Friday, September 30, 2011

Meet David Adams, Duke University Medical Center

David Adams, From Duke University Medical Center, is so unpretentious and down to earth that it was hard to balance the persona you find when you Google him with the very sincere person just doing his job. He brings over 30 years of experience and education to cardiac sonography. David is one of the most recognized names of sonography is the US and is known for his expertise in teaching.

He has received numerous awards, but a recent one recognizes a cardiac sonographer who has played a luminary role in the field of echocardiography. The first Sonographer Lifetime Achievement Award was presented during ASE's Annual Scientific Sessions, June 11-14, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

For us he was just a great guy, pushing the bus out of the deep ruts when stuck, quietly supporting the other sonographers, teasing his friends out of a slow start in the morning. The father of grown children, he is the comfort that children seek when they place their tiny hand in his as they walk toward a couple of desks pushed together to make a cot. For him, that child and echo takes the role of the most important thing on the moment as his concentration never wavered as he watched the screen for anything abnormal in a long day, For us, it was an honor and a pleasure to have him part of this team.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Marc Couturier-The Miriam Hospital Rhode Island

Marc Couturier is the calm presence with the “big “machine--everyone else on the team had machine envy! When Mark heard there had been a problem with the number of machines requested, he made contact with the vendors supplying his region. Thanks to Dave Allard and Phillips, we had one more machine to work with—critical since that would have been close to 300 scans that would NOT have happened.

Marc works at the Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island . Although this was his first global experience, he settled in as if it had been his 100th. When he applied to travel as part of the team he said, “I've always wanted to participate in a medical mission where I can help people using my echocardiography skills”.

Efficient and quiet, he calms any frightened children and makes them feel safe while undergoing a process totally foreign to any of them. Few will have had an exam of any type—much less taking off your shirt and lying down with a wet, cold goo spread on your chest—The kids watch Marc’s face closely for any changes in his expression. The master of control… they are not going to see anything on HIS face that might make them concerned. A shy smile is exchanged as they realize they can trust him.

One of the best memories of the last week was the kids crowding Marc as he read aloud Tyrone—multiple times! Josh Goldberg captured these photos.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dr. Puneeta Arya, Mass General and Team Heart

Photographs by Josh Goldberg. 1.With Duke Sonographer David Adams. 2. Puneeta and Emmanuel watching Jen coaxing the perfect image out of her machine.

On Tuesday, September 20, day 7 of screening we are the guest at Cyuga School, in Jali Sector, still in Gasabo District, but also high in the hills. The terrain is different but the road a challenge. We traveled in all wheel drive Jeeps since the road is very narrow, as well as steep. The children were more apprehensive since a busload of pale faces is not the every day routine., but totally cooperative. There were over 320 scans done and we saw a number of serious medical conditions which need follow up—all will be referred through the medical system. It is another great advantage to travel with three Pediatrician Cardiologists, since they are right there to assist when we identify a positive finding or any medical condition. Two of the physicians are from Rwanda, Dr. Emmanuel from CHUK and Dr. Joseph Mucumbitisi from King Faisal and have led this project from the beginning.

The Team Heart Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Puneeta Arya is from Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, and traveled to Rwanda from India during a visit to her home country. Puneeta joined Team Heart recently and we are delighted to have her as part of our Team. Soft spoken and a total team player she worked as a colleague-often the first to grab a bin to unload and right in the midst for set up. She completed her training at Boston Children’s recently and will be soon at MGH working with Dr. Michael Picard and the Pediatric group .

We always asked permission from the children before taking any photographs.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Meet Stephen Preiss, The Miriam Hospital, Providence Rhode Island

Ready to embrace every single experience, Stephen Preiss became a go to person from day one. A sonographer at The Miriam Hospital in Providence Rhode Island: this is his first global sonography experience.

He loved the kids from the first and interacted with them earlier than others. He made them smile with his games and toys. At one particular difficult rural site, the bus was incredibly late picking us up as darkness descended. Stephen was calm and even returning to site to look for another team members’ missing and perhaps dropped camera endearing himself to the team forever. Looking forward to each day, he was always the first to interact with the children in large groups. He could be found on the soccer field the moment we are finished to engage groups in soccer or whiffle ball in between long sessions of scanning hearts. Very tender and compassionate with the younger kids, they are fascinated by his beard as they peer intently at his face since he had more hair on his face than most of the children have seen before on a head. Always calm—we never saw Stephen loose his cool and is always the first to soothe ruffled feathers of the team with a no-non-sense comment with just the right tone. Definitely a team player, we are happy to have him on our team.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jennifer Kane has been a sonographer at University of Mass-Worcester for 5 of the 11 years of her career. The mother of two children, a school age son and daughter--it is terrific her she was willing to travel at time of the beginning of the school year. Her husband definitely deserves being designated Father of the year.

Jennifer is very compassionate and caring with the children.They seem to immediately be aware they are safe in her arms and she shows them they have nothing painful to undergo. She immediately illustrated how to place the children at ease by having them echo their finger first.

No one who knows her would be surprised by the enthusiasm she brings—we teased her by calling her our mayor or ambassador. She introduces herself to each child by greeting them as she brings them into the room with sincerity and quick to thank them for their help. Willing to offer to do the extra child or pro-bono adult, she makes us all smile with her bubbly laugh and smiles.