Wellness & Education

Wellness & Education

Service to Others Continues Abroad

Each day we witness the knowledgeable and compassionate care of our providers – physicians, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners – who have dedicated their professional lives to the service of others, one of five core values that guide our organization. This dedication requires many hours away from their families during school, specialty training and practice. We were recently humbled by the reports of several of our physicians who went above and beyond to travel abroad and provide service to women in very different circumstances than here at home.

Medical Teams International - Galmi, Niger
Dr. Olmstead in Galmi with Dr. Hal Vick, one of the founders of Women’s Healthcare Associates who retired in 2011. Dr. David Johnson in our Newberg office made the trip to Galmi in 2010.
Dr. Drea Olmstead, who sees patients in our Tualatin office, traveled to Galmi, Niger on April 19th for a medical mission organized by Medical Teams International. Dr. Olmstead describes the three-week trip as heartbreaking at times and inspiring at others, but always eye-opening. On her second day in Africa she wrote “I have seen more severe medical conditions here in two days than I have ever seen.” The medical volunteers in Galmi, including the full-time missionaries, do their best to treat these severe conditions in bleak surroundings with a fraction of the technology, supplies and medicine available at home. Read more about Dr. Olmstead’s experience in Galmi >

Last week a group of Women’s Healthcare Associates physicians returned from a nine-day surgical mission to Antigua, Guatemala. Through the organization Faith in Practice, doctors Jim Stempel, Richard HamiltonLisa Diepenhorst and Lisa Johnson from our Eastbank and Tabor offices traveled with two other surgeons and 43 total volunteers to perform gynecologic and general surgeries and to provide dental care. Dr. Stempel, on his 11th mission, led the team and was accompanied by his wife, a registered nurse, two sons and daughter. Dr. Stempel acknowledges the enormous gain volunteers receive from the work: “Faith in Practice’s mission statement is: ‘Life changing medical missions.’ They truly are; not just for the patients we serve, but for ourselves.” Read more about the team’s experience in Antigua >

 Medical mission - Antigua, Guatemala
The Women's Healthcare Associates team in Guatemala, from back: Dr. Hamilton, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Stempel, Mary Stempel, Dr. Diepenhorst and Katie Stempel
Of course, traveling to foreign countries isn’t the only way to be of service – there is important work to be done right in our communities. We are continually amazed at the commitment to community service of our employees, too, who earlier this year raised funds and awareness for the March of Dimes and American Heart Association. For all of you who generously give your time and resources, thank you.

If you are looking for a way to serve in your community, visit VolunteerMatch.com or check with local religious organizations for opportunities.

If you would like to help meet the medical needs of the underserved locally, check out CompassionConnect.com, a church collaborative that organizes Compassion Clinics around the metro area. There are opportunities for both healthcare professionals and lay volunteers.

Tell us about your volunteer work or your favorite non-profit organization. Go to our Facebook page to comment on this post. >

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