ENAHPA publishes a formal newsletter every other year which is distributed to our members and stakeholders. Please view our most updated news below.
Ingida Asfaw, MD, FACS, from Grosse Pointe, MI, received the 2013 Surgical Volunteerism Award for international outreach for his commitment to improving medical and surgical care in Ethiopia. Dr. Asfaw grew up in Ethiopia and, at age 16, traveled to the U.S. for school with the promise of returning home to provide state-of-the-art health care in his country. He attended Indiana University Medical School—Indianapolis and completed general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery residencies at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center, MI, followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular surgery at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston.
After completing his training, the political climate in Ethiopia prevented his return for 28 years. In the interim, Dr. Asfaw arranged for Ethiopian citizens needing complex medical and surgical care to travel to Michigan and other states for pro bono care, assisting with their hospital costs. In 1999, Dr. Asfaw founded the Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA), charged with improving access to quality care in Ethiopia.
Under his leadership, ENAHPA has had a far-reaching and lasting impact on the Ethiopian health care system. In 2003, during their inaugural mission in Ethiopia, Dr. Asfaw and his team performed the country’s first open-heart, cardiac pacemaker, and laparoscopic cholecystectomy operations. Since then, ENAHPA has conducted more than 40 missions to Ethiopia, performing nearly 3,000 procedures.
The organization has proved instrumental in improving the medical and educational infrastructure, including presentation of the first telemedicine conference in Ethiopia, the establishment of surgical skills laboratories at Addis Ababa and Gondar Universities, the development of emergency medicine residency training and first responder/allied health education programs at Addis Ababa University and St. Paul’s General Hospital, and the procurement of a medical rescue ambulance. In 2004, ENAHPA collaborated with the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada to establish community-centered holistic HIV care and implemented the first free major antiretroviral drug treatment distribution program in Ethiopia. An outreach program to HIV orphans was created with a local grassroots organization. ENAHPA partnered with the Clinton Foundation to create a pediatric HIV Maternal Child Health Center in Hawassa—a primary level hospital managing high-risk births and complex patients.
Numerous Ethiopian physicians, nurses, and allied health care professionals have been trained through ENAHPA’s education programs. ENAHPA continues to provide oversight to its initiatives in collaboration with local Ethiopian health care officials while transferring much of the programmatic control to the local workforce. Dr. Asfaw has been recognized with the Volvo For Life Award, a commendation from the City of Detroit, and myriad awards from organizations in North American and Ethiopia. Dr. Asfaw is a cardiothoracic surgeon and clinical associate professor of surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine and chief of the medical staff at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland-Trinity Health in Pontiac, MI.
ENAHPA Annual Report
Selam ENAHPA Members and Friends,
“When you dream alone, with your eyes shut, asleep, that dream is an illusion. But when we dream together, sharing the same dream, awake and with our eyes wide open, then that dream becomes reality” Source Unknown.
In the past fifteen years The Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA), a trailblazer and “work horse” of the Ethiopian Diaspora has made a significant mark on the Ethiopian healthcare landscape and has continued to expand its global health reach through the wide range of programs and services designed to help mitigate and alleviate the great health care needs of the nation. We are proud to tell you that we have made positive impact in many lives and are laying a sustainable goal. Ethiopians and non-Ethiopians alike from within and outside the Diaspora have enthusiastically rallied behind our noble humanitarian cause.
But it isn’t enough. Our sisters and brothers in Ethiopia are in even greater need of our assistance and skills as the world’s healthcare climate continues to change. We urge you to join ENAHPA in the crusade to fight hunger, disease and poverty. As we move forward, the key to meeting the challenges on the road ahead is to never forget that many are counting on us, including the Ethiopian youth that are our future leaders.
Since its birth in November 1999, ENAHPA has raised healthcare awareness and has assisted in enhancing access and quality healthcare delivery in virtually every segment of medical and surgical discipline in Ethiopia. This includes enhancing HIV care and preventive medicine (public health), initiating emergency medical services and performing the very first ever open-heart surgery in the country. We have sponsored numerous traveling scholars, observerships, fellowships at overseas universities and institutions for higher learning for physicians, nurses and allied health professionals and many others. We have provided volumes of books, journals, teaching aids and distance learning. We have assisted in the placement of individuals in Graduate Medical Education and residency training programs in universities and teaching hospitals in the USA and Canada. We have financially supported orphan outreach ministries.
One of the critical healthcare initiatives of our organization, as well as the nation, is the Safe Mothering Services in Ethiopia. Did you know that every minute, somewhere in the world, one woman dies due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth? For every woman who dies, 30 develop life-long illnesses and injuries related to pregnancy and childbirth, a staggering statistic. ENAHPA believes that no woman should die while giving life to her baby!
