GlassHospital

Demystifying Medicine One Week at a Time

Peace In

So, I haven’t used this blog to shill products. Me, my writing, my ideas–sure.

Here’s an idea that’s so good I can’t resist passing it on:

Peace Care.

Remember the Peace Corps?  Started by JFK and now in its 50th year, thousands of Americans have volunteered for stints of two to three years in 139 different countries.

Arguably, there has been no greater dissemination of American know-how and values to the world than from our Peace Corps volunteers.  In an era of rampant anti-Americanism in the Muslim world, Peace Care is an idea that makes sense no matter where you find yourself on the political spectrum.

As the earthquake in Haiti has demonstrated, there is ample interest in people from all sectors who want to help people devastated by disaster.

But as I blogged about earlier, it’s difficult to sustain the energy to continue rebuilding after the rubble has been cleared and the bodies counted.

Peace Care is an idea dedicated to helping provide health care infrastructure in countries that are woefully short of health care providers.

It’s a triple-win: a win for the volunteers, a win for the peoples getting needed help, and a win for U.S. diplomacy.

There’s no finer example of great American work in the Muslim world than the story of the USNS Mercy, a floating hospital that helped injured Indonesians after the Xmas 2004 tsunami.

It’s believed that “on the street” positive opinion of America surged in the wake of the Mercy’s two month mission.

For my tax dollars, Peace Care would be a wise investment and something to be proud of.

4 Comments

  1. Sounds like a great idea. Can you speak a little more to how a state-sponsored org like that would be a good addition to the mix of orgs including Doctors Without Borders and the ICRC?

    • glasshospital

      March 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      MSF and ICRC are volunteer organizations that take professionals on stints of six weeks or more. Peace Care, as proposed, would take folks and pay them a living wage (like Peace Corps) for longer stints of say, 6 months-2 years. Peace Care would use Peace Corps infrastructure to recruit, place, and support people.

  2. Great job with the site. So prolific!

    Peace Care is an excellent idea. Tying in medical education would be a good source of young, bright-eyed physicians. Debt relief for newly finishing residents for one. Even better would be ACGME waving a year or 6 months of residency training at one’s home institution for equivalent amount of time of service with Peace Care.

  3. Actually, Peace Care would partner US institutions with Peace Corps Volunteers for smaller projects lasting 2-4 weeks. These would be health care training projects that would impart skills and knowledge in order to make a sustainable impact. The difference between this and organizations like MSF and ICRC is that doctors would not be primarily working clinically abroad, rather they would be training locals for specific projects that are generated after a community needs assessment facilitated by the Peace Corps volunteers. This would allow your average doctor or other healthcare providers to volunteer in a reasonable timeframe as most people cannot commit to the typical 6mo-one year that MSF or ICRC requires. Also, Peace Care is actually in the process of getting 501c3 nonprofit status, so it is not state-sponsored. Thanks for blogging about Peace Care – I’m part of the working group building this organization that is trying to get the word out!

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