Category: Uncategorized

February 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. Information about the fundraising event and how to purchase tickets and tables will be forthcoming.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE!

The hospital is seeking a Medical Director and a Nurse Educator.These are paid positions. Information can be seen on our website here.

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!

LFHC has a pressing need for nursesand 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 Celebrates 4th Anniversary

   Friends and supporters of Lao Friends Hospital for Children joined the staff and members of the Board of Directors of Friends Without A Border on January 22 to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the facility.

LFHC doctors and nurses have seen 79,107 children during the first four years of operation.

Photos of the event may be seen here on our website.

Just How Busy was LFHC in 2018?

   Extremely busy. Outpatient and emergency caseloads increased dramatically in 2018 as a result of the cessation of pediatric services at Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital and the growing reputation of LFHC.

Check out a brief video about LFHC “by the numbers” in 2018 here on our website!

 

Here are some of the 2018 caseload numbers and how they compared to 2017:

  • 6,677 emergency room patients treated, a 240% increase;
  • 21,984 outpatients treated, a 40% increase;
  • 779 surgeries performed, a 30% increase;
  • 457 neonatal patients admitted, a 16% increase

Dangerous Case of Malnutrition Treated 

   A 6-week-old baby named Young Noy was brought to LFHC in December with what appeared to be severe malnutrition. The hospital’s medical and nutrition teams determined that the infant was suffering from kwashiokor, an dangerous form of malnutrition associated with fluid retention.

Kwashiorkor is caused by a lack of protein and is most often seen in regions experiencing famine.

After taking a careful history with Young Noy’s mother, the staff learned that the infant was born at home and had received only condensed milk since birth. His mother felt unable to breastfeed him.

The staff immediately began to feed baby formula to Young via a nasogastric tube. He was also given thiamin and zinc and treated with antibiotics for a skin infection. Meanwhile, his mother was taught about the importance of breastfeeding and trained in the proper breastfeeding process.

Young gradually began to breastfeed and gain weight. After 23 days at LFHC, he and his thankful mother left the hospital.

Training in Thalassemia Care Given to Nambak Hospital Doctor and Nurse

   Late last month, Lao staff members at LFHC trained a doctor and nurse from Nambak District Hospital in the care and treatment of thalassemia patients.

The goal of the training is to give thalassemia patients a place to receive treatment closer to their homes. Some families travel long distances every month to bring their children to LFHC, which has the only pediatric thalassemia clinic in northern Laos. These families are spending a large proportion of their income on transportation. Nambak is about 75 miles north of Luang Prabang.

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes anemia and can be fatal. Many patients need monthly blood transfusions. Despite the high prevalence of thalassemia in Laos, there are only two pediatric thalassemia clinics in the country – at LFHC and in the capital city of Vientiane.

Read more here.

Congratulations Dr. Sanderson!

  The Royal Australasian College of Physicians has awarded its International Medal for 2019 to Dr. Christine Sanderson, the former Medical Education Director at Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

The honor is bestowed upon physicians who have provided outstanding service in developing countries.

Dr. Sanderson has served three years as the hospital’s director of medical education. Her three-year contract with LFHC ended in January.

The RACP award honors physicians who have made a significant contribution to clinical service and a demonstrated commitment to mentoring and training future and current physicians.

Princess to be Honored at New York Gala 

   Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York will be honored with the Friends of Friends Award during the 17th Annual New York Gala on May 15 in Manhattan.

In October, the princess attended the Second Annual Luang Prabang Gala, ran in the 2018 Run for the Children Luang Prabang Half Marathon fundraiser and toured the newly expanded Neonatal Unit.

Details about the 17th Annual New York Gala will be forthcoming.

Angkor Hospital for Children Celebrates 20 Years

   About 750 people, including Cambodian government officials, international guests and hospital staff, attended the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Angkor Hospital for Children on January 25 in Siem Reap.

AHC was the first hospital built and operated by Friends Without A Border. In 2013, AHC became an independent, self-managed hospital.

Friends Without A Border Founder Kenro Izu presented a check for $27,601 to Dr. Ngoun Chanpheaktra, Medical Director of Angkor Hospital for Children, and Navy Tep, the facility’s Chief Operating Officer, during the event. The donation was raised at last year’s Friends of Friends New York fundraising event in Manhattan.

Clarification

   The January newsletter incorrectly attributed certain developments at LFHC to administrators who recently left their positions at the hospital. The report should have stated that several developments, such as the opening of the Surgery Department, Thalassemia Clinic and Neonatal Unit, occurred during the tenure of LFHC Executive Director Dr. Simon Young. Other staff members, however, designed and implemented plans to open these departments.

The report also incorrectly identified the creator of the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology curricula for nurses. Sarah Cutting, who recently left her position as nurse educator, created and implemented those courses.

We apologize for the errors.

Thalassemia Clinic: Training for District Hospital Staff

Late last month, Lao staff members at LFHC trained a doctor and nurse from Nambak District Hospital in the care and treatment of thalassemia patients.

The goal of the training is to give thalassemia patients a place to receive treatment closer to their homes. Some families travel long distances every month to bring their children to LFHC, which has the only pediatric thalassemia clinic in northern Laos. These families are spending a large proportion of their income on transportation. Nambak is about 75 miles north of Luang Prabang.