In October 2006, ENAHPA broke ground on our first state-of-the-art Maternal Child Health Center (MCH) in Hawassa, Ethiopia. In partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and the Hawassa Regional Health Bureau Administration, ENAHPA (using its own resources) completed the construction and equipped the Hawassa MCH Center and Adare Hospital. On February 18, 2011, ENAHPA and its dedicated MCH team, partners and colleagues in Ethiopia and friends of Ethiopia inaugurated the Hawassa MCH Center and Adare Hospital and began offering skilled emergency obstetric and neonatal services. It was truly an exciting day! Since its inauguration the Center has more than doubled its overall volume. Cesarean section services are growing. The mother and child mortality and morbidity has dramatically dropped since the start of the program.
We have conducted specialty training of medical professionals in the management and care of obstetrical, gynecological and neonatal emergencies. The Center is serving as a “Pilot” Program in the region and provides the much-needed skilled emergency obstetrical, gynecological and neonatal services for The City of Hawassa and its surrounding population. It will also have the potential to train medical and allied health students from nearby Debub University College of Health Sciences and Medical School. Ultimately, it is hoped that there will be additional MCH Centers established in other regions of Ethiopia. Because of the rapidly growing demand, 3-storie annex construction with an estimated additional 80 – 100 bed hospital is near completion and will open in June 2014.
Since its opening, the maternal child mortality rate has decreased by more than half in Hawassa and the surrounding areas. The center has also been designated a primary level hospital which also provides general medical / surgical care. In addition to obstetrical and gynecological care, the staff is handling other emergent medical and surgical cases.
Although ENAHPA’s major focus has been on surgical, HIV/AIDS and Maternal Child Health services, it has had a wide range of positive impact in other areas of medicine as well in Ethiopia. Many of ENAHPA’s programs focus on sustainability and capacity building through transfer of knowledge, skills, technology and services.
In 2012 and 2013 partnered with Blanche Kelso Bruce Academy and E-Three Labs in Detroit, MI and sent delegations of high school students to Ethiopia to teach their counterparts how to build and sustain solar energy modules.
In collaborative partnership with Greater Wayne County Chapter of the Links, Inc., we recently delivered a specially designed and built all-terrain medical rescue ambulance for rural and country-side MCH services along with medical equipment and supplies.
ENAHPA’s short and long range goals are to accelerate the journey in building upon its broad spectrum of benchmark quality healthcare programs and also assist in creating sustainable and impactful socio-economic development. Its primary focus and scope of services shall be helping to enhance the Nation’s Healthcare Capacity Building and Sustainability in:
· Public health / preventive medicine / emergency medical services
· Comprehensive clinical services (i.e. centers of excellence, such as MCH)
· Environmental health services (to be addressed soon)
· Academics: transferring knowledge, skills and technology; encouraging research and development activities
· Other social programs (i.e. orphan outreach)
· Sponsorship of patients from Ethiopia to the USA for care of complex medical / surgical care not available in the Nation
· Sponsorship of traveling scholars (observerships and fellowships)
· Assist with finding residency and fellowship training positions in the USA
· Sponsorship of surgical / medical missions
· Distance learning (tele-medicine)
· Medical / Surgical Missions
· Maternal and Child Health Services
The Ethiopian Diaspora and friends should rise together to meet the looming challenges of the day. We must reach out to help mitigate the critical healthcare and related socio-economic needs of our people. It is not an option, it is an absolute obligation. We must give back!
I ask you to embrace a deeper purpose: believe that all humankind is your brother and each man’s burden your own. Where poverty exists, all are poorer; where hatred flourishes, all are corrupted; and where injustice reigns, all are unequal. We must leave our individual and collective footprints positively in the sands of time.
So friends, I thank you for sharing in ENAHPA’s humanitarian mission, in helping mitigate preventable human tragedies and conditions and giving a “flicker of hope” to those less fortunate and the helpless, either through your philanthropy or talent or both. Many of you have much to be proud of as you have contributed to making ENAHPA the great, giving organization that it is today. You have set an example to be proud of. It is also important that we not forget our young and their many contributions. They are the men, women and the future of this great organization and will help to carry on its remarkable legacy. We must continue to set a good example for our young as we make a positive impact and make them realize how truly fulfilling it is to give back to those in need and also gain a true and deep understanding of ENAHPA’s motto: “Together we can make a difference”.
I am excited about the endless possibilities! To those that have supported ENAHPA’s mission, in whatever way, we are eternally grateful and deeply appreciate your continued support. Your monetary contribution, large or small, can be mailed to:
6632 Telegraph, Box 150
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
PayPal at ENAHPA’s Website – www.ENAHPA.org.
