Lots of Progress!

There are three law students from the University of Pennsylvania that along with the help of a faculty member have volunteered to help us navigate the legal aspects of the incorporation process, I´ll be meeting with them later this week.  Additionally, there are several members of our group working on this process and finding sources of potential funding.  Finally, I´ll be presenting our organization as a social enterprise pitch at the 2011 Unite for Sight global development conference this April in New Haven, CT.

Latest Progress

A couple e-mails went out to the group over the past week detailing our progress in making contact with the MOH.  They requested to choose the particular district hospital we partner with and we are still waiting to here.  A copy of the project description that was sent to the MOH is in the files section.  We’ve sent them the document and requested that they make it official on letterhead and with signatures and such.  When we hear from them again we’re going to ask if they would be able to select 3 hospitals and we could choose among the hospitals after a visit to each site to speak with the physicians there and conduct a formal needs assessment.  If all goes according to plan the assessment will happen in March.
In order to qualify for more donations and grants we’re looking into the incorporation process and ultimately obtaining 501c3 nonprofit status.  Additionally, we bought the domain pureultrasound.org for our organization to appear more professional, though it just directs to this google site for now.  If anyone knows of an attorney that may be able to offer us some pro bono help with this process please get in touch.
Finally, we’re going to start moving forward with curriculum development and program design in order to best facilitate study of the effectiveness of our approach.

Ministry of Health

One of the things I’m working on presently is getting formal permission/and invitation from one of the district hospitals for us to start our project there this spring.  Just wanted to update you all on the avenues we’re looking down and the contingency plans if we dead end…

– Assist International – Ray Schmidt, our contact there, has been busy in Rwanda installing 3 new ultrasound machines until basically this weekend.  He’s to return to work next week and hopefully he’ll have been able to propose our plans to one of the hospitals he visited.  I will hopefully be in touch with him about it next week.
– The Access Project – Dr. Blaise Karibushi is the country director.  He will return to Rwanda this Monday and is really excited about the project.  He’s going to work on getting us in at a hospital and with the MOH as of his return.
– Various contacts – this is the contingency plan presently!  A number of you are living and working in Rwanda presently, and some have direct contacts at the MOH and district hospitals.  If by mid December we don’t seem to be making any progress with the current plans, we’ll look down these other routes.

What do you think?  please share any suggestions or other ideas you have!  thanks

Applying for a Gold Grant

Hey Guys, something to please start thinking about…one of the potential sources of funding for our project is the Arnold P. Gold foundation.  They award grants up to $25,000 to med students, residents, and faculty with the goal of promoting humanism in medicine.  You can read more about it and see some examples here, http://humanism-in-medicine.org/intros/gWhatWeFund.html.  With that in mind, how can we spin our project to emphasize the humanistic aspects of it?  My thoughts so far:

– The physicians that travel will benefit from the experience of working with their Rwandan peers, they will learn about caring for patients in resource-poor settings.  These experiences will help develop empathy and cultural competency, thereby promoting humanism in medicine.
– Patients that use the district hospital for the most part are very poor.  If a patient needs medical imaging (CT or US) they are often referred to a hospital in Kigali.  This trip requires a full day from most rural locations, and the direct costs of transportation as well as implicit costs due to the time away from work/home.  By teaching district hospital physicians to use a new imaging tool, less patients may require a trip to Kigali for imaging.  Humanism is promoted by recognition that health is linked to economic situation.

what else?  leave comments or send an e-mail please!

Roles and Responsilibities

Please get in touch with me regarding any special talents or resources you have that can help in making this happen.  Some things that have come to my mind are grant writing, finding funding to apply for, logistic coordination with the ministry of health and district hospital, curriculum/lecture/ppt development, research development, technological coordination of website and to transmit/store/analyze scans, administration/management, and writing for publication.  Certainly many of you won’t be able to commit your time to specific jobs, but you can participate via an advisory role and still be a great help.

Dedicated to improving ultrasound education in the developing world