2019 Trip Report and Trip Interest Meeting

Is this YOUR year to volunteer in Ghana?

The pre-trip meeting scheduled for Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm at Aldersgate United Methodist Church has been postponed.  Watch this space for future meeting dates. 

2019 Trip Report

As in the past, and with significant help from St. Luke’s staff, our Medical Team was able to offer two free community health screenings during this trip. Both screenings were held in Apam – one during the first week in conjunction with World Diabetes Day, and a second screening, which was held at the Methodist Church of Ghana in Apam during week two. Domonique Scott RN (below, center), Rosie Johnson RN, Andrea Quartey (below, right), Dr. Erin Kelly (below, left) and Dr. Seth Quartey screened more than 100 people during these two events. That’s a lot of BP cuffs, Glucose meters and strips, sharps containers, alcohol wipes, and other equipment/supplies. Thank you to Dr. Erin Kelly for outstanding help in obtaining donations for these screenings.

  

In addition to the Medical Team’s work in the Emergency Department, rounding, compiling statistics, and work in the outpatient department, HIV, diabetes, and hypertension clinics, Dr. Scott Williams and Dr. Erin Kelly provided in-service staff training in the use of the two crash carts that were shipped to Apam over the summer. The two carts were donated by Dr. Dennis and Rosie Johnson. Many thanks to the Johnsons and to Col. Christopher J. Giaimo (Ret.) and Dr. Erin Kelly and her friends and family for their generous donations allowing us to purchase an AED to take with us. Thank you to Dr. Williams for obtaining a portable sonogram, which aided the team’s diagnostic work.

   

The Surgical Team, led by Dr. Johnson and Dr. Clyde Strang, performed 148 surgeries this year. We are pleased to report that all but two planned surgeries were completed, even with the departure of Dr. John (Chip) Monk on Friday (below, left, modeling his new shirt), and Drs. Ryan Raffel, Cheyenne Cortez, Derek Liang and Eav Lim after week one. Dr. Mary Keperling arrived for week two to work with Drs. Sarah Edwards and Diane Meiseles (below, center and right), providing care for women who were screened during week one by the departing GYN team.

    

Surgical Resident Dr. Zachary Ewart (below) performed 49 hernia repairs during the two-week trip. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep detailed records from our early years in Apam…but this must be a record!

Many thanks to Dr. Bill McGuinn, Sister Mary Magdalene (below, left) and ALL of the supportive, friendly, professional staff members in the OT and recovery and wards who make our surgical team’s work possible.

    

We enjoyed a chance meeting with Doug Mohler during our west-bound flight. Later in the trip, we met him at the Blue Diamond to learn more about R8 Coatings. Mohler visited St. Luke’s during the second week of our trip to tour the hospital and to demonstrate the heat reflecting power of R8 Coatings. He has generously offered to donate labor and coating for the Operating Theatre roof and the roofs of two wards. R8 Coating is an American company that manufactures an easy to apply reflective-roof coating that reduces interior building temperatures. Learn more about R8 Coatings at r8coatings.com.

Thank you Father Kobby for coordinating calendars with Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle and accompanying Dr. Seth Quartey and Hollie Walkley to a meeting in the Archbishop’s offices in Cape Coast (below, left). We invited Archbishop Buckle to visit St. Luke’s to meet the rest of our team and were thrilled when he accepted our invitation. The Archbishop arrived during a torrential downpour on a day when the entire campus was without electricity. Rain, heat and humidity didn’t stop him from visiting the Operating Theatre where Bridget and Father Kobby helped him into mask, shoe covers, and hair cover so that he could observe a thyroid surgery being done by Drs. Johnson and Strang (below, right. His presence on campus caught everyone’s attention and he was warmly welcomed by hospital staff, catering staff, patients, and team members. We are looking forward to updating him on our projects during our 2020 trip.

 

Thank you to the Administration of Our Lady of Grace Hospital (OLG) in Breman-Akisuma for taking time to talk with us during our visit. And, thank you to Father Kobby for arranging transportation and accompanying us to his “old” hospital. Our friend, Father Augustine Essel, is now posted to OLG and he and Father Kobby gave us a tour of the hospital. Later in the week, Dr. Francis Bentil, chief of surgery at OLG, visited St. Luke’s to meet some of our team and to exchange contact information with Dr. Johnson. We are looking forward to exploring how members of our team and the two hospitals might work together, especially around thyroid surgeries.

Thank you to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Steve Shellenberger and S&H Express, Wellspan York, Apple Hill, Clinton Industries, the Building Solid Foundations board of directors and Dr. Rich Kurz for their help and support as we collected, purchased, stored, and shipped supplies, equipment, and medications for this trip.

Save this date for our 2020 trip to Apam: October 24 – November 6.