More than 400 people traveled to the Cavalier Beach Club in Virginia Beach, Va., last weekend to support Physicians for Peace at the Fifth Annual Celebrate the Nations Gala Reception. The night’s festivities – a silent auction, live auction and raffle, along with Carnivale-themed performances and live music – were anchored by a moving tribute to recovery efforts in Haiti, firsthand accounts from Physicians for Peace mission volunteers and tributes to the group’s 2010 award winners, including the executive governor of Niger State in Nigeria and President Bill Clinton, who accepted the Charles E. Horton Humanitarian Award via video.
Highlights from the program include:
Haiti Heroes. Physicians for Peace recognized its longtime in-country partners, Healing Hands for Haiti and St. Vincent’s School for Handicapped Children, and members of the Haitian Amputee Coalition, including representatives from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta; Hanger Orthopedics in Austin, Texas, and its Hanger Ivan R. Sabel Foundation in Rockville, Md.; The Harold and Kayrita Anderson Family Foundation in Atlanta; and the Catholic Medical Mission Board in New York and Washington, D.C. During the program, Physicians for Peace also honored Cardi’s Furniture and Arpin Van Lines in Providence, R.I., and Hampton Roads Moving and Storage in Norfolk, Va., for their support in collecting and transporting in-kind donations of medical equipment after the earthquake.
Volunteer Stories. Mary Anne Kramer-Urner and Dave Kramer-Urner, physical therapists from Santa Cruz, Calif., took to the stage with their 12-year-old daughter, Sage,to detail their respective missions in March and June to the Amputee Clinic at Albert Schweitzer Memorial Hospital in Deschapelles, Haiti. "We carry so many people with us in our hearts," said Mary Anne, Physicians for Peace’s first physical therapist in Deschapelles after the earthquake. "Dave and I both learned a saying while in Haiti: piti, piti, zwazo fe nich, or, ‘little by little, the bird builds its nest.’ Everyone here tonight is contributing a twig, a branch, to that nest we’re building." At the program’s end, Achal Patel, a second-year student at the University of Virginia from Suffolk, Va., described his experience working as a documentarian on a Physicians for Peacemission to the Dominican Republic last summer. "The town where we worked had enthusiastic and adept physicians, but many of them had never received pediatric advanced life support training, a training program that takes only two days to complete," Patel said. "In four days, Physicians for Peace volunteers trained 55 medical students and physicians."
Nigerian Delegation. Ibrahim Aliyu, the son of Niger State Executive Governor Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, accepted a special Presidential Award on behalf of his father. Physicians for Peace is currently developing a long-term collaboration that would improve health care in Niger State with Dr. Aliyu, an educator and public servant committed to accountable, transparent governance.
Excellence in Service and Medical Diplomat Award Winners. Dr. Juan Montero of Chesapeake received Physicians for Peace’s first Excellence in Service Award in honor of his longtime volunteer service in the U.S. and the Philippines. The group presented its annual Medical Diplomat Awards to Norfolk restaurateur Omar Boukhriss, who helped fundraise for a mission to Fes, Morocco; Dr. Ed Karotkin, a 20-year Physicians for Peace team leader and mission volunteer; and Robin Jones, a nurse and midwife from Chesapeake, Va., who trained nurses, health workers and traditional birth attendants in Nigeria on prenatal care and safe delivery.
For complete award winner bios and photos from the reception, contact Mary Westbrook,email@example.com.
ABOUT PHYSICIANS FOR PEACE
Physicians for Peace is an international nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteer healthcare professionals to assist developing nations with unmet medical needs and scarce resources. Through effective, hands-on medical education and training, clinical care and donated medical supplies, Physicians for Peace develops long-term, sustainable, replicable, and evidence-based programs to help partner nations build medical capability and capacity to help themselves. Since 1989 volunteers for the 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization have conducted medical missions in more than 60 countries. With its headquarters in Norfolk, Va., Physicians for Peace has programs in 22 countries and offices in Manila, the Philippines and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. For information, go to: http://www.physiciansforpeace.org