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LFHC Welcomes New Staff to Management Team

LFHC is welcoming three new staff members to its management team.

Mark Gorman, who most recently served as the Interim Country Director of World Education Laos (WEL), will become the hospital’s Executive Director in September.

Mark brings 40 years of experience in the administration of nonprofits and public entities to LFHC. He speaks English, French, Lao and Thai.

Prior to being the interim director at WEL for four months last year, he served as that NGO’s Country Director in Laos from May of 2010 to October 2013. During that time, he spearheaded education and awareness projects related to unexploded land mines, as well as various programs aimed at economic development and increasing medical capacity. As director, Mark represented WEL at meetings with senior officials of the Lao government officials, the UN and the U.S. State Department.

Prior to working at WEL, Mark worked several years in Thailand for the International Rescue Committee. Mark served in the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic after earning a graduate degree in public health at the University of Hawaii in 1982.

Dr. Lisa Rynn, who has taught pediatrics in Uganda, is the hospital’s new Medical Director.

Lisa is a graduate of New York Medical College, where she was a Primary Care Research Fellow. She performed her residency in pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

Prior to joining the LFHC staff, Lisa worked as the Attending Physician in Emergency Medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. She worked nearly seven years in emergency medicine in hospitals in Pennsylvania.

In Uganda, Lisa served as a visiting faculty member in pediatrics at universities in Mbale and Gulu.

She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Amalia Berger, a registered nurse who most recently worked with Medical Teams International in Bangladesh, is the hospital’s new Nursing Educator.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Amalia also earned a Masters in the Science of Nursing there. She worked more than three years in the Emergency Department of the university’s hospital.

Amalia first worked in Bangladesh in October 2018 as a nurse with the Hope Foundation for the Women and Children of Bangladesh. She served as a health coordinator and mentor for the nursing staff at a new hospital in the Kutupalong Refugee Camp.

She joined Medical Teams International in January to support the Joint Rohingya Response Program, which helps local health care workers provide primary care to people at the Kutupalong Refugee Camp.

LFHC’s Compassionate Care Helps Boy Recover from Severe Head Wound

Six-year-old Jack Nouseng was recently struck by a car and dragged along the ground — an accident that left him unconscious with cuts on his shoulder and legs and a very large gash on his scalp.

His family rushed him to the local district hospital, where he woke up in terrible pain. The hospital staff treated his wounds and covered his severe head laceration so that he could be taken to Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

When Jack arrived at LFHC, the Emergency Department staff immediately recognized that he had a large portion of skin, muscle and tissue torn away from his scalp, exposing his skull. As this poses a high risk for infection, the staff quickly cleaned his wounds, gave him antibiotics, and helped alleviate his pain. After ruling out other injuries, he was quickly taken to the Operating Theatre to begin the long process of removing dead scalp tissue to help start the healing process and prevent infection from invading his skull.

LFHC’s surgeons and Operating Theater team have been taking meticulous care of Jack’s wounds every 2-3 days to ward off infection. They remove dead and devitalized tissue, and promote the growth of muscle and scalp tissue. His wound is now closing up over the open areas of his skull.

Doctors say Jack was very lucky to not have internal damage; it remains very important that Jack remain hospitalized and receive appropriate antibiotics and proper care for all his wounds. He will have to stay a little bit longer until more tissue is regenerated to completely cover the open skull injury.

After more than a month at LFHC, he has become a close friend to all of our nurses, doctors, therapists and staff. He is now often found running around and playing with the other kids.

Cloud Computing: RAD-AID Elevates LFHC’s Diagnostic Imaging

LFHC has taken a step “deep into the 21st century” with a new capability to store X-rays and other diagnostic images via cloud computing – thanks to the nonprofit RAD-AID organization.

RAD-AID recently linked the hospital to its Friendship Cloud, which it formed in a partnership with Google Cloud, Ambra Health and Tribalco. LFHC is the first hospital to use the RAD-AID Friendship Cloud and has already stored more than 14,000 patient files on it – making the hospital’s patient care more efficient and effective.

