the 3 Nagas boutique hotel and SSMI financial consultants.

   Friends Without A Border and the LFHC staff thank AccorHotels for bringing many smiles and much laughter to the children.

Lao Staff Teaches Slate of Short Courses

   LFHC now conducts 12 short courses in subjects ranging from Excel software to neonatal nursing to wound care. The courses were designed and developed by the hospital’s Lao staff members, who also serve as course instructors.

    By having the Lao staff teach the content, the hospital is helping them develop as leaders and specialized trainers.

   These staff members have also been teaching courses at other health care facilities in the region on such topics as breastfeeding, triage and basic life support.

FWAB Photo Auction: A Picture of Success!

   The 20th Annual Friends of Friends Photography Auction proved to be a dazzling display of art and generosity.

   The Dec. 12 event raised more than $163,000 (gross) for the benefit of Lao Friends Hospital for Children. More than 100 artists contributed their works to the auction.

   A crowd of more than 150 attended the event at The Highline Loft and were very active in the live and online auctions.

   The Board of Directors and staff of Friends Without A Border thank all who attended and participated in the auctions.

   See more event photos here.

December Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

20th Annual Friends of Friends Photography Auction
The popular Friends Photo Auction is back! More than 100 prints will be auctioned on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at The Highline Loft in Manhattan. If you cannot attend, you can bid on the prints now via Artsy atwww.Artsy.net/fwab.

 Click here for more information and tickets.

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!
Physicians and Nurses

LFHC has a pressing need for nurses and physicians. The hospital is seeking pediatric, neonatal and operating room nurses.
If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please refer them to our website for more information.

Preventing Neonatal Tetanus

   Airnoy Khamxaiy was born prematurely at home with no health care professional present. His family cut his umbilical cord with bamboo.

The neonatal staff at LFHC determined that their tiny patient showed signs of infection, but was otherwise stable. They administered intravenous antibiotics and immunized him to prevent neonatal tetanus from developing as a result of his umbilical cord being cut with bamboo.

Neonatal tetanus is particularly common in rural areas where most deliveries occur at home without adequate sterile procedures, according to the World Health Organization. Most infants who get the disease do not survive.

Read more here.

Reducing the Risk of Airborne Infection

   Thanks to a generous donation from the Women International Group (WIG) of Laos, LFHC has taken measures to reduce the risk of nosocomial (acquired in the hospital) infections.

The grant enabled the hospital to install a new ventilation system in the Inpatient Department and both isolation rooms of the Emergency Department.

The Inpatient Department is usually filled to capacity, leaving little physical space between individuals. Sufficient ventilation is critically needed, given the high rates of typical childhood respiratory infections among our patients and the ever-present risk of more severe respiratory infections such as tuberculosis and pandemic influenza.

Read more here.

LFHC Welcomes New Director of Nursing

  Kate Corrigan, whose nursing career includes service in the U.S., Haiti and Ecuador, recently started working at LFHC as the hospital’s Director of Nursing.

Kate focused on pediatric intensive care while working at several children’s hospitals in the U.S., including eight years at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

A native of Seattle, she earned her degree in nursing in Ohio at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. After graduation, she spent a year in Ecuador, helping the Catholic Medical Mission Board develop a small, same-day surgical center in Quito.

Kate also holds a masters degree in global health from The George Washington University.

In 2012, she served as chief nursing officer at a trauma hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and four years later supported the disaster relief efforts in that Caribbean nation in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Read more here.

Another Caseload Record

   According to the most recent data available, LFHC’s doctors and nurses treated 2,200 children as outpatients in October — setting a new caseload record for a single month in that department.

 

Hospital Welcomes New Nurse Educator

   LFHC recently welcomed Lisa Altmann as the hospital’s new Nurse Educator.

A native Australian, Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and international experience to the position, having worked as a pediatric nurse in more than 15 countries. She has worked twice as a nursing volunteer at LFHC.

Lisa received her credentials as a Registered Nurse in 2007 and since that time has worked as a pediatric nurse. She also has completed postgraduate studies in pediatric nursing, tropical nursing and public health.

Read more here.

