Sunday, January 5, 2014

Our VTT-Drexel Members and Our Mission

Our VTT – Drexel Team

Let me introduce our Vocational Training Team (VTT) – Drexel University members. They are accomplished faculty from Drexel University’s College of Medicine, College of Nursing and Health Professionals and College of Computing and Informatics.

VTT-Drexel meeting on January 4, 2014
Our VTT-Drexel, with Dr. Vibert and Dr. Sabella on the phone.

Dr. Owen Montgomery:  Associate Prof. & Chair, Department of Ob-Gyn
Dr. Gregg Alleyne:          Asst. Prof. Department of Ob-Gyn
Dr. Yannick Vibert:         Asst. Prof. Pediatrics & Neonatologist, St. Christopher’s Hospital
Dr. Laniece Coleman     Asst. Prof & Director, Nurse-Midwifery Service, Depart of Ob-Gyn
Dr. Donna Sabella:         Asst. Prof, College of Nursing  & Dir. Global Studies                
       Betsy Batejan:          Instructor, Drexel Midwifery Services Department of Ob-Gyn.
Dr. Deborah Turner:       Asst. Professor, College of Information Science and Technology
Dr. Michelle Rogers:      Asst. Professor, College of Information Science and Technology

A well qualified team of medical and informational technology professionals will all travelling to Kampala to join with colleagues at Makerere University College of Health Sciences.

Then there is myself…Rotarian Team Leader & Rotary Foundation Global Grant Coordinator.

Dr. Ronald Smith:     Past District Governor District 7430, Member Blue Bell Rotary Club
Owner and Founder S-Bond Technologies, and past Res. Prof. Drexel University, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.

I am certainly privileged to have chance to lead this team to improve Maternal and Child Healthcare education in Uganda teaming up with health care professionals in Kampala, Uganda. This project has been being planned for over 2 years. It was inspired by my association with The Rotary Foundation, as past Rotary District Governor and then Asst. Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator in combination with my Drexel College of Medicine medical student son, Ryan Smith (now a pediatric resident doctor) and my friendship with Past Governor Tusu Tusibira of the Kampala North Rotary Club.

The mission’s aim is to set up and sustain a training network to deliver high quality obstetrics and neonatal pediatric care education to health professionals in Health Centers throughout Uganda, starting with four selected centers. This team has received financial support from Rotary Clubs and Rotarians in Rotary Districts 7430, 7450 and 7500 in the USA and District 9211 Uganda/Tanzania. Without their financial contributions and the contributions of Rotarians throughout the world to the World Fund of The Rotarian Foundation, this mission will not be possible.

The Blue Bell RotaryClub in District 7430 Eastern Pennsylvania USA and the Kampala North RotaryClub in District 9211 Uganda are the hosts for the VTT exchanges and are central to sustainability of the mission.

The VTT-Drexel will depart for Uganda on January 25th 2014. We are in preparation and learning to know each other and each other’s interests, strengths and goals. We are learning about Uganda culture and customs and cuisines, assisted by Nurse Andrew Wegoye who emigrated from Uganda and ended up getting a BSN at Drexel University… a small world. It is even smaller when we find that a former Rotary Exchange Student Dr. Sabella is on our team and “paying back” for what Rotary gave her 40 years ago.

Only 3 weeks left before we board our flight and start a journey that will affect all of us in ways we do not now yet and more importantly affect that lives of many mothers and children in Uganda, and throughout Africa if our model of distance education in regional health centers can be scaled and sustained. What a goal!

We are now planning what we are going to present, bring and how to prepare for 2-3 weeks away from home on the northern shores of Lake Victoria and near the source of the Nile River. We are all anxious to leave our professions, families and friends but anxious to meet our new colleagues who together will “Do Good in the World”… all made possible by Rotarian contributions to The Rotary Foundation.

Stay tuned... as we make our final preparations and then arrive in Kampala on January 25, 2014.  Our next blog entry will introduce our hosts at Rotary Club Kampala North and Makerere University. 

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