From Texas to Tanzania, Anglican hospitals link up

Posted Jan 20, 2012

[Anglican Communion News Service] Senior management and medical officers from St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System Houston and Baylor College of Medicine will visit the hospital of the Diocese of Morogoro in Berega, Tanzania, at the end of February. This is the first step in a program to develop links between Anglican hospitals in different parts of the world. These links are designed to provide conduits for the supply of medical equipment, provision of clinical training, and development in hospital management systems.

“The profile of Anglican hospitals is rising both within the church and amongst health policy makers,” said Lee Hogan, co-chair of the Anglican Health Network and organizer of this trip. “Strengthening links between these hospitals will support our common mission to bring improved health care to those communities that Anglicans serve.”

Following a trip to Berega in May 2011, Lee recruited officers from St. Luke’s and Baylor who can provide key skills and experience to address priorities outlined by hospital director Isaac Mgego. At the top of the list is the development of maternal and newborn services. A high percentage of women in this rural district give birth at home without any medical supervision. Dr. Kjersti Aagaard, professor of fetal and maternal Health at Baylor College of Medicine has extensive experience throughout Africa and will give attention to this challenge.

John and Mair Pugh run the associated nursing school. Cheryl Lindy, director of nurse education for St. Luke’s will share her experience in international nurse exchange programs and learn from them about the methods by which local nurses can be recruited and trained.

Other visitors include Dr. John Joe, chief medical information officer at St. Luke’s who has experience in both family medicine and general surgery and has participated in previous medical missions in both South East Asia and Africa. Debbie Mahannah, vice president for human resources will be working on a variety of Anglican Health Network programs including the supply of surplus medical equipment from hospitals of the Episcopal Church. This trip will help her to establish relationships and systems within Tanzania to assist in getting the deliveries moving.

The Anglican Health Network is encouraging Anglican hospitals throughout the communion to recognize the value of collaboration and mutual learning. For further information on this and other programs operated by AHN, check out the following weblink.