Blog

Supporting the Global Health Workforce Through Education

This past Monday, the US observed the passage of Labor Day, an annual holiday celebrating the country’s labor workforce. For many school districts throughout the US, Labor Day also marks the start of the academic year. The dual significance of Labor Day as both a time to celebrate workers and a time when students and […]

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Improving Access to Dermatologic Care in Costa Rica

For Karen Stolman, MD the motivation to complete her first global health volunteer assignment came from falling in love. “It started with falling in love with the country of Costa Rica, and having already visited and being fluent in Spanish,” she recalled during a recent interview. Dr. Stolman, a practicing dermatologist since 2001, recognized the […]

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Improving Access to Obstetric and Gynecologic Care in Cambodia

Access to obstetric care in Cambodia is improving rapidly. According to the 2014 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (2014 CDHS), 95% of expectant mothers surveyed received antenatal care, and the number of births attended by a skilled health worker increased by nearly 20% compared with the 2010 CDHS. Access to postnatal care also improved—90% of […]

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A Royal Volunteer – Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone is Transforming

Volunteering with HVO is an opportunity to go a bit outside your ‘comfort zone.’  Every volunteer, of course, defines his/her own comfort zone and experiences the challenges in his/her own unique way.  So, in fact, no two volunteer experiences are exactly the same.  I would have to say, though, that Wilma Ostrander, who volunteered with […]

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How to Ensure Your Baby Isn’t Exposed to Too Much Heat and Sun

The summer months are a great time for children to get outside, get some sunshine, and play. However, when it comes to letting small children, especially infants, spend time in the sun, it becomes important to ensure that they do not experience too much exposure to the sun. Not only can it cause discomfort, but […]

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Fostering Dialogue on International Partnerships to Improve Global Health

Last year, as HVO marked 31 years of service, we shared an article co-authored by HVO’s Director of Program Design & Evaluation, April Pinner, MSPH, RD and Executive Director, Nancy Kelly, MHS — Health Volunteers Overseas: 30 Years of Leveraging International Partnerships to Strengthen Health Worker Capacity. In the article, Ms. Pinner and Ms. Kelly […]

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Why Checking The Quality Of Your Home’s Air Is Important To Your Health

The quality of air in your home can impact the health of you and your entire family. Side effects from breathing poor air can show up immediately, but can also harm your body for years and show up much later. The side effects of poor air quality range from mildly inconvenient to fatal and should […]

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Volunteer Spotlight: HVO Golden Apple Award Recipient Cynthia Howard, MD, MPHTM

Although 2018 Golden Apple Award Recipient Cynthia Howard, MD, MPHTM “had never really volunteered before,” when she first learned of HVO in 1996, the pediatrician already had ample experience practicing medicine in resource-scarce settings. “I had worked a bit abroad,” she recalled during a recent interview. Her international work experiences included time spent in Gaza […]

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Making a Sustainable Impact on Physical Therapy in Rwanda

From March 2013 to May 2015, HVO volunteers delivered a series of continuing education courses, a leadership institute, and more than 300 clinical mentoring sessions to Rwandan physiotherapists, as part of a USAID-funded project. In total, 168 physiotherapists participated in these training activities—nearly half of Rwanda’s 333 physical therapy providers. But the impact of the […]

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Sustainable Progress to Improve the Care of Mom and Baby

Last week the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released Acting on the Call 2018—the latest report on the agency’s effort to save the lives of 15 million children and 600,000 women by the year 2020. To achieve this goal, the agency is investing in health system strengthening and capacity building initiatives in 25 […]

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Common Myths About the Health and Safety of Bottled Water

Through the years, there have been many controversies surrounding the industry of bottled water.  Many of the controversies have been mostly about whether or not drinking bottled water is safe.  Some experts think bottled water should be avoided at all costs, but others say it is more dangerous to drink tap water.  Fortunately, there are […]

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Ways To Get More Sleep At Night and Wake Up Refreshed

More people these days are sleeping less and experiencing poor sleep quality. Getting a good night’s rest is just as important as exercising and eating healthy. What Happens if a Person Lacks Sleep? There are several adverse side effects that come with insomnia or lack of rest. Sleeping for only a few hours a night […]

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Volunteer Spotlight: HVO Golden Apple Award Recipient Alexia Knapp, MD

As a dermatology resident, Alexia Knapp, MD, seized upon the opportunity to complete a rotation at the Regional Dermatology Training Centre in Moshi, Tanzania. The experience sparked an enduring interest in global health and tropical medicine, which led to multiple volunteer assignments at HVO’s collaborating institution, the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in […]

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A Partnership to Support Gynecologic Oncologists in Uganda

On July 5, 2017, the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) announced the launch of its Fellowship Programme in Gynecologic Oncology. This collaborative program—created with support from Mulago National Referral Hospital, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, and the Ugandan Ministry of Health—is dedicated to building the capacity of the Ugandan cancer care workforce, and improving the […]

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Volunteer Spotlight: HVO Golden Apple Award Recipient Prakash Neupane, MD

Prakash Neupane, MD, a 2018 Golden Apple Award recipient, first heard about Health Volunteers Overseas during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting several years ago. However, he was unsure if he would be able to complete an HVO assignment due to his already packed volunteer schedule. “I was already devoting my time, […]

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A Call for Partnership at the 71st World Health Assembly

During his opening remarks at the 71st World Health Assembly (#WHA71) on Monday, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted the importance of partnership in the pursuit of universal health coverage. “By leveraging the experience, the skills, resources and networks of our partners, our impact can be exponentially larger than if we were acting […]

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Guest Blog: Teach One – Education & Mentorship Lead to Impact

For International Nurses Day, guest blogger Amanda Judd, FNP, board member of One Nurse at a Time, shares an experience from abroad and calls on colleagues to make a commitment to global health and nurses worldwide by using knowledge to empower others.

