On 10 September, 2013, Dr. Julia Musariri, director of St. Albert’s, arrived in Colulmbus, Ohio, to begin her first visit to the United States. During her four-week stay, I hosted her in Columbus and Dr. Lowell Schnipper hosted her in Boston, Massachusetts. In preparation for the visit, BHA provided letters of support and three American nurses who were visiting St. Albert’s for six weeks beginning in late May. While there, they helped prepare Dr. Musarir’s US visa application.
Dr. Musariri’s activities in Columbus included:
- Meeting with BHA board members and a reception for donors;
- Observing HIV/AIDS care in a community-based and a hospital-based HIV clinic. She also shadowed a specialist in family medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and met with oncologists at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute;
- Guest lecturer for a graduate Global Health class at Ohio State’s College of Public Health;
- A presentation about St. Albert’s to the Columbus Public Health department and met with its TB and HIV/AIDS staff;
- Travel to Pittsburgh to visit Brother’s Brother Foundation and Global Links. We toured the Global Links’ facility and discussed the needs of St. Albert’s with the director of the Global Links Suture Program, who provided Dr. Musariri with 400 sutures and small kits for midwives; Global Links offered to ship suture to St. Albert’s in the future;
- Toured the Brother’s Brother warehouse where Dr. Musariri selected a freezer and refrigerator for the hospital’s blood bank, suction devices for the hospital’s wards and other items; discussed future shipments of medical supplies for St. Albert’s and other mission hospitals in Zimbabwe;
- Visited a Columbus chapter of The Arc of Ohio, an association that provides programs for developmentally disabled adults and children, and the Early Childhood Education & Family Center operated by the Franklin County (Ohio) Board of Developmental Disabilities for children with developmental disabilities. These visit provided Dr. Musariri with ideas for how St. Albert’s might help people and families in their district who are coping developmental disabilities.
Dr. Musariri’s activities in Boston included:
- A 3-day Pri-Med continuing medical education course for primary-care physicians;
- Meetings with oncologists and other faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School;
- Delivering a seminar to medical faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess and at Harvard;
- Meeting with the director of programs at the Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery;
- Meeting with Regis DeSilva, MD, a Harvard cardiologist who heads the NGO Global Medical Knowledge;
- Visited Mount Desert Island, Maine (the location of Acadia National Park) as a guest of Hester and Lowell Schnipper.
Dr. Musariri much enjoyed Mount Desert Island. Her visit to Columbus had its light moments, as well. They included seeing a performance of Cirque Du Soleil‘s “Totem” with Barbara and me. And because maize is the staple food of Zimbabwe, we visited the art installation at Sam & Eulalia Frantz Park in nearby Dublin, Ohio: A field of six-foot tall concrete ears of corn.
BHA would like to thank the many people in Columbus, at Ohio State University and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School who helped make Dr. Musariri’s visit a success. We would especially like to thank Dr. Lowell Schnipper and Hester Hill, The Ohio State University cancer program, and Dr. Abby Norris Turner, Dr. Rebecca Grant, Dr. Chris Rea, Wanda Dillard, and Dr. Michael Para and Jane Russell at Ohio State, and to Ivan Harrington and Karen Mills of ARC East, and Becky Love of the Early Childhood Education & Family Center.
Thank you, everyone, and I hope all is well as you move toward the holidays…Darrell