PAACS: Celebrate! Friday, we received word that 100% of our eligible PAACS trainees had passed the two College of Surgery of East, Central and Southern Africa exams! This is the first time ever and we are very proud of their effort. They will have their oral exams in Blantyre, Malawi on November 30 and December 1. Generally, the two levels of exams are given at the end of the 2nd year and the end of the 5th year.
For Micky and me, this last month has been a tedious but productive administrative month. Micky was swamped by the end of the fiscal year financial reports and the work involved in getting all the cost centers and accounting codes transferred to the computer system in Bristol, TN at the headquarters of the Christian Medical and Dental Association. She and I have also worked on getting cost-allocation reports done for three of the biggest and oldest programs in Gabon, Kenya and Cameroon. She has easily been putting in 40 or more hours each week on this part-time 19 hours per week job. She is such a blessing to me, to PAACS and to the CMDA-CMDE – totally unheralded at times and underappreciated by most but vitally important to all three ministries. I shall blow her horn for her.
In addition to that, I have been helping my administrative assistant with getting everything ready on the 70-plus applications for the PAACS Program (the next selection days are in October), writing some basic science exams to be used for entry exams next year and attending to the thousand day-to-day details that my job entails. I too have put in full-time hours at my “part-time” job. I must confess that I am eager to get back overseas and to leave this administrative part in the hands of the new Chief Medical Officer, whoever that may be.
Friday, I reviewed the rough draft of a new PAACS video. I am looking forward to being able to share the polished piece. It is good and does a great job of showing the heart of PAACS and its people. We will share it with you as soon as we get the finished versions.
S3 Ministries: In the last The SteffeScope, we mentioned the need in our hospital in Niger for a set of specialized instruments to remove foreign bodies in the windpipes and swallowing tubes of children. The company was good enough to give us the same generous discount as last year and the present USD to Euro exchange range made it actually cheaper. We have ordered it – we are now hoping that enough people will partner with us to pay for it!
Surgeons are always carping about the lack of light – and in Africa, the poor overhead lights and the intermittent loss of power makes it more of a problem. When we were last in Ethiopia, Bob Greene showed us an amazing LED headlight that is battery operated with enough light and power to do surgery. Plug-in or battery-powered quality lights for surgery are easily somewhere between $500 and $1500. We have been providing many of our faculty members with these for only $90 apiece (and occasionally, we get them cheaper).
Thanks also to the generosity of a donor, we were able to send a new set of pediatric surgery instruments to the new pediatric surgery program at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya. We also sent out a few hundred refurbished instruments this month that were requested – retail prices of those refurbished instruments totaled tens of thousands of dollars.
Sean: Sean is doing very well in school with straight A’s on his interim evaluation. Ninth grade is much busier with papers and projects. We also built another project for a Christmas present. He is all measured for his tux and eager to participate as a groomsman in his brother’s wedding later in the month.
We have a busy remainder of the year as we also prepare for the first trip to Egypt, Cameroon and Niger in January and February.
- October 8-11 – Prescription for Renewal Conference at The Cove, Asheville, NC
- October 17-31 – Bruce’s Mother, Ardith, visiting NC.
- October 19-28 – Michelle and Joey Aucoin (and grandchild Auggie!) visiting NC
- October 24 – Ryan’s wedding to Christine (Chrissy) Liphardt
- October 26-27 – Teaching Advanced Trauma Life Support at Eastern Carolina University
- November 5-7 – Global Missions Health Conference, Louisville, KY
- November 13-14 – PAACS Commission Meeting, Chicago, IL
- November 18 – December 6, Visit to Malawi to include the PAACS Program at Malamulo SDA Hospital, the COSECSA exams and meeting and the G4 Alliance Board Meeting.
Praise and Prayer:
- Pray with me that the funds needed for the scopes and other instruments will come in.
- Pray that God’s choice for the PAACS Chief Medical Officer will be clearly evident.
- Pray for Ryan’s new marriage, for Bethany as she finishes college on-line and for travel safety for all this month.