I am saddened to inform you of Medhane Gebreegziabhr’s unexpected death in August 2013. He was a true friend, loyal member, Chairperson of ENAHPA’s Orphan Outreach Ministry and Chief of ENAHPA’s logistics services and a generous individual. He will be truly missed! Our prayers and thoughts will be with Elizabeth, his wife, his three children and the entire extended family.
Finally, may your future be filled with hope, good health, happiness, prosperity and peace as we ring in the promise of a new year, 2014.
With Grateful Appreciation,
Ingida Asfaw, MD, FACS
ENAHPA Founder and President
ENAHPA Award Update (October 2013)
Dr. Ingida Asfaw, MD, FACS was presented with the prestigious American College of Surgeons/Pfizer 2013 Surgical Volunteerism Award for International Outreach on October 8, 2013 at the Annual American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Governors Dinner in Washington, D.C. This award recognizes ACS fellows who have dedicated a substantial portion of their career to ensuring the provision of surgical care to underserved populations and is sponsored by Pfizer and Operation Giving Back (OGB). Operation Giving Back was established by the ACS to recognize and encourage surgeons committed to humanitarian pursuits. Each year, OGB and the ACS Board of Governor’s Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup select outstanding individuals from a large group of nominees.
Dr. Asfaw was honored for his commitment to improving medical and surgical care in Ethiopia via the organization he founded—the Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA). He presented a well-received lecture on ENAHPA’s work during the American College of Surgeon’s 99th Annual Clinical Congress, which boasted an attendance of over 20,000 people this year.
Maternal Child Health Center Update (May 2013)
Kinfe Gebeyehu MD; MPH; FAAP, Emeritus Attending Pediatrician Department of Pediatrics Stroger Hospital of Cook Co., Chicago, Illinois; Chair of Maternal Child Health (MCH) committee, Founding Member, Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA), Senait Fisseha MD; JD; Associate Professor and Medical Director, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Michigan; and co-chair of ENAHPA MCH committee, Founding Member, ENAHPA, Haregua Getu, MD; Private Practice, Internal Medicine; Vice-President and Founding Member of ENAHPA; ex-officio Member ENAHPA MCH Committee , Ingida Asfaw MD; FACS, Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan; President and Chief Operating Officer of ENAHPA, Elizabeth Asfaw Ph.D., Adjunct Professor. Jones International Univ., Senior ENAHPA MCH committee member
Historical background, goals and objectives:
The Maternal Child Health (MCH) and Safe Mothering Center, a collaborative program of Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA), and Hawassa Bureau of Health Services, opened its door on February 18, 2011 to serve the city of Hawassa and its surrounding communities. Hawassa is a beautiful town of about 110,000 inhabitants within its city limits and is located by a lake whose name the town has also acquired. It is located about 175 KM south of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, in
the Southern Nations and nationalities region. The population in the immediate localities that fully or partly depend on the town is probably over 400,000.
ENAHPA is a voluntary non-profit organization established in 1999 in North America by the dedicated efforts of its President, Dr. Ingida Asfaw, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and by other committed founding members of Ethiopian origin. ENAHPA’s vision is voluntary outreach programs in Ethiopia in medicine, surgery, public health, HIV and caring for orphans. Resources are provided by member contributions, donations, fundraising drives, and grants from organizations, foundations and individuals. Transfer of knowledge, skills and technology to medical, nursing and allied health professionals in Ethiopia has remained one of ENAHPA’s strong missions ever since its establishment.
However, from its inception, ENAHPA saw maternal and child health care as a crucially urgent area to participate in. ENAHPA and the people of Ethiopia believed that much could be done to prevent and reduce maternal, neonatal and child deaths and illnesses in rural and urban communities. It was on this principle that a partnership was established between ENAHPA, Hawassa Health Bureau, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health. The goal was to build and equip a center, train the staff to run a prenatal and child health program which would include a maternal and neonatal unit where emergency obstetrical procedures and neonatal resuscitations and treatment could be rendered.
The Bureau of Hawassa Health Care Service assumed responsibilities to staff the center, maintain the building and its functions, and provide administrative leadership for day to day operation of the center. The Center was colorfully inaugurated on February 18, 2011 in the presence of the administrative leadership of the region, the then Minister of Health of Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, representatives of the executive board of ENAHPA, ENAHPA MCH committee members, community leaders and members of the Hawassa township.
ENAHPA is grateful to the numerous organizations, foundations, grantors and individual donors who contributed heavily towards the construction of the building and establishment of the Center that already, in just about two years, has started showing significant results.
Summary of activities and accomplishments:
In a collaborative program, all wheels of the agencies involved must be engaged and be fully functional. The professionals at Hawassa MCH services, in Obstetrics and gynecology, deliveries, prenatal, preventive care and planned parenthood whose successful efforts were constantly supported and acknowledged by the administrative and program directors as well as by ENAHPA should feel proud to have been at the helm of a program that has shown remarkable success and lots of promises.
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