Friendly Boutique

   Renovations have been completed and the Friends Gallery is now open for business! Located in downtown Luang Prabang, the boutique is where one finds the best collection of treasures from Luang Prabang and Siem Reap — the locations of the two hospitals built by Friends Without A Border.

Sales help finance the free medical treatment provide by Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

 

Happy Holidays!

   The Board of Directors and staff of Friends Without A Border and Lao Friends Hospital for Children would like to wish everyone a healthy, happy holiday season. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks for your support during the year.

As readers of our monthly newsletter, you know how much the hospital has grown during 2018. And you’ve no doubt read about some of the children whose lives have been saved thanks to your generosity.

In this holiday season of giving, we ask that you consider making a gift that makes a difference, a gift that transverses borders, a gift that saves lives.

Donations may be made here on our website.

The Friends Holiday Cards may be ordered here.

November Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friends Without A Border Boston Event
Friends Board of Directors Member Dr. Jonathan Spector and his wife Marci Spector will host an event on Nov. 29 at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Mass.

20th Annual Friends of Friends Photography Auction
The popular Friends Photo Auction is back! More than 100 prints wil be auctioned on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at The Highline Loft in Manhattan. If you cannot attend, you can start to bid on the prints two weeks before the event via Artsy.

 Click here for more information and tickets.

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!
Physicians and Nurses

LFHC has a pressing need for nurses and physicians. The hospital is seeking pediatric, neonatal and operating room nurses.
If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please refer them to our website for more information.

Expanded Neonatal Unit Opens with Royal Flourish

   LFHC’s expanded Neonatal Unit opened on Oct. 20 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York.

The princess, a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, toured the unit and spoke with several of the doctors and nurses who care for the infants there.

The new Neonatal Unit (pictured above) now occupies what had been the children’s ward of the adjacent Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital. The expansion triples the former unit’s bed-space and provides additional room to better serve the parents of these infants

Read more here.

Read about the newly expanded unit here.

LFHC Battling Malnutrition with Therapeutic Food Program

   Recognizing the high incidence of malnutrition in Lao PDR, administrators at LFHC are initiating a malnutrition care program that they hope will dramatically reduce the need to hospitalize children for long periods to treat the condition.

LFHC doctors and nutritionists have begun to treat malnourished children with eeZeePaste, a ready-to-eat therapeutic food that has been endorsed by UNICEF. The product contains a mixture of peanuts, milk powder, oil and vitamins – everything a child needs to recover from malnutrition.

Read more here.

Boy Treated for Serious Bone Infection

   Aiy Thongsy was brought to Lao Friends Hospital for Children with a condition that doctors diagnosed as Osteomyelitis of his right leg. The condition, which is an infection of the bone, left the 10-year-old boy unable to walk.

A surgical team performed an external fixation for his leg to keep his bone in line to grow properly. Aiy then began a treatment regimen of antibiotics to fight the infection. His doctors used a series of X-rays to monitor his progress.

It took some time for Aiy to become accustomed to the external fixation, which he would need for several months. He still cannot walk, but he moves around the hospital in a wheelchair with the help of his father.

While he recovers at the LFHC, the hospital’s nutrition team has been addressing his malnutrition to ensure that he continues to improve.

Read more here.

Lao Gala Gratitude

   Thanks to everyone who made the Lao Friends Second Annual Gala Dinner a huge success. The fundraiser was held on October 19 in Luang Prabang.

Honorees for Best Friends of Friends Award were Henrik Juel Andersen, managing director of the Lao Brewery Company, and Dr. Somchittana Soulalay, senior pediatrician and assistant medical education director at LFHC.

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York attended the gala and addressed the attendees.

More photos may be seen here.

Running for the Children

   This year’s Run for the Children Luang Prabang Half Marathon attracted throngs of runners from around the world, including a member of Britain’s Royal Family.

Her Royal Majesty Princess Beatrice of York donned her running shoes for the race. The princess is no stranger to long-distance running. She was the first royal to complete the London Marathon in 2010.

Proceeds from the race benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Photos of the event may be seen here.

Race results may be seen here.

Tokyo Makes a Difference

   Friends Without A Border’s 3rd Annual Tokyo Gala, Making A Difference, was deemed wonderful success, having raised more than ¥16.8 million (nearly $150,000 U.S.) on October 12.

