Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cervical Cancer Campaign in Coffee Growing Communities

     For a woman living in impoverished areas in underdeveloped countries it is extremely challenging to get preventative medical care as well as the treatment that is needed. Yet there are people who have taken on this challenge and are doing something about it right now.  Grounds For Health(GFH) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create women’s health programs in coffee growing communities such as Nicaragua, Mexico, and Tanzania, with a focus on the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer. They achieve this through community partnerships with coffee cooperatives (co-ops), local health systems, volunteer teams, involved supporters, and implementing sustainable programs that will work for that respective country.
      From September 21-30th, 2011, 7 GFH volunteers travelled to San Juan de Rio Coco, Nicaragua.  San Juan de Rio Coco is a rural coffee growing community in the northern highlands in the department of Madriz, Nicaragua; a six hour rustic drive outside of Managua.  The GFH staff was housed in a modest hotel in the center of town.  The  primary care hospital known as  Luis Felipe Moncada, had an outpatient clinic area that was used as the clinic site for the cervical cancer campaign.  The clinic was located in the outskirts of town approximately six city blocks from our hotel.  The clinic became the first dysplasia treatment center in the municipality of San Juan del Rio Coco to have trained medical personnel to screen for cervical cancer.
     GFH had partnered with four local coffee co-ops to assist with logistics and management of the cervical cancer campaign. We trained a new cohort of 11 doctors and nurses on cervical cancer screening that included pap smears, Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA), and treatment of pre-cancer cervical lesions with cryotherapy. During the course of the campaign, a total of 306 women were screened.
     Grounds For Health relies heavily on its volunteers.  I along with six other volunteers that included a pathologist, cytotechnicians, and nurse practitioners from the U.S. gave our time and expertise to bring education and clinical training to the rural Nicaraguan healthcare staff . I was one of five clinical preceptors. Each day I was given two students to supervise their new learned skills to take a gynecological history, evaluate their pelvic exam techniques, and evaluate their communication with patients regarding cervical cancer screening.  My proficiency in Spanish was a big asset and contributed greatly with my ability to establish a good rapport with my students.  My students were very curious about the way I practice back home and I was curious to find out about the different levels of “nursing” and education in Nicaragua.  I particularly enjoyed our “feedback sessions” at the end of a long clinic day where students, clinical preceptors, and lab staff would have the opportunity to talk about how our day went.  I was always eager to hear from the lab staff that our students had prepared their pap smear slides correctly. 
Our goal was not to just provide screening and treatment but to collaborate with the communities (including the ministry of health, other local providers, the hospitals and clinics to name a few), to create a program that continues long after we are gone that doesn’t need spare parts or highly trained experts.  We helped create a “sustainable and effective” program so that when we leave Nicaragua, the local health care providers can continue to provide these health care services for women. 
     I am fortunate to be able to participate in this amazing program. I am fortunate to use my services to change another’s life experience for the better and fortunate for the medical care that is available to us here in the United States. Thanks to programs such as Grounds For Health and its dedicated volunteers, many lives in impoverished countries have been given a second chance at health. I am extremely grateful to ONAAT for the honor of being chosen as a scholarship recipient. 
     If you want to find out about volunteer opportunities with Grounds For Health please log on to  

  By Sylvia S. Estrada, RNC, WHCNP, CBCN, MSN, MSHCM, BSN . our 12th One Nurse scholarship awardee for 2011.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Arriving home from Haiti each time is hard. The country is filled of amazing people with beautiful spirits.  I spent 10 days working in the only critical care hospital in the entire country. Project Medishare for Haiti is located in the heart of Port-au-Prince. During my time spent at the hospital hundreds upon hundreds of patients were seen each day. There illness ranging from asthma attacks to acute GI bleeds.
There are so many memories I have made. People from all around the world travel to Haiti each week to help at The Bernard Mevs Hospital. This week we had Canadians, Americans, Australians, English plus so many more.  It always amazes me how people of so many different backgrounds can come together  for a greater cause....
Ginger Hart, RN, BSN lives in Conway, Arkansas. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 2010 with her bachelors of science in nursing. She works as a RN at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) for the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the worlds largest treatment center for patients with multiple myeloma needing stem cell transplants.  Ginger has volunteered in China and made numerous medical missions to Haiti since the earthquake of 2010. She received the 13th One Nurse At A Time scholarship for 2011 to serve in Haiti.
Read Ginger Hart's entire story:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


One Nurse At A Time is proud to welcome David Fox as our newest volunteer. David will be helping to expand our presence in the media, as well as leading fund raising through social media.
"I’ve been fortunate enough to know Sue Averill, co-founder of One Nurse, for a couple of decades having worked together previously at the same company. Sue has always demonstrated an unquenchable drive to improve everything she touches and now she touches the world through One Nurse. I’m glad and proud to support her and the One Nurse team any way I can. Because of my corporate and international background, I hope to knit together a number of global organizations as resources to One Nurse.

My career has not been humanitarian per se but human-oriented, with more than 20 years in various corporate HR leadership and consulting roles. I’d like to think HR work has its humanitarian aspects even if it is just inside corporations. I feel best about my work when I see people doing well, and that’s also part of the mission of One Nurse. I’ve been involved with workforces around the world, including the UK, Netherlands, Malaysia, India, China, Australia and Japan.

For the past 6 years, I’ve been living in China doing my best to learn of the country and the people, and support the development of the HR community there. I can assure you, there is a vast opportunity in China for One Nurse and any work there will make a huge difference. Prior to China, I lived in Spain but home has always been the US.

Past roles have included Executive Director Global Talent Management, Executive Director International HR, and Director Strategic Talent Management Practice, among others."

David presently serves as the Head of Human Resources for Thomson Reuters Corporate Technology Center in Minnesota.  Everyone at One Nurse is thrilled to have such talent and expertise joining us. With David's help we can make a change in the nurse, one person,  at a time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Nurse's President Assists Global Health Conference.

One Nurse At A Time’s president, Sue Averill recently was invited to review abstracts the 2011 Global Health Conference jointly sponsored by the Canadian Society for International Health, Global Health Education Consortium, and Consortium of Universities for International Health (GHEC/CUGH/CSIH)  The conference will be held in Montreal on November 13-15, 2011.  Sue’s feedback and input played an important role in shaping the conference themes and scientific content for the meeting and both co-chairs, Drs. Timothy Brewer and Anvar Velji expressed gratitude for her contribution. Just one more way we are making a difference….one nurse at time!