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Pack Your Bags and Leave the Jet Lag Behind

Are you feeling the urge to travel but dread the symptoms of jet lag? Time off is golden for most of us and it’s a shame to spend any of it recovering from exhaustion. Jet lag can’t be entirely avoided, but it doesn’t have to be so bad you spend your first few days napping when […]

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Fostering Global Health Leadership Through the SEA-HVO Fellowship Fund

HVO volunteer and leader Lena Dohlman, MD, MPH, is a self-described “reluctant fundraiser.” Although she has helped to secure funding for the Society for Education in Anesthesia (SEA)-HVO Traveling Fellowship for senior anesthesia residents each year since the award’s inception, she admits: “I  feel more comfortable asking people for donations when I lead the way […]

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Extraordinary Contributions: HVO Golden Apple Honorees

Last week, the world celebrated the Sixth Annual World Health Worker Week – an opportunity to recognize and honor the essential role health workers play in the delivery of care.  While the HVO community dedicates each day to empowering health workers through education and professional opportunity, we still take advantage of World Health Worker Week […]

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4 Tips for College Students on How to Avoid the “Freshman 15”

It can be an exciting venture leaving home for the first time. Meeting new people and beginning the journey to successful endeavors can be daunting, even more so when you’re worried about succumbing to the notorious “Freshman 15.” Weight gain occurs often in freshman year, but here are some tips to keep you fit instead […]

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Celebrating Health Worker Stories at the 9th Annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference

World Health Worker Week is an annual opportunity to celebrate all the ways in which health workers count. From their impact on the lives of patients, to their support of colleagues and those in training, and ultimately to the difference they make in their communities—at HVO we recognize that health workers have the power to […]

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Do Certain Foods Have Specific Health Benefits

Thanks to the progress we’ve made in medical science, today we have a cure for the most deadly and incurable diseases. However, when it comes to prevention of diseases or even maintaining general health, medicines have often very little to offer. We tend to look back to our ancestors to learn what foods constitute a […]

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Connecting Oral Health to Overall Health on World Oral Health Day

This World Oral Health Day marks the beginning of a three-year campaign, “Say Ahh: Think Mouth, Think Health.” The goal of this campaign is to encourage the public to think of oral health as a critical component of overall physical well-being. Dental caries, gum disease, and other oral health conditions may lead to further health […]

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7 Ways to Staying Healthy During Flu Season

When flu season comes around everyone starts hoping they do not catch it. Many people do, but you can take some precautions that will increase your chances of avoiding it altogether. Anyone can take these steps to stay healthy during this dreaded season. The Difference Between a Cold and the Flu One thing that can […]

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Improving Women’s Health through Partnership on International Women’s Day

Every year, an estimated 287,000 women die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Appropriately trained health workers are needed to address health challenges and save lives. However, there is a critical shortage of health care providers, including providers specializing in obstetrics and gynecology (Ob-Gyn), […]

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Stories of Impact – Judith Canfield-Henry, PT, MSEd, EdD

As we celebrated HVO’s 30th anniversary, I heard a number of stories, and recalled many more. Over the next year, I’d like to share some of my favorites with you. This first one was from a well-traveled and much loved volunteer, the late Judy Canfield-Henry, PT, MSEd, EdD, about an early trip to Bhutan. She […]

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From the Field: Empowering Physical Therapists and Wheelchair Users in Bhutan

Editor’s note: This post was adapted from a trip report written by HVO volunteer and leader Linda Wolff, MPT, summarizing her experience working as part of a team to deliver wheelchair service provision training to physical therapy providers in Thimphu, Bhutan. Read Ms. Wolff’s previous account of her experience delivering Part I of this training here. […]

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Expanding Horizons for Dermatology Professionals in Vietnam

Editor’s Note: The following post was written by HVO staff member Kim Rodgers. Kim is the Volunteer Placement Coordinator for HVO’s dermatology program and works closely with on-site personnel at each of our dermatology project sites. Two of the dematologists Kim works with at the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (HUMP), Dr. Tran Ngoc Khanh […]

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The Power of Relationships to Improve Global Health

Valentine’s Day is a holiday devoted to celebrating relationships. At Health Volunteers Overseas, we view Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to honor the many relationships at the heart of the work that we do. Obviously, relationships between colleagues are essential to achieve the interprofessional collaboration that makes our projects thrive. For the many HVO volunteers […]

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About this site

Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment". From the perspective of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

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