HTC Arizona works with other chapters and international partners on large projects, like helping supply hospitals or building clinics in third-world countries. We are proud to join the National Organization in support of the Children's Heart Fund of Ethiopia in building a Pediatric Cardiac Center in Adis Ababa. The center will provide cardiac care to children throughout the horn of Africa, and will serve as a teaching hospital for doctors serving Africa.
HTC Partners with the Children's Heart Fund of Ethiopia for the construction of a Cardiac Hospital in Addis Ababa.
The Children's Heart Fund of Ethiopia Cardiac Hospital: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: We are proud to join the National Organization in support of the CHFE, partnering with them to build the only Cardiac Center of its kind in the Horn of Africa.
CHFE started humbly, helping children in a converted cargo container in Ethiopia's capital, but with ambitious goals. Founder and chairman, Dr. Belay Abegaz, explained, “The only thing that stands between 24 million children and endemic heart disease risk is a small group working out of a storage container in Addis Ababa.”
Five years ago he invited Healing the children to partner with him in this effort. For the hospital to launch successfully, four important elements needed to come together: The building must be finished, the equipment must in place and running flawlessly, staff must be trained and ready, and financial sustainability must be ensured through a fund generating program.
HTC became actively involved in this work, identifying equipment donors, partnering with Project C.U.R.E., who sent an amazing five cargo containers loaded with medical supplies and equipment, including two Cardiac Cath Labs generously donated by Boulder Community Hospital in Colorado, two Lancer Medical Services sterilizing machines, infant warmers and incubators, and other medical supplies and equipment from dozens of kind and generous companies around the US.
Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, FRS, Founder & President of Chain of Hope of the United Kingdom, generously provided the ORs, established the program for advanced cardiac training for physicians, and presented the plans for a state-of-the-art Cardiac Research Centre, all of which will help make the cardiac hospital a true Center of Excellence.
In February 2009, HTC Arizona was proud to be at the inaugural ceremonies of Ethiopia's only cardiac hospital. We were also delighted to have several cardiac teams from Arizona led by Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Michael Teodori, work with teams from the UK and anesthesiologists from the UK and Italy, working on the first heart patients, beautiful Ethiopian children.
In the middle of nowhere, in a city with limited running water, much less health care, Suzan Miller-Hoover, a pediatric clinical nurse specialist in cardiology and intensive care, is living the Banner Health mission. She is making a difference in patients’ lives by helping to open the first specialized heart hospital for children in Ethiopia, Africa.
Miller-Hoover is partnering with Healing the Children, an organization that typically brings youth from third world countries to Banner Children’s for surgery. Now, instead of bringing the children to Banner Children’s, Banner Children’s has gone to the children with Miller-Hoover and two non-Banner associates finishing up the facility in the hopes of having the first surgery this year.
According to Miller-Hoover, it was almost four years ago she was first approached about the Ethiopia heart hospital project. ”In Ethiopia, children with congenital heart problems have to be flown to other European countries to have surgery or face death,” said Miller-Hoover, a Banner Children’s nurse for the past 5 years. “This new hospital will help to save children’s lives.”
Miller-Hoover was first approached for her teaching expertise.
“I provided materials for the pediatric cardiac classes I teach here at Banner,” Miller-Hoover said. “I never thought I would travel to Ethiopia to actually teach their nurses. Before October, I had never been outside of the United States except to Mexico!”
In October, Miller-Hoover spent four weeks in Ethiopia with other Healing the Children representatives to prepare the heart hospital’s 24 future nurses, director of nursing and chief executive officer (CEO) on everything from taking care of the children and their families to understanding the necessary equipment and how to use it.