Andrea Mitchell   |  July 17, 2013

Organization focuses on providing health care providers for struggling countries

Dr. Vanessa Kerry, Dr. Stephen Humphrey and Nurse Heather Wopat join Andrea Mitchell Reports to talk about the Global Health Service Partnership, which is a program that aims to improve health care through clinical education focusing on countries that face critical shortages of health care providers.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> an innovative new partnership between health care and the peace corps is being celebrated at the white house tomorrow. it's the global health services partnership. joining me are vanessa kerry , ceo for seed global help and steven humphrey and heather wopat. volunteers. thank you all so much for being here. this is very exciting for me. i love the peace corps , vanessa , dr. kerry, good to see you. this is your brainchild and you're partnering with the peace corps . what is the advantage of working with the peace corps on this initiative?

>> there's actually been a lot of people working to help make this idea come to fruition. we're extremely pleased to be working with the peace corps because they have a 50-year history of putting extraordinary americans into the field in an integrated and very culturally sensitive way. it seems like a very natural partnership for us, global health , to work with them to be able to send doctors and nurses abroad as medical educators and nursing educators to build capacity and a pipeline for future causes.

>> dr. humphrey, your mission is to do clinical work but also to create a whole new generation of medical professionals in country.

>> that's exactly right. some years ago i had the opportunity to work with medical students in the niger republic . as a professor, you could never find a more appealing group of young people , but they were working at a tremendous disadvantage. their training was suboptimal. what we realized was that thefrp basically training themselves. the professors were excellent but not enough to go around. so emphasis is, training more physicians, getting them out there, helping enlarge the team of professors available.

>> heather, what about as a nurse, what about equipment, medicines, supplies as you help train other nurses and work with doctors in the field? what about those supplies that you need to do your job?

>> well, we -- we expect that we will have a shortage of resources to do our job. one of the things that i've been thinking about a lot are things that i can substitute, ways i can put things together to get the job done that may not be necessarily how we do it here in the united states . it's basically being resourceful. thinking about different ways to do things.

>> you had an experience in the peace corps yourself?

>> that's correct.

>> this is a logical fit for you. what about your career? are you interrupting what would normally be your career advancement here as a nurse?

>> i am. i am very lucky because my workplace, which is the wyle kornell medical center in new york is very supportive of what i'm doing. they're really excited about all the things that i'm going to learn that i can bring back when i do return next year.

>> vanessa , how long are these medical professionals going to be in the field?

>> so these 31 doctors and nurses are going to be spending a year as peace corps volunteers, global health services volunteers and they're going to be spending the next year of their life working closely with their in culture counterparts to cultivate another generation to do it. steven and heather will teach ten doctors, ten nurses who will go on and train ten more and so on so that we'll really see a lasting effect from what they're doing this year.

>> dr. huff fins, you're interrupting your teaching. are you from kornell, new york?

>> i'm not. i'm more recently frf my cardiology practice in 2006 .

>> what is the benefit you get? i suspect that this brings great satisfaction to you as well.

>> well, it does. i'm at the point in my career that i really feel that my skills and what i have to offer as a physician are more needed here than where i had my career. it's a good feeling.

>> vanessa , we've been talking about this as you were launching. i'd be remiss if i didn't give you a chance to share with us, vanessa kerry , you were active in the campaign in 2004 , but your foreis in jordan today and working for middle east peace. tell us how your stepmother is doing.

>> oh, thank you for asking. she's doing much, ch better. it was an extremely scary time, especially in the very beginning. i'm really pleased that she is really i think turned an extraordinary corner. we're incredibly grateful for all of the support, all of the outpouring of messages and for all of the hope. i think that's what's helped her get better.

>>> we're grateful as well and our good witches to the family. great success. come back with pictures, video, stories to tell?

>> we're getting you on the