A special thanks to the event committee members for organizing such an incredible event!

A grateful Friends Founder Kenro Izu noted that the proceeds from the event are equivalent to the cost of providing free medical care to more than 1,500 children. He added that the event also exceeded its Neonates Fund-A-Lifeline goal by raising ¥5.8 million ($51,870 U.S.), which would cover the hospitalization costs of 167 babies.

 Read more here.

Hong Kong Magic

   Friends Without A Border is extremely grateful to the supporters who made the Second Annual Hong Kong Gala a wonderful success.

The event raised more than $65,000. Thei theme of the gala was “The Magic of Caring” and the event featured prestidigitation by a strolling magician.

The event was held on Oct. 25 at the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel.

 Photos of the gala may be seen here.

GoFundMe Campaign Still Needs Your Help

   We’ve attained 30.1 percent of the goal in our GoFundMe campaign to raise money to purchase medicine for Lao Friends Hospital for Children. This warms our collective heart. Many thanks, donors!

However, we would like to push forward toward our goal. Please help. If you cannot make a contribution (or have already made a donation), please spread the word. Tell your family and friends. Post a link to our GoFundMe campaign on your Facebook page and your Instagram page. Tweet about it.

Help Friends on Giving Tuesday

   We are looking for a few Friends to help us on Gving Tuesday by creating fundraising pages on their social media sites for Friends Without A Border. Creating such a page on Facebook or CrowdRise is actually quite easy.

As you know, Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (here in the U.S.) is an international day of charitable giving.

For additional information, please send an email to our manager of communications, Gary Kane, at gary@fwab.org.

Holiday Shopping? Here’s a Gift That Saves Lives

 

We’re guessing that you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet. Haven’t even begun?

Consider sending your family, friends and work colleagues a holiday gift that tells them you’ve made a donation in their name fo Friends Without A Border.

Truly a life-saving gift!

Please click on this link to learn more about this offer.

 

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October Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

Tokyo Gala — Sold Out
Friday, October 12, at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Tokyo. For information, contactfriends@fwab.jp or Akiko@fwab.org.

Luang Prabang Half Marathon and Gala
October 19-21, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Click here for race registration
Click here for gala tickets.

Hong Kong Gala
Thursday, October 25 at the Renaissance Hong Kong Habour View Hotel. Click here for tickets.

20th Annual Friends of Friends Photography Auction
Wednesday, December 12, at The Highline Loft, 508 W. 26th St., New York City. Click here for more information.

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!
Physicians and Nurses

LFHC has a pressing need for nurses and physicians. The hospital is seeking pediatric, neonatal and operating room nurses.
If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please refer them to our website for more information.

LFHC Sets One-Month Record for Inpatients and ER Treatments

   Not only was August one of the rainiest months of the year in Laos, it was also the busiest month in the three-year history of Lao Friends Hospital for Children, according to the most recent data available.

Doctors and nurses working in the Outpatient Department and Emergency Room treated 2,039 children in August, the largest number of patients in a single month since the hospital opened in 2015. The outpatient numbers also have risen more than 200 percent in two years, LFHC administrators reported.

Inpatient numbers also were high, with more than 200 children hospitalized during August. Furthermore, these children have remained hospitalized for longer periods than in the past. Many were treated for bone infections, chronic skin wounds, malnutrition and encephalitis.

Read more here.

Neonatal Doctors and Nurses Save Another Life

   Doctors at Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital delivered Airnoy Xong in mid-August by performing a cesarean section. His mother had been rushed to the hospital because she was bleeding and doctors had diagnosed placenta previa, a pregnancy complication in which the placenta covers the woman’s cervix.

Born after a 32-week pregnancy, Airnoy Xong weighed less than four pounds. His family was told that the infant had very little chance of surviving. He was immediately brought to the Neonatal Unit at LFHC, where a doctor administered CPR and ensured an oxygen flow to his premature lungs.

Read more here.

LFHC, Provincial Hospital Share Imaging System

   In another cooperative venture, Lao Friends Hospital for Children and the Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital are jointly deploying a new medical imaging storage system that will save money and give doctors quick access to X-rays and other diagnostic images.

