Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest ever recorded, tore through the central Philippines on 8 November, sweeping away villages, killing over 5700 people, wreaking havoc on the lives of more than 11 million others and damaging the majority of medical facilities.

Here is a synopsis of our goal and plan for our Philippine Medical Clinic/Hospital mission in Samar, Philippines
Global Grant # 1526766 Date: July 19-27, 2015

  • Build a medical clinic in the ravaged area damaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

  •  Building partnerships to accomplish our goal – Current partner: Habitat, Emory University Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, etc. Seeking additional NGO’s, global medical partners, Rotary Clubs & Districts to join us.

  • The plan & vision for this hospital/ clinic: Provide educational training for host medical team & patients; have internet access for consultations to Tertiary Hospital in Philippines and Emory Medical University in the USA; screen and treat for cervical pre-cancer in places where pap smears are not able to be done or not practical; provide cervical vaccines, have an operating room at the clinic. Focus is Maternal & Child Health Care along with Humanitarian care & support.

  • Raise $200,000+ for a Global Matching Grant # 1526766. This will be submitted to Rotary International for matching.

  • Partner Rotary Club in that district & NGO’s on this project.

  • Partner with the mayor and government to ensure sustainability.

  • Annual visit by a team of doctors, surgeons, PA’s, and nurses from the US to provide training and care at the clinic. A surgical room will also be built at the hospital.

  •  Provide medicine, & additional medical supplies for the clinic.

Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest ever recorded, tore through the central Philippines on 8 November, sweeping away villages, killing over 5700 people, wreaking havoc on the lives of more than 11 million others and damaging the majority of medical facilities.

 
 

 Dr. Paul Krogstad, Elag Adnalro, RN., and Dr. Ann Farash examine a patient at a clinic in the Philippines on a July 2015 medical mission organized by Hendersonville-based nonprofit Florence Nightingale Global Health.

Dr. Paul Krogstad, Elag Adnalro, RN., and Dr. Ann Farash examine a patient at a clinic in the Philippines on a July 2015 medical mission organized by Hendersonville-based nonprofit Florence Nightingale Global Health.


By Beth De Bona

Times-News Staff Writer

Published: Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 9:00 p.m.

Last Modified: Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 9:00 p.m.


 

For 20 years Florence Allbaugh brought children in need of reconstructive surgery to the U.S. through the Gift of Life Program, but she recently switched tactics to serve children where they live.

A series of annual visits to the Philippines will include Dr. Ann Farash of Hendersonville Pediatrics, one of a number of U.S. physicians treating women and children in an area hard hit by Typhoon Haiyan.

“I wanted to go out and do more good by being on the ground,” said Allbaugh, who formed the nonprofit Florence Nightingale Global Health in 2014 to provide medical services in areas with limited or no health care.

The organization had some local support for its July 21-25 trip to the Philippines, which was funded in part by students and businesses in Henderson and Transylvania counties.

“It was a very shoestring budget at this point, to see what the situation was on the ground,” said Allbaugh of this preliminary trip.

Over 200 children were treated for various ailments - from cavities to tuberculosis - on the “mini” medical mission, which reached the Catarman and Pambujan areas in the Samar province of the Philippines.

“There were a lot of superficial skin infections, some malnutrition, pneumonia and a lot of cavities,” said Farash.

She witnessed one case of fatal child malnutrition and starvation while there – an experience she will never forget.

“It was just horrible to see that,” Farash said.

Maternal health care is also part of the plan for the organization, to counteract the trend of mother and infant birth fatalities.

Aside from her work organizing medical missions, Allbaugh has experience as an educator, having worked as a substitute teacher in various schools in the Henderson County area; she is also currently planning to study to be a PA.

She enlisted students from East Henderson High, Hendersonville Middle, Flat Rock Middle and Brevard High schools for help with raising funds for the trip; a number of businesses also donated gift basket items for a raffle.

Artwork created by students was exhibited at Jongo Java in June; proceeds from art sales went directly to FNGH. Their efforts raised around $1,500 for the medical mission.

St. James Episcopal Church and a number of individuals have also supported the medical mission.

Allbaugh said she is “very grateful” to the community for their support.

 

No relief

Most medical facilities in the central Philippines were damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and many in rural areas did not receive the recovery assistance other areas did, according to Allbaugh.

FNGH is working closely with Sisters of the Benedictine Order, which is leading a construction project to create a 25-bed clinic hospital in Pambujan.

“We are trying to help them with hospital equipment and supplies, as well as (shared expertise from) medical specialists,” said Allbaugh. “We’ve got some really strong medical partners.”

The FNGH team is also partnering in the Philippines with local Rotary clubs that work to assist those in need by providing wheelchairs and other services.

In addition to Farash, Dr. Paul Krogstad, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at UCLA, Dr. Jerome Belinson, an HPV specialist at Cleveland Clinic, and therapist Gwen Koenig joined the FNGH team in July.

Belinson is working to develop a way to effectively reach thousands of women for HPV early detection screening.

Farash, a retired Air Force colonel, had also joined a team of cardiologists from Duke University on a 2013 mission to Quezon City in the Philippines that Allbaugh organized to provide medical training and much-needed heart operations.

“There are 5,000 children waiting for cardiac surgery,” said Farash. “They die waiting for surgery.”

Farash, who has previously participated in medical missions in Mexico and El Salvador, said she finds the work “very, very rewarding. I enjoy this aspect of medicine."

Farash is also interested in spreading literacy on the missions – she is working on gaining the participation of U.S. nonprofit Reach Out & Read to provide books for the children in the Philippines.

“It’s very gratifying to put a book in a child’s hand that has never held one before,” she said.

Even if for some reason the hospital does not become operational, Farash said it can still save lives as it is, being built to withstand typhoons, and it can act as a community shelter.

Allbaugh's long-range goal is to offer the tools and the education necessary so that eventually, mission trips will no longer be needed.

“We’re trying to create sustainable care,” she said.

Annual visits are planned, with a 10-day trip scheduled for late February and early March 2016. Farash and Krogstad have agreed to join Allbaugh on this next trip and future missions.

The funding goal for this trip is $50,000, which will cover hospital equipment and supplies and medical team expenses. About $5,000 has been raised so far with other grants in process, said Allbaugh, adding that donations from individuals are also vital to their mission.

The organization is seeking donations of either new or used equipment for the hospital – items such as defibrillators, ER equipment, stethoscopes and other supplies in good condition.

FNGH is also hitting the ground in Mexico, where dental professionals have made two visits in the last two years to Texcoco, where 627 patients were treated in 2014 with the assistance of Mexican dentists and students.

To learn more about Florence Nightingale Global Health, visit www.fngh.org

 

Reach De Bona at beth.debona@blueridgenow.com or 828-694-7890.