Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hearts Around the World visits Kenya

Dr. Bob Jarrett is a cardiologist in Brookfield, CT. He is currently in Kenya and you can check out his work at http://blog.ctnews.com/jarrett/. Dr. Jarrett and I first in met in 2000 at a board meeting of Healing the Children, NE, Inc.. In 2001, I went with Dr. Jarrett to St. Petersburg, Russia, as administrator on his cardiac surgery team. In 2003, we traveled with a 20 member cardiac team from the University of California to Hue, Vietnam. While the surgical team, volunteering under the auspices of Healing the Children here in CT conducted surgery, we conducted site visits in Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for future cardiac missions. At that time, in Vietnam, cardiac surgery as a surgical specialty had been in place for only four years. If memory serves me correctly, it takes at least 13 years to become a certified cardiac surgeon in the US. Dr. Jarrett saw an incredible need and sought a way to help.

In 2008, Dr Jarrett started his own non-profit, Hearts Around the World, aimed at providing health education and services worldwide. He wanted an organization that gave 100% of donations to people in need. By-passing the cost of an office or staff, Dr. Jarrett organizes all trips on his own, including hotel and airfare. If you make a donation, you will often find you receive a hand written 'thank you' note: how rare is that? In his work, Dr. Jarrett's main focus is on teaching: it takes time but he has the commitment.

Dr. Jarrett began his surgical missions in Russia dozens of years ago when people with cardiac issues went mainly to the hospital to die. He returned year after year, teaching new doctors invasive and non-invasive techniques in cardiology, conducting country-wide seminars, bringing new equipment, and raising the standards of cardiac care across the country. He now has multiple cardiac missions to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam each year. His current site visit to Nairobi, Kenya will hopefully be followed by a long awaited invitation to Cuba.

You can read about a recent trip to Vietnam on the Hearts Around the World web site at http://www.hearts-aroundtheworld.org/ and follow their Kenya trip at http://blog.ctnews.com/jarrett/ which is running this week in the Danbury News Times.

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