April 2019 International Outreach Update

We would like to share the following international outreach resources and news with you. Please visit www.chausa.org/international for access to all of CHA's updates and resources on international outreach.


CHA International Outreach Networking Conference Call
May 1, 2019, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. ET

If you have a program or topic you would like to highlight (5 minutes) or open for group discussion, please be sure to email me directly or speak up during the open forum. More details and dial-in information can be found here. Future Networking Calls will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 7, 2019 and Nov. 6, 2019.

Joint Global Summit: Compassion, Ethics & Excellence in Global Health
May 14-15, 2019, Task Force for Global Health
Decatur, Ga.
A unique global program presented by the Catholic Health Association, the Task Force for Global Health and the Medsurplus Alliance, that will explore what happens when the core values that drive medical global health programs, trips and product donations — including compassion, collaboration and integrity — collide with operational imperatives, cultural bias and blind spots. Learn more.

Webinar — Donations for Disaster Relief: Intentions and Impact
Watch an archive of the March 2019 CHA webinar that highlighted statistics, impacts and lessons learned from past disasters in Indonesia, USA, Samoa, Haiti and elsewhere. The presenter, Juanita Riling, shared her experience from involvement in the aftermath of several disasters as director of the Center for International Disaster Information, as well as her work in the Senate. Offering a unique perspective that can help all involved in disaster response ensure that the response is appropriate and in keeping with health care's commitment to first do no harm, please watch and share the recording. Watch now.


Solidarity with South Sudan has an urgent need for staff in South Sudan, especially for their Pastoral Initiatives, but also, in other areas of the project. The project is an initiative of the Union of Superiors General (men) and the International Union of Superiors General (women) in response to a request from the Bishops of Sudan. Its ministry is focused on building the capacity of South Sudanese to become teachers, registered nurses, midwives, sustainable farmers and pastoral agents. Sisters, priests and brothers from a variety of congregations and countries work together with lay personnel in four primary sites with outreach to far flung areas of the country. Please contact [email protected] if interested.

Catholic Doctor of the Year
Mission Doctors Association is now accepting nominations for the 2019 Catholic Doctor of the Year. The award recipient will be chosen from nominations received from around the country and honored following the annual Archdiocese of Los Angeles Annual Mass Celebrating Catholic Healthcare Professionals. This is an opportunity for patients, colleagues, friends and family members to recognize an outstanding Catholic doctor. Learn more.


Blog Series — Medical Equipment Graveyards: Three Causes of the Problem — And How Blockchain Can Help
Medical equipment like pulse oximeters, ECG monitors, anesthesia machines and oxygen concentrators are essential for diagnosing and treating patients. Sadly, the majority of this lifesaving medical equipment sits unused in low-income countries. The equipment sits idle in the hallways and closets of resource-strapped hospitals — often referred to as equipment graveyards. This largely stems from lack of coordination and inefficiencies in donations. In this blog series, Vikas Menka explores how a blockchain-driven medical equipment donation platform might overcome these inefficiencies. Learn more.

Related CHA Resources:

  • CHA Medical Surplus Donation Study: How Effective Surplus Donation Can Relieve Human Suffering
    This 18-page report represents findings from a 2010 study of how CHA-member organizations can alleviate human suffering in the developing world through a responsible medical surplus donation program. The report also highlights medical supply and recovery organizations that collect and distribute surplus and offers preliminary guidelines for working effectively with these organizations.
    » Review or download a PDF of the CHA Medical Surplus Donation Study
    » Order a hard copy
    » Listen to a recording from the 2011 webinar about the study findings
  • Responsible Redistribution of Medical Supplies & Equipment: Leading Practices for Hospitals & Health Systems
    This resource shares the findings of a 2012 research study to determine high-impact leading practices every hospital and/or health system should adopt when starting or enhancing a medical surplus recovery program. While not prescriptive, we believe these practices will help fulfill the mission of our collective global outreach efforts — answering God's call to foster health, act with compassion and promote wellness for all persons and communities, with special attention to our neighbors who are poor, underserved and most vulnerable. Access the document.
NPR Goats and Soda — Why Surgeons Are Rethinking The Fly-In Medical Mission
A 2016 estimate put the annual cost of getting doctors and other health care workers to sites around the world at $3.7 billion, paid for by donors or health personnel themselves.

But today there's some real soul-searching going on about this kind of fly-in. At conferences and in academic papers, health professionals are asking: Is this really the most effective way to provide health care to the developing world? Learn more.

Related CHA Resources:

  • CHA Guiding Principles for Conducting International Health Activities
    This CHA resource offers Catholic health ministry leaders and others who participate in international projects six Guiding Principles for Conducting International Health Activities. These principles bring to life the richness of Catholic social teaching and tradition and are offered to help Catholic health care most appropriately conduct international programs. Learn more or Download a PDF.
  • Short-term Medical Mission Online Orientation Resource
    This CHA online orientation program includes four modules for use by those who lead and participate in short-term international mission trips.
    » Access the online orientation resource


Report — Venezuela: Political Crisis and U.S. Policy
Shortages in food and medicine, declines in purchasing power, and a collapse of social services have created a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela that is affecting the entire region. According to household surveys, the percentage of Venezuelans living in poverty increased from 48.4% in 2014 to 87% in 2017. Health indicators, particularly infant and maternal mortality rates, have worsened. Previously eradicated diseases, such as diphtheria and measles, have returned and spread. Learn more.

Related information:

  • Camille Grippon, Bon Secours Mercy Health System, and Lina Pena Tavera, a representative from Caritas Colombia, participated in the CHA International Outreach networking call on Feb. 6, providing an update on the situation in Venezuela, as well as the refugee crisis in neighboring South American countries. Catholic Relief Services is responding across Venezuela and Latin America to support Caritas and local partners to assist thousands of Venezuelan families with emergency relief. Learn more.

U.S. Bishops, CRS Urge Administration to Grant Venezuelans Protected Status
Catholic leaders issued a letter in early April to United States government officials asking for a temporary legal status for thousands of Venezuelan nationals who would otherwise risk returning to a hazardous crisis. The April 4 letter asks of the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State that Venezuela be designated for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months. TPS allows people who are unable to return safely to their home countries because of armed conflict, other violence, natural disasters, or other extraordinary conditions to remain in the United States while the situation in their home country resolves. It protects them from deportation and grants them permission to work. Learn more.


Prayer for Peace in South Sudan

Father of love and mercy,
You created our people from every clan,
tribe and nationality.
It is your will that all our people should live
in harmony, peace and unity,
because we are all brothers and sisters.
We ask forgiveness for the times we failed
to live together in peace.
Heal our offenses and help us to reconcile
With one another.
Grant to our leaders your divine wisdom
and help us to promote respect, justice
and true reconciliation, so that the people
of South Sudan may live in unity and peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

– From Solidarity with South Sudan

Featured Quote from Pope Francis
"We can ask: What keeps us united? Why are we united? What prompts us to encounter each other? The certainty of knowing that we have been loved with a profound love that we neither can nor want to keep quiet about a love that challenges us to respond in the same way: with love. It is the love of Christ that urges us on (cf. 2 Cor 5:14)."
– Pope Francis, Welcome Ceremony Opening World Youth Day 2019, Panama