A team of doctors and nurses from Worldwide Healing Hands is packed and ready to embark on its mission to Haiti later this week. The group will conduct important cervical cancer screenings and train Haitian doctors, midwives and staff in the screening and treatment methods. The latest mission follows Worldwide Healing Hands’ outreach on Thanksgiving Day when Dr. Paula Dhanda and Dr. Arthur Bikangaga conducted free health screenings to individuals in conjunction with a free community meal in the City of Clearlake, CA.
Dr. Paula Dhanda and her team will arrive in Port Au Prince on January 3 and team up with other volunteers from around the world.
Paula R. Dhanda, M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Dhanda is Worldwide Healing Hands’ team leader for the mission in Haiti. She is an obstetrician and surgeon who has served Lake County, CA, for more than 20 years.
She has traveled to Chad in Africa, Nepal, and Haiti on previous healthcare missions. She believes each individual who volunteers to help on the mission contributes to Worldwide Healing Hands’ goals .
“Every journey starts with a single step toward your destination. You can make a difference. You can change a person’s life!”
Scott Welker, M.D., General surgeon
A surgeon from Clearlake, CA, Dr. Welker has worked on a previous relief mission in Haiti before, just after the 2010 earthquake. It is his first trip with Worldwide Healing Hands.
“Haiti is a nation with many needs; and when a person’s health is improved, the rest of her life can also get a lot better,” says Dr. Welker. “I feel an obligation to give back, as I have led a very privileged life and benefited from the help of others from the beginning.”
H. Vernetta Johnson, M.D., Anesthesiologist
Dr. Johnson is a board certified anesthesiologist of 28 years and also a chronic pain management physician out of Lakeport, CA. She joins the team for her second trip to Haiti.
“I found on my previous trip that it was very rewarding to take care of such humble and appreciative people. I also had the opportunity to work with a group of extremely competent anesthesiologists and surgeons. I am looking forward to providing whatever assistance necessary.”
Christine Hansom, R.N.
Christine is making her fourth trip with Worldwide Healing Hands, having traveled with to Haiti on previous missions. She has spent 35 years as a nurse, most of that time in her home area of Lake County, CA. For 26 years of her career she has been a home health nurse.
As a certified diabetes educator, Christine says she will be teaching discharge planning and outreach programs. “The missions are always great experiences. I am looking forward to going.”
Carol Stahr, LVN
Carol has worked as a nurse with Dr. Dhanda for nearly 11 years. She resides in Lakeport, CA. Carol traveled to Chad on Worldwide Healing Hands’ first mission and to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010.
“I have a deep desire to help in any way I can. Also, I am eager to see the changes and advancements that have occurred since we were there before.”
Jacklin Sime, Medical Student
Jacklin is a young man in his fifth year of medical school in Haiti. He has trained with Dr. Dhanda on a previous mission, and he will join the team upon its arrival in Haiti. He is working toward graduation from medical school in 2017.
In response to an inquiry about his chosen path to become a physician, Jacklin said, “My first goal is to save lives — by treating sick people, helping patients survive from their diseases — and as a philanthropist, medicine is the best way for me to share and show my love to people.”