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HealthCare Volunteer Recognizes the Efforts of Volunteers with 2007 HealthCare Volunteer Awards | Awards

Los Angeles, CA USA (12/26/2007) - - HealthCare Volunteer announced today its first annual HealthCare Volunteer Awards given to 7 individuals who made a major contribution to global health in 2007. HealthCare Volunteer was founded on January 1, 2006 as a non-profit portal that connects all volunteers and job seekers interested in health-related volunteering or health-related work to appropriate opportunities. To achieve the mission, HealthCare Volunteer requires the efforts of two groups of people—the people who run the organization and the people who serve patients in the field. What started as a grass-roots cause has now transitioned into a powerful resource that empowers any individual to make a difference in global healthcare. HealthCare Volunteer have now expanded into over 15 countries and touched the lives of over 2,000 children and adults. Furthermore, the organization has facilitated 15,909 volunteer referrals to over 2,250 organizations.

HealthCare Volunteer founders, Neilesh Patel and Elliot Mendelsohn agree that they could not have achieved all this and more without the concerted efforts of key volunteers who have dedicated themselves to fostering a “true force in global health volunteering”. “We would like to recognize the contributions of certain volunteers who have helped the organization attain success in its public service mission in 2007.” Since HealthCare Volunteer plans to expand its volunteering services beyond healthcare next year, the organization announced plans to open the 2008 awards to health and non-health volunteers so the world could see how people of various backgrounds were contributing to local and global health. Applications will start being accepted on January 1, 2008 and will be accepted until Nov. 1, 2008. Applications can be from anyone as long as they have made a major contribution to global health in any health related volunteering field with any non-governmental or governmental organization.

I. Leadership Award

Criteria: The Leadership Award is given to a volunteer who helps execute the vision of HealthCare Volunteer. The volunteer must demonstrate initiative and a willingness to undertake risks to further the organization’s causes. Finally, the volunteer must demonstrate a “do whatever is necessary” attitude. The Leadership Award can be given to either a field volunteer or an organizational administration volunteer from any organization.

2007 Recipient: Ravi Raghavan

Justification: Mr. Raghavan helped launch the organization’s quarterly teleconference calls and the organization’s direct donation program. This year, he has been involved in a variety of initiatives including fundraising, recruiting, quarterly update calls, partnership strategy and evaluation, and public relations. In short, in this critical year of growth for the organization, he has demonstrated tremendous dedication to further the organization.

II. Medical Field Excellence Award

Criteria: The Medical Field Excellence Award is given to a volunteer who has provided valuable direct medical patient care. The volunteer must demonstrate technical skill, a caring approach to the patients, and cultural awareness.

2007 Recipient: Dr. Samuel Feinstein

Justification: Dr. Feinstein was the first surgeon to travel in our direct patient care program. His contributions in the field included providing surgery, overseeing a team of volunteers, teaching the local medical staff to foster sustainability, and initiating relations between HealthCare Volunteer and the hospitals operated by Ministry of Health, Tanzania.

III. Dental Field Excellence Award

Criteria: The Dental Field Excellence Award is given to a volunteer who has provided valuable, direct dental patient care. The volunteer must demonstrate technical skill, a caring approach to the patients, and cultural awareness.

2007 Recipient: Dr. Jason Ehtessabian

Justification: Dr. Ehtessabian was the first dentist to volunteer with HealthCare Volunteer in the direct patient-care programs. A true trailblazer, Dr. Ehtessabian has now set the path for many volunteers to follow his path into Africa.

IV. Innovation Award

Criteria: The Innovation Award is given to a volunteer who has identified and delivered an idea or product that enabled global health volunteering and allowed volunteers to execute their good intentions.

2007 Recipient: Dr. Tara Athan, PhD

Justification: Dr. Athan created the world’s first and largest map of health-related NGOs and volunteering opportunities around the world. Her technical expertise of GIS helped make this a reality, so that thousands of volunteers can have easier access to volunteering opportunities.

V. Opportunity Expansion Award

Criteria: The Opportunity Expansion Award is given to a volunteer who has created new volunteering opportunities or who has helped foreign volunteers succeed in their missions.

2007 Recipient: Erick Mlanga

Justification: Mr. Mlanga spent two days traveling by foot and bus from Dar es Salaam to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, to make healthcare a reality for the millions of impoverished in his home country, Tanzania. Now Mr. Mlanga is expanding the HealthCare Volunteer network to make healthcare available to new communities around the African continent.

VI. Organizational Award

Criteria: The Organizational Award is given to a volunteer who has a significant impact on the performance of the organization.

2007 Recipient: Carolina Mayans

Justification: Ms. Mayans is working on our volunteering organizations project and has organized the myriad organizations that are now part of the HealthCare Volunteer listing. She helped foster the world's largest listing of health-related volunteering opportunities for the organization.

VII. Student Volunteer Award

Criteria: The Student Volunteer Award is given to a student, either an undergraduate, medical, dental or other pre-health professions student, who has made significant impact in global healthcare in the field or administratively.

2007 Recipient: Colin Casault

Justification: Despite visa problems, adverse health/sanitary conditions, and economic hardship, Colin Casault raised a couple of thousand dollars and successfully completed a volunteering assignment in rural Tanzania. There, he treated more patients than any other volunteer in HealthCare Volunteer history and persisted even when conditions became difficult.

### HealthCare Volunteer, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, was started in January 1, 2006 by an American dental and medical student, who realized the need for a free non-profit portal that connects all volunteers interested in health-related volunteering to volunteering opportunities. Due to resource constraints, several national health care organizations rightfully chose not to undertake such a drastic project, and so the opportunity to unite health care volunteers globally remained. It was clear that an independent, 3rd party, non-partisan, non-governmental organization (NGO) unaffiliated with any country or entity needed to be formed to promote health care volunteering in a rapidly globalizing world. www.healthcarevolunteer.com

By Manjusha Dutta
manjusha.dutta@healthcarevolunteer.com


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