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes anemia and can be fatal. Many patients need monthly blood transfusions. Despite the high prevalence of thalassemia in Laos, there are only two pediatric thalassemia clinics in the country – at LFHC and in the capital city of Vientiane.

In training the Nambak staff, LFHC administrators envision them spreading this clinical knowledge to other hospitals and health care professionals across Laos.

The first doctor and nurse from Nambak arrived on Jan. 29  training. They had a half day of theory, followed by two days of practical training and observation in the LFHC Thalassemia Clinic.

Two more Nambak doctors and nurses will be trained over the next few months and their hospital will soon start to receive patients. The patients will be treated at Nambak for two months and then return to LFHC for the third month. LFHC administrators hope this will be the start of a great collaboration between LFHC and Nambak District Hospital.

AHC Celebrates 20 Years

About 750 people, including Cambodian government officials, international guests and hospital staff, attended the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Angkor Hospital for Children on January 25 in Siem Reap.

Friends Without A Border Founder Kenro Izu presented a check for $27,601 to Dr. Ngoun Chanpheaktra, Medical Director of Angkor Hospital for Children, and Navy Tep, the facility’s Chief Operating Officer, during the event. The donation was raised at last year’s Friends of Friends New York fundraising event in Manhattan.

AHC was the first hospital built and operated by Friends Without A Border. In 2013, AHC became an independent, self-managed hospital.

Congratulations Dr. Sanderson!

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians has awarded its International Medal for 2019 to Lao Friends Hospital for Children Medical Education Director Dr. Christine Sanderson.

The honor is bestowed upon physicians who have provided outstanding service in developing countries.

Dr. Sanderson has served three years as the hospital’s director of medical education.

The RACP award honors physicians who have made a significant contribution to clinical service and a demonstrated commitment to mentoring and training future and current physicians.

LFHC Celebrates 4th Anniversary

Friends and supporters of Lao Friends Hospital for Children gathered on January 22 to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the hospital.

LFHC doctors, nurses and health care professionals have seen more than 79,000 children during the first four years of operation

Here are a few scenes from the event:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Picture of Generosity

The 20th Annual Friends of Friends Photography Auction proved to be a wonderful success.

The Dec. 12 event, held at The Highline Loft in Manhattan, raised more than $160,000 (gross) to benefit Lao Hospital for Children!

More than 100 photographers donated their works, which were offered online and during a live auction.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Artist of the Year Award posthumously to Mr. Irving Penn. A video about his life and work (https://vimeo.com/306393746) was screened at the event, after which Mr. Peter MacGill, president of the Pace/MacGill Gallery, accepted the award on behalf of the Irving Penn Foundation.

Friends Without A Border offers a heartfelt thanks to the organizers of the event, the photographers who donated their works and all who attended and participated in the auction.

(Photos by Iyota Shigemi)

 

LFHC Treats Child with Malnutrition-Related 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.

In Type 1 diabetes, the child’s body does not produce insulin. The reason this occurs in not fully understood. The disease is fatal for children afflicted with Type 1 diabetes who have no access to insulin.

The LFHC nutrition team immediately began to teach Thorhua’s family about diabetes and help them understand the importance appropriate blood-glucose control. Children with diabetes suffer from dangerous short-term effects of low blood-sugar, but also must work to prevent the long-term complications which can lead to blindness, kidney failure and amputation.

The team 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 team devoted much time to teach the family about managing Thorhua’s diet.

Action4Diabetics, a Southeast Asia charity, generously collaborated with LFHC to support Thorhua and donated insulin and glucose measurement kits. A4D also is providing transportation fee reimbursements for the many visits it will take to manage her diabetes safely.

LFHC Nutritionist Soulee Chakeryere has worked closely with Thorhua’s parents and has helped translate information into the Hmong language for the family. Since leaving LFHC, the family has called Soulee daily to report Thorhua’s blood-sugars and to ensure that everything is staying on track as they transition her care to home life.

Laos has one of the lowest rates of diabetes in Asia, with 4 percent of the population afflicted with the disease, according to the International Diabetes Federation. However, as many as half the cases of diabetes worldwide go undiagnosed.

An estimated 1.1 million children worldwide have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which was formerly referred to as juvenile diabetes.

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.

LFHC Welcomes New Nurse Educator

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

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.

After spending 3½ years at an Australian tertiary pediatric intensive care unit, she broadened her pediatric nursing experience internationally by serving missions with Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) in Afghanistan and Yemen, where she was involved in educating and leading nurses in pediatric and neonatal care.

Lisa has also volunteered with Open Heart International (OHI) and Novick Cardiac Alliance (NCA), which aim to provide sustainable pediatric cardiac care and education in developing countries.

As a pediatric cardiac volunteer, she worked more than five times at Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia (founded by Friends Without A Border). It was there that she heard of LFHC and subsequently volunteered in Lao twice during 2016. Her experiences both at AHC and LFHC inspired her to apply for the position of LFHC Nurse Educator.

Lisa says she is excited to work with the Lao staff and support LFHC’s ongoing capacity building as well as the hospital’s mission to provide compassionate pediatric and neonatal specialty care in northern Lao.