Monday, October 17, 2011

Ewa-Framingham Heart Study

Ewa was educated as a physician in her native country of Poland and added sonography to her resume when she and her husband emigrated to Canada. When he moved to Boston to take a job, Ewa found the perfect place with the well-known Framingham Heart Study. So it is no surprise she was a leader in understanding that exercise, rest, and family and balance in life is important on these trips-a message many of us need to hear--and often!

Although the Sonosite was a new machine to her, she quickly adapted to obtain the best images possible. For an outsider (me a non-sonograher) I had no ideal the importance of size of the chest (Rwandan school children are almost all very, very thin) and the size of the transducer and how machines might over-read---and the challenge this presents. So by the end of the first few days, I could tell what the deep sighs were meaning from the team. For a while I thought every child in Rwanda hadtricuspid regurgitation.....

Consistent through-out this team (and why they were selected), each took great pride in every single study. No corners cut--ever. Ewa certainly fit this mold. It is also no surprise that she immediately offered to help moving forward with education with physicians and potential sonographers in the future.

As always, Josh Goldberg, snapped these photos and more found on Facebook with permission from the students.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Laurel, from Tufts, is originally from Minnesota. She is a quiet presence ready to do what she can to set up her station and keep running smoothly. Quick to volunteer to work in either the boys room or girls, she does whatever is needed. Calm, she does not appear anxious or concerned about new surroundings or challenges--a trait I recognize in sonographers meant to do this type of challenging fieldwork. She keeps the others company during extra activities, whether a run in the neighborhood, or to explore an offbeat restaurant near by. She shows leadership in set-up, and then looks around for who needs help. Quick to convert her space if needed, she has a sense of peace around her which the children immediately recognize. It was so hard to capture the looks she exchanged with each child--although Josh that gave each child all they needed to know to feel--as Hey this is Ok...

I asked Laurel what attracted her to our program...."I have never been on a medical mission trip. Chances to volunteer doing ultrasound rarely come along. I know that many Rwandans lack basic health care, and my services could help improve the lives of children. How could I resist really? I also love to travel and experience other cultures."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lisa Bruno, Lahey Clinic

Lisa has been a sonographer at Lahey Clinic for two years after a number of management positions in non-medical fields. She loves solving problems systematically, which is why she is a good sonographer. Lisa’s home institution is supportive of global health initiatives and many co-workers appeared interested and followed her participation. Lisa used every opportunity that came up to spread the word of what Team Heart was about and unselfishly conveyed the role of the organization, embracing the very spirit of our organization. Observant, but not judgmental she was a quiet participant in every aspect of the packed week. I have no doubt if we receive any press from this trip, it will be Lisa’s passionate description when she met the reporter in the airport! It was fortunate for a silent child who watched as she scanned that she found a child who could undergo surgical repair in November by a Belgium partner and extend their life. And that is what it is all about!

Fiercely protective of the young girls privacy during scanning, we coined gender sensitive care to a multitude of tactics!! Lisa helped engineer curtains on the windows and took responsibility for seeing they arrived each day in her blue roller bag. Curiosity won out as various children would try to peek. Amid much giggling they would be chased away again and again...Clearly the girls appreciated the curtains, as did all the sonographers as it reduced the glare on screens!!