Emergency Care Provider (ECP), Birungi Alfunsi, and visiting physicians, Jordan Chanler-Berat and John Allen Houston, diagnosed a young boy with a perforated ileum using bedside ultrasound scan in the Emergency Department early this week. When the patient arrived, he was in critical condition and this timely diagnosis altered the management of the patient and allowed for the patient’s emergent admission to the operating room. This young boy, now three days post-surgery, has recovered significantly and is scheduled to be discharged home this week. Rural Emergency Medicine has saved another life at Nyakibale Hospital!
This is our first post in a couple of years, so I’d like to reintroduce this blog and let you know what to expect in it. The majority of the content here will be written by Ryan Brandt, GECC’s Program Director at the Rukungiri District Hospital in Nyakibale, Uganda (rural southwestern Uganda). Ryan graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2013 with a focus in Neuroscience and Business Management. As an undergraduate, he was involved in extensive neuroscience research, and he worked with Vanderbilt LifeFlight as an Emergency First Responder. These direct patient interactions and exposure to emergency care sparked his ongoing interest in emergency medicine and educational initiatives.
After graduation, Ryan was hired by GECC as a research assistant and joined the GECC team on the ground in Uganda by late July 2013. Soon after arriving at Nyakibale, Ryan was selected as an AllPeopleBeHappy Fellow, which provided support for his research and time working with GECC. After six months of excellent work as a research assistant, Ryan was promoted to Program Director at Nyakibale. For Ryan, his experience with GECC has been very rewarding, giving him the ability to have a greater impact on the Emergency Care Provider (ECP) Training Program and the patients that it serves.
Drawing from his unique experiences working with GECC at Nyakibale, Ryan plans to return home in June 2014 to pursue a career in medicine. He says that his extraordinary experiences working at Nyakibale have changed his perception of public health initiatives and medicine as a whole, and that these experiences will without a doubt play a large role in his future work in the medical field. GECC is extremely grateful for Ryan’s dedication and hard work focused on strengthening the ECP program at Nyakibale.
In addition to Ryan’s voice on this blog, we will occasionally invite GECC board members, volunteer physicians, ECPs, and others to write guest blog posts to increase the depth of perspective on GECC’s unique and innovative programming. In the coming posts, we will explain GECC’s work on the ground in Nyakibale, as well as introduce GECC’s new opportunities for 2014, including new collaborations in Uganda, scaling up the ECP program in Uganda, and expansion to Kenya and Cambodia.
This blog captures the successes and challenges of our volunteers and staff as we collaborate to train emergency care health workers and build equitable emergency care systems in Uganda and beyond.