An illustrious event. With fun on the side.
For This is what I went to Sierra Leone to do, to officially open the surgical wing at Mercy Hospital. I couldn't wait to get there and help with preparations. I finally got to meet many of the people in charge of UMC SLAC, and