Tag Archives: mission of mercy

boomer

Experience Matters’ Inaugural Encore Fellowship Class Graduates

Experience Matters, an organization that connects baby boomers with nonprofit and social service organizations to improve the quality of life in Maricopa County, announces the graduation of the inaugural encore fellowship class.  The first class of encore fellows has completed their yearlong fellowship with their host nonprofit organizations. Encore fellowships represent a new life-stage in which experienced boomers find meaningful ways to engage in the community and bring skilled and professional resources to these organizations that are often under-resourced.  Nationwide, 31 million boomers indicate an interest in encore opportunities.  In Maricopa County there is significant demand on behalf of both boomers and nonprofit organizations for fellowship and hosting opportunities, respectively.

“My work this past year as an Experience Matters’ encore fellow hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits could not have been more rewarding.  I learned more about the needs of nonprofit organizations and how they operate than I thought possible in just one year. It was quite rewarding to see how my 25 years of experience in the corporate world added value to a nonprofit organization.  I have a new-found respect for the Arizona nonprofit community and am committed to staying involved as I graduate from the Encore Fellowship Program,” stated Warren Mills, former valley technology executive.

“It is with great pride that we celebrate the graduation of our inaugural encore fellowship class at Experience Matters.  These fellows and organizations proved the value of matching boomers with nonprofit organizations.  What we have learned from the inaugural class indicates we can significantly increase the number of boomers engaged in paid and unpaid social service opportunities to support our nonprofit community as they work so hard to improve the quality of life in Maricopa County.  The demand is strong to connect the talent with the community, ” stated Nora Hannah, CEO of Experience Matters.

The inaugural class included the following fellows and their host organizations:

Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, Encore Fellow Mr. Warren Mills
Altered Tails, Encore Fellow Mr. Gregg Cebulski
Arizona Foundation for Women, Encore Fellow Ms. Debbie Hall
Arizona Science Center, Encore Fellow Mr. Kris Guffey
Balsz Elementary School District, Encore Fellow Ms. Anne White
Halle Family Foundation, Encore Fellow Ms. Denise Schubert
HALO, Encore Fellow Mr. Bill Thomson
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, Encore Fellow Ms. Isabel LeRoy
Mission of Mercy, Encore Fellow Ms. Dianne Aguilar
PetSmart Charities, Encore Fellow Ms. Linda Hannen
St. Mary’s Food Bank, Encore Fellow Ms. Christine McRight
Tempe Community Action, Encore Fellow Mr. Jeff Abraham
Valley of the Sun United Way, Encore Fellow Mr. Bob Ryan

Surgeons working on a Haitian earthquake victim

Arizona Medical Centers Provide Opportunities For Doctors To Help In The Wake Of Haiti’s Disaster

When a massive earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, the video images of the horrifying destruction moved millions around the world to tears. Here in the Valley, the news also moved many physicians to take action and head to Haiti. Four of those doctors making the journey were David Beyda, Grant Padley, Ara Feinstein and Jonathan Hodgson.

When each of these doctors felt the desire to travel to Haiti and help, the first thing they had to figure out was which group to travel and work with. For Beyda and Feinstein, the decision was easy. Beyda, a clinical care physician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, also is medical director for Mission of Mercy, a nonprofit group that helps provide needy children in 22 countries, including Haiti, with physical and spiritual necessities. Beyda himself makes six-to-eight trips per year, and had just been to Haiti in November.

“When I heard about the earthquake, I assembled a team and we were there within four days,” he says.

Beyda and his team packed all of their own supplies, chartered a jet out of Miami with another organization and spent a week in the middle of Port-au-Prince working on trauma rescue and intervention. In that time, he estimates they helped more than 750 people.

Feinstein, who works in trauma surgery and critical care at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, traveled to Haiti with the International Medical Surgical Response Team (IMSuRT), a group he’s been a member of for seven years. According to Feinstein, IMSuRT is the only federal disaster team with surgical capabilities. This was Feinstein’s first international deployment with the group, but he was well prepared.

“The team has several drills every year where we are required to set up the whole tent system and go through drills with the equipment,” he says. “We have to take a lot of courses and continue our education online.”

The IMSuRT team “showed up in Haiti as a full hospital,” Feinstein adds. Team members brought their own anesthesiologists, critical care nurses, equipment, food, water supply and all other necessities.

Hodgson, a neurologist at Gilbert Neurology, traveled to Haiti with a group from his church, which had done mission work in the Dominican Republic.

For Padley, an orthopedic surgeon with his own practice who also works at Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix, the decision on which group to work with was not as obvious. He ended up joining a team from Orlando, Fla., that had a specific need for his specialty.

“Once I saw (the disaster) unfolding, there was a big pull on my heart to go down there,” he says. “There was an urgent need, they were in need of someone with my specialty, I volunteered and it just came together.”

Unlike the others, this was Padley’s first mission, but it was something he had always wanted to do.

“Some people in my group had gone on missions before, but they all said this wasn’t like any mission they had been on,” he adds.

Padley spent his time performing orthopedic surgery at Haiti Adventist Hospital, where he dealt with a lack of air conditioning and swarms of flies. The resilience of his patients earned his admiration.

“They still had hope,” he says. “They had gratitude for us being there. They put trust in us.”

Beyda notes that the most challenging parts of emergency relief work are the upsetting psychological effects and emotions for all involved.

“It’s a horrific place to be,” he says. “You go down there with an open mind knowing you’re going to see horrific things.”

Hodgson says it was sometimes hard to comprehend “the suffering and devastation,” but adds that he also witnessed miracles.

“Over that week I was there, my (young) patients started to become children again,” he says. “It was really neat to see that change.”

For Feinstein, the challenges were more practical.

“It is a huge transition from doing surgery here, where I have everything available to me at all times, to in an environment where the things I need to care for patients may not be readily available,” he says. “It required some improvisation. Some things were repurposed.

“Now when I have an obstacle, I realize it’s OK. We can do all right without that one special piece of equipment or high-tech stuff.”

Despite their considerable skills and talents, the devastation in Haiti left all four doctors humbled.

“It’s not about us,” Beyda says. “It’s about what we offer others, as servants to those who are seeking help. We do the best we can. It’s not about being a hero, it’s about being a servant and doing what you can do.”