AMN Healthcare Team Esperanza Guatemala Mission


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Company: AMN Healthcare Services, Inc.
Company Description: Managing your workforce effectively is crucial to your organization's success. Our comprehensive Workforce Solutions include executable Managed Services Program (MSP), Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Consulting Services that enable facilities to successfully reduce complexity, increase efficiency, and improve patient outcomes.
Nomination Category: Communications & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Community Relations

Nomination Title: AMN Healthcare Team Esperanza Guatemala Mission

In up to 525 words, tell the judges about the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date:

Every day, as part of its overall mission and vision, AMN Healthcare endeavors to attract, develop and deliver the most comprehensive talent pool of healthcare professionals to its clients so they may provide consistently excellent patient care. In June 2015, AMN brought that vision to its annual medical mission in Guatemala, gathering a team of volunteers, including CEO Susan Salka, to bring medical care to the citizens of the mountain community of Huehuetenango.

The statistics for the annual mission, part of HELPS International’s Team Esperanza, are nothing short of amazing. Clinical volunteers created a temporary acute care hospital and then took part in 112 surgeries and 1,178 patient visits. Corporate volunteers helped install 76 safety stoves for impoverished families. These totals are remarkable, but they just begin to tell the story.

AMN volunteers of Team Esperanza arrived in Guatemala City loaded with medical supplies, equipment and pharmaceuticals that were taken to Huehuetenango, where an unused health facility would be used as the Team Esperanza acute care hospital for one week. Volunteers assembled two operating rooms, pediatric clinic, dental clinic, pre- and post-op rooms, pharmacy and a laboratory. Team Esperanza included five surgeons, five anesthesiologists, five primary care physicians, two pediatricians, 10 floor nurses, three OR nurses and four scrub techs, along with medical students and translators and myriad other volunteers.

Heavy storms drenched the facility the second half of the week. Lights flickered and power failed many times daily. Generators kicked in to ensure that anesthesia, heart monitors and other essential equipment continued running. In the OR, flashlights served when the lights went out. During one surgery, power went out six times.

The most common surgeries were hysterectomies, hernias, tear duct blockage, tumor removal and eye surgery. Hysterectomies are a common procedure for Guatemalan women who bear many children in their lifetimes, and for whom malnutrition and lack of medical care can cause damage to uterus and fallopian tubes. Hernia surgery is prevalent; young and old men carry huge loads of wood on their backs from the mountains to their homes.

Part of the team traveled to nearby Chiantla, and set up a makeshift clinic where doctors treated headaches, acid reflux, vision problems, tooth decay, vaginal infections, hearing loss, and joint pain. More serious cases were referred to the hospital -- anemia, kidney failure, eye infection and bronchitis.

The stoves installed by AMN volunteers help prevent some of these maladies. The safety stoves use 70 percent less wood than an open fire, which means 70 percent less wood that families need to carry on their backs out of the forest. In most homes, the rafters and ceilings are encrusted many inches thick with soot. Until the safety stoves were installed, families had been breathing that for years.

So many Guatemalan men, women and children would never receive medical treatment if not for this mission. In a small but effective way, AMN volunteers changed the lives of more than a thousand people. The medical care made an immediate difference in people’s lives, while the safety stoves made a long-range, significant improvement.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 125 words):

Susan Salka is CEO, president and director of AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. Under her leadership, AMN has become the leading innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and the largest and most diversified healthcare staffing company in the nation. Susan has been the driving force behind AMN’s strategic and operational success since joining the company.

In 2008, Susan was named San Diego’s Most Admired Public Company CEO. She received the Exemplary Award at San Diego Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Awards and was San Diego Magazine’s 2012 Woman of the Year. She received the Monty Award for accomplished alumni by San Diego State University. She was recognized as 2014’s Director of the Year for Corporate Citizenship by the Corporate Directors Forum.