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  • PTs Volunteering in Haiti Receive Awards for Service

    The transformative power of physical therapy is growing in some of the world's most in-need places, thanks to the work of physical therapists (PTs) who have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to a global health provider education network.

    Health Volunteers Overseas, a nonprofit organization that educates the local health care workforce in resource-scarce countries, announced that Judith Hembree, PT, PhD, and Silvia Plattner, PT, are among this year's recipients of its "Golden Apple Award" for exceptional contributions to improving global health care. Only a small number of volunteers among all types of health provider volunteers receive the prestigious award.

    Hembree has traveled to HVO’s physical therapy training project at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) in Haiti on 7 assignments, contributing nearly 100 volunteer service days over the past 7 years. She also serves on the HVO Physical Therapy Steering Committee and was recently appointed as co-project director of the HVO physical therapy project in Haiti. According to HVO, Hembree's instruction and "thorough and consistent guidance" has improved quality of care not only at HAS but other partner facilities.

    Plattner, a PT from Switzerland, also focused her efforts on HVO’s project at HAS in Haiti, where she spent several years serving the HVO Rehabilitation Technician Training Program and contributing to an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary setting. She makes frequent home visits with the staff to remote rural villages and mentored HAS’s physical therapy manager.

    “The HVO members, volunteers, and partners receiving the 2017 HVO Golden Apple Award have contributed to the quality and availability of health care around the world, strengthening our mission and transforming lives,” said HVO Executive Director Nancy Kelly in a press release. “They are inspirational leaders, and we are grateful for their dedication to empowering health workers and ensuring more and better care is available where it is most needed.”

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