Monday, April 11, 2011

Call for application for 2012 and "Tipping Point"

To Team Heart Members Past and Present and Future.

In many ways, 2011 was the best trip we have had. Our patients did well, the team worked well together and was supportive of each other. We saw Rwandan nurses admit patients, and Rwandan physicians rounding daily. A soon-to-be perfusionist worked in the theater with perfusion. A resident has been given approval for surgical training. There were challenges to address and work toward solutions. But they were small in comparison to the progress we see occurring.

Applications are now open for Team Heart, 2012 You may also apply online at Our dates will most likely be near the same as they were this February, with surgery for 7 days, ICU for 2 additional days and step-down to follow for 5 more days, the same as previous years. I have penciled in 2/4 for departure--and await a confirmation from Rwanda. The step-down team will depart Kigali on 2/19 or 2/20. There will some changes in key staff, but I feel certain we have those willing to step-up. There are many details to work out before the exact and final schedule is etched in stone. But I am feeling really positive as we move into this 5th year.

For those of you having already applied for 2012-thank you!

We had a waiting list in 2011 at all spots and I have had a surprising (in a very good way!) number of applications thus far for 2012. There is interest in rolling acceptances (as you apply) and we will notify people as early as possible for fundraising.

The positions we are hoping to recruit will be volunteers for both travel and local non-travel. Even if you cannot go this year to Rwanda, there is huge need for fundraising, supply management and packing and we would very much appreciate your help.

And if you are wondering about my comment the "Tipping Point"...Today in a message from Erneste, he talked about a patient, who recently met his Mom. The young man was suffering from advanced rheumatic heart disease and thought there was no help for his condition. The patient is from the economically challenged region near Erneste, he, had no cell phone and has virtually been in his home without help. The information was shared with this young man about Erneste, his surgery and that there was a chance for him as well. For information to then reach us, so this young man could be placed on the evaluation list is our tipping point. We have our patients involved in recruitment because they believe so much in what we have done and how their lives are changed!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A note from Alex Butera,MD, Director General of King Faisal Hospital

Dear Chip and Team Heart,
Thank you for appreciation and for your kind words.
We do treasure this parternship which has affected the live of many people with cardiac problems in Rwanda and region. We also take this opportunity to convey our sincere thanks and appreciation to Team Heart efforts towards achieving this noble act of giving people in need a brighter tomorrow.
We at KFH,K and in Rwanda look forward to your meeting you in next trips and to a day when your efforts give birth to a pioneer Rwandan team that will be complementing your efforts and push forward this good legacy.
Warm regards,