RAD-AID introduced LFHC to digital imaging with the installation of its Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) more than a year ago. PACS enables doctors and nurses to view X-rays, CT scans and ultrasound images on computer screens and store them on a computer’s hard drive at the hospital. The system allows comparisons between old and new images for a patient, helping doctors track a patient’s progress.

Friendship Cloud enables the staff to store an unlimited number of digital diagnostic images on a secure internet platform. At the moment, LFHC is using Friendship as back-up storage for its diagnostic images. The hospital is sharing the system with the adjacent Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital.

Viewing X-rays on a lightbox screen has been rendered all but obsolete by digital imaging.

The system uses an innovative compact server that doesn’t require the cool temperatures of an air-conditioned room. RAD-AID engineers and partners adapted the server to create Friendship Cloud for running advanced health-care software and PACS, making digital health accessible for hospitals in remote low-resource conditions.

“What we’ve done here is a compact server with access to the cloud,” said RAD-AID President and CEO Dr. Dan Mollura in a video about the project. “Retrieving from the cloud gives you that power of comparison so you can see how things are improving (for the patient) or make course corrections if something needs to be changed.”

The million-dollar PACS and Friendship system was donated to LFHC by RAD-AID, which also helped to train staff in how to get the most out of the system.

The system gives LFHC an incredibly important diagnostic tool used by hospitals in technologically advanced countries.

“In the long-term game, this brings LFHC deep into 21st century,” said Dr. Mollura.

In addition to Laos, RAD-AID has installed PACS to hospitals in Nicaragua, Ghana, Guyana, Nepal, Ethiopia and Guatemala.

RAD-AID has been instrumental in building the diagnostic imaging department at LFHC. Friends Without A Border presented its Healing Asia Award to RAD-AID in 2017.

Video of Google Cloud and RAD-AID at LFHC can be viewed here.

Friends Awarded Top Rating for Nonprofits

Charity Navigator, an independent watchdog of U.S.-based charities, has once again awarded four stars, its highest rating, to Friends Without A Border.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Friends has received Charity Navigator’s top rating.

A four-star rating is given to nonprofits that demonstrate strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency.

Charity Navigator noted that Friends spends 80.1% of its budget on the programs and services it delivers. The typical charity spends 75% o its budget on programs, it says.

Charity Navigator rates more than 9,000 nonprofits every year. Details about Friends’ four-star rating can be seen here.

Earlier this year, Guidestar, the world’s largest source of information about nonprofits, awarded its 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency to Friends. Platinum is the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar.

The Platinum Seal means that Friends Without A Border has demonstrated that it is focused on measuring progress and results. It also means that millions of people will be able to see information about Friends Without A Border on the GuideStar website and its network of more than 230 websites and applications.

GuideStar states that its website receives 9 million visitors each year.

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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New York Gala: A Red Carpet Affair

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 princess attended the opening of the newly expanded Neonatal Unit at the hospital in October, as well as the Luang Prabang Gala and a private reception. She also donned her running shoes to participate in the annual Half Marathon fundraiser that weekend.

Actor Sean Maguire (Robin Hood on the ABC series “Once Upon A Time”) expertly performed the duties of master of ceremonies for the evening and Emmy winner Liz Callaway dazzled the audience with her musical stylings.

The evening was capped off with a surprise birthday tribute to Friends Founder Kenro Izu, who was presented with a cake shaped like the camera he has used as an internationally acclaimed photographer.

Donations to the event are still being accepted here.

 

 

Surgeons Save Boy with Brain Injury

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.

His family was extremely worried. They didn’t know what to do – they had no money to pay a doctor or hospital.

A neighbor heard about the Nok’s injury and told his family that he knew that there was a children’s hospital in Luang Prabang that provided free medical care. So the family 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 large intracranial epidural hemorrhage – blood had filled the area between his brain and skull and was pressing down on his brain.

Nok was then taken to the Operating Theater where a team performed a craniectomy to relieve the pressure on the brain — a rarely performed surgery at LFHC.

After the surgery, Nok soon regained consciousness. He had been unresponsive for nearly two days. Nok remained at LFHC for 10 days to recover and rehabilitate. He was able to go home with no pain, eating and drinking well, and starting to gain more strength in his recovery process. 

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.”