A team from the nonprofit organization, RAD-AID, has installed the Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) and is training technicians from both hospitals in its operation. Read more here.

Nurses Gain Additional Training in Anatomy

Soule with FWAB Executive Director Nicole Pagourgis

   Nurses at LFHC began this month to attend classes in the nursing anatomy curriculum. Instruction focuses on the nervous system. They’re learning about the brain and spinal cord and the way nerves control and regulate the body.

The hospital employs more than 40 nurses and they all receive continuous education from a Nurse Educator and a Lao Nurse Educator. In addition to classroom instruction, nurses gain hands-on training every day in the clinical areas of the hospital.

LFHC’s role as a teaching hospital is vital to the mission of Friends Without A Border: to train a new generation of Lao Health Care professionals who will spread their knowledge of modern pediatrics throughout Laos and Southeast Asia.

GoFundMe Campaign Needs Your Help

   We’ve attained 27 percent of the goal in our GoFundMe campaign to raise money to purchase medicine for Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Please help us reach this goal. If you cannot make a contribution (or have already made a donation), please spread the word. Tell your family and friends. Post a link to our GoFundMe campaign on your Facebook page and your Instagram page. Tweet about it.

We are extremely grateful to those who have contributed to the campaign thus far.

Friends of Friends NY Event Boosts AHC

   More than 200 supporters of the Angkor Hospital for Children attended the 19th Annual Friend of Friends Event on Sept. 22 in Manhattan.

This year’s event netted about $25,000 for AHC, making it the most successful fundraiser for the hospital in recent memory, organizers said.

The event was held at a new location — the Royal Seafood Cuisine in New York City’s Chinatown — and attracted many new supporters as well as many longtime friends. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the event a night to remember! The annual event is organized by Cambodian Americans and their friends.

Friends Without A Border opened AHC in 1999, the first pediatric facility built and operated by the organization in Southeast Asia. AHC became an independent, self-managed hospital in 2013.

Southeast Asia Adventure Planned for Early 2019

   The staff and board members of Friends Without A Border will be traveling to Southeast Asia to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the opening of Lao Friends Hospital for Children on January 22 and the 20th anniversary of the Angkor Hospital for Children on January 25.

You are invited to join them for these momentous occasions. You’ll enjoy a custom-designed itinerary that will make the most of your trip. You’ll be taking advantage of our staff’s 20 years of learning the area and seeing the best of Southeast Asia in either a one- or two-week itinerary.

The adventure will take place in late January. You’ll tour sites in Laos and Cambodia for one week and have the option of adding a visit to Vietnam as a second week of the trip.

For more information about the journey, please contact Friends Without A Border Executive Director Nicole Pagourgis at nicole@fwab.org.

Copyright © 2017 Friends Without A Border, All rights reserved.

September Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

San Francisco Event
Thursday, Sept. 20, at Little GemRestaurant, 400 Grove St., Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

19th Annual Friends of Friends NY
Saturday, September 22, at Royal Seafood Cuisine, 103-105 Mott St., NYC. Click here for tickets.

Tokyo Gala
Friday, October 12, at The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Tokyo. For information, contact friends@fwab.jp or Akiko@fwab.org.

Hong Kong Gala
Thursday, October 25. Click here for tickets.

Luang Prabang Half Marathon and Gala
October 19-21, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR.Click here for race registration
Click here for gala tickets.

20th Annual Friends of Friends Photography Auction
Wednesday, December 12, at The Highline Loft, 508 W. 26th St., NYC

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!
Physicians and Nurses

LFHC has a pressing need for nurses and physicians. The hospital is seeking pediatric, neonatal and operating room nurses.
If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please refer them to our website for more information.

Positions Available

LFHC is seeking candidates for the full-time position of Executive Director.
Further information is available on our website or can be obtained by contacting hr@fwablaos.org.

LFHC Therapists Help Khmu Boy Recover from Fall

   While climbing a tree near his home, 5-year-old Ker Hardjorng slipped and fell roughly 12 feet to the ground. The fall rendered him unconscious, so his worried parents immediately began an 11-hour journey to Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Ker remained unconscious for several hours during the trip. Upon the family’s arrival at LFHC, doctors noted that Kerr seemed semi-conscious and clearly had suffered a leg fracture.

Ker’s family is Khmu, the largest minority ethnic group in northern Laos. Of course, the hospital employs staff members who are Khmu and they were available to serve as translators for the boy’s doctors and nurses.

The doctors ordered an emergency CT Scan, which showed a swelling of Ker’s brain and the presence of blood and fluid in the middle of the brain.

Ker was treated for his leg fracture and given medication to reduce his blood pressure and ease his pain, but there was doubt that he could survive the injuries.

Read about Ker’s amazing recovery here.

LFHC Doctor Selected for Residency Program

  Dr. Vilayvone Senkeo has been granted a place in the three-year Pediatric Residency program at the National Children’s Hospital in Vientaine. The Lao Pediatric Society selected her for the program and her tuition and living expenses will be covered by a donated scholarship. She will return to LFHC in 2021.

Dr. Senkeo started working at Lao Friends Hospital for Children in 2015 shortly after it opened its doors and began treating patients. She had just completed medical school in Vientiane and was thrilled to work in a new children’s hospital in her hometown.

The hospital administration and staff congratulate Dr. Vilayvone for this wonderful opportunity to continue her training. Read more here.

Nurse Completes Anesthesia Program

Soule with FWAB Executive Director Nicole Pagourgis

   Kuelee Lao Faiyia has successfully completed his comprehensive examination in the LFHC Nurse Anesthesia Program.

As part of the program, he administered anesthesia in more than 600 procedures at the hospital and attended classes in basic sciences, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and anesthesia management.

The program has been approved by the Luang Prabang Provincial Health Department and has been submitted for recognition by the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists. Read more here.

GoFundMe Campaign Gains Support

   The GoFundMe team donated $1,000 to the fundraising campaign initiated on its website by Friends Without A Border. The donation was made as part of the team’s Gives Back Program.

We’ve noted in previous newsletters that our doctors and nurses are treating record numbers of children. As the caseload increases, so do many of the hospital’s expenses. Medicine is one of LFHC’s largest expenses.

We launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for medicine. Here’s a link to our GoFundMe page. We set our goal at $25,000. Yes, that seems like a lofty goal. But Friends Without A Border was founded upon a lofty goal: To ensure that no family loses a child because they cannot afford the medicine to save their child’s life.

Please help us reach this goal. If you cannot make a contribution, please spread the word. Tell your family and friends. Post a link to our GoFundMe campaign on your Facebook page and your Instagram page. Tweet about it.

We cannot thank you enough for your support.

Child Life Therapist to Study in Macau Program

Child Life Specialist Kongmeng Sialee has received a scholarship to spend September studying at the International School of Macau.

As a participant in the school’s Lao Outreach Program, he will learn how to interact more effectively with patients who have autism, development delay and speech problems. He will also have the opportunity to observe the school’s counselling, speech therapy and occupational therapy departments.

The International School of Macau started the outreach program in 2013 to allow teachers at the school to mentor educators from Lao PDR. The school formed a partnership with GLOBE, a Canadian nonprofit, and My Library in Luang Prabang to facilitate the program.

We are excited that Kongmeng has this chance to learn new skills, network with professionals from other countries and be an ambassador for LFHC.

Read more about Kongmeng here.

Lao Pop Star to Perform at Luang Prabang Gala

   The 2nd Annual Luang Prabang Gala will feature a performance by pop star/model Tot Lina.

Tot Lina is a unique artist who began her career soon after high school graduation in 2004 when she became a model in the Sinsay Cultural Club, which is sponsored by the Lao Ministry of Culture, Information and Travel. She was Lao Super Model in 2015 and 2016.

As a Lao and English speaker, she worked for the Lao National Radio Station before launching a career in music. In 2011, she released her first single, “Nightmare,” which won her the Best Pop Song of the Year Award at the 2012 Lao Music Awards.

The gala is planned for Friday, Oct. 19, at the Pullman Hotel Ballroom in Luang Prabang. Proceeds from the gala support Lao Friends Hospital for Children. Tickets for the event may be purchased here.