BWFH Physician Travels to Qatar

Roger Clark, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Infection Control, recently traveled to Qatar to observe and report on the country’s health care system from an infection control standpoint. He was joined by BWH’s Susan Marino, of Infection Control, and Paula Wright, of Massachusetts General Hospital Infection Control.

The trip was sponsored by Partners HealthCare International, whose mission is to enhance the capabilities of health care systems worldwide.

For almost two weeks, Clark and the team went through every unit of Qatar’s two major hospitals to observe, survey and identify strengths and weaknesses, using the CMS Infection Control Checklist as their guide.

“I think we were able to validate that these hospitals in Qatar are doing a good job in the infection control arena,” said Clark, “The level of cleanliness was as good as any hospital I have seen in the United States.”

Clark said the trip to Qatar was an outstanding opportunity to work with true professionals, including his colleagues from BWH and MGH and the faculty and staff of Qatar’s two major hospitals.

After arriving back in the U.S., Clark, Marino and Wright compiled their findings in a final document survey, which was presented to the hospitals’ executive committees for further examination.

Source: BWFH Pulse 

Global Health Doc Prepares for Boston Marathon

Robert Riviello shares this picture of himself on a training run in Rwanda for the Boston Marathon.

One of BWH’s global health experts, Robert Riviello, MD, MPH, is training for the Boston Marathon while he is in Rwanda this month. This year’s marathon is especially meaningful to Riviello, as he was working in BWH’s Emergency Department when the bombs exploded at last year’s marathon.

He writes:

Soon afterward, I received an email from a physician I work with on my regular travels to Rwanda that simply said, “Be strong.” This doctor, a survivor of genocide who I have teamed with as a part of BWH’s Center for Surgery and Public Health, was now supporting me in my community’s time of need.

It was a moving reminder that, no matter who you are or what your circumstances, you never know when you’ll need support—or when an encouraging word can mean the world to someone else.

That’s why I’m running in this year’s Boston Marathon—to pay tribute to the community who stood strong and supported each other through last year’s tragic events. And with less than three weeks until Marathon Monday, my teammates and I could all use some words of encouragement right about now.

I’m writing to you now from Rwanda, where I’m continuing my work with Dr. Georges Ntakiyiruta, but I’m still doing my marathon training—and it hasn’t been easy. (That’s me in the photo, training solo here.)

Running up Mount Kigali is always worth it for the great view, but to make it up there I have to motivate myself by remembering why I’m doing this: to honor the courage of our patients and the passion of our care teams.

This year’s Boston Marathon means so much to me and my teammates, and I’m sure it does to you, too. Please sign the good luck card and leave a message that BWH will deliver to our team the day before the race:

Please feel free to share the link far and wide!

Nurse Volunteers in Dominican Republic

By Courtney Murphy, BSN, RN
Trauma, Burn and Surgical Critical Care Units

From Feb. 22 to March 8, I had an experience of a lifetime. Alongside 24 other registered nurses, I traveled to El Cercado and Cotui, Dominican Republic, on a medical mission with a nonprofit organization called Intercultural Nursing. I had the opportunity and pleasure to provide free health care to some of the poorest people in the Dominican Republic. We treated persons of all ages, from infancy through late adulthood. Many of the men and women I met walked more than two hours to see “the wonderful American nurses.”

During our first clinic day, I met a woman in her 50s who told me she suffered from chronic headaches. After performing a thorough assessment, I decided to give her some Tylenol in addition to the toiletries everyone we saw received. As I handed her a small bottle of Tylenol and began to explain how frequently to take the pain medication, tears began to roll down her cheeks. She told me she has never been able to afford Tylenol and has lived in pain for the past ten years.

Courtney Murphy is joined by local children who would walk to the clinic after school to visit the nurses.

My heart melted when I saw how appreciative this woman was. To know something as simple as Tylenol was going to make such a huge difference in this woman’s life was a wonderful feeling. For each clinic day that followed, I encountered many more individuals who were so thankful of the care we provided.

As nurses, we make a difference in the lives of strangers each and every day. This opportunity allowed me to change the world, at least for the 800 plus people we saw and treated during my two week mission. I look forward to going on another medical mission in the near future to help even more people and bring smiles to the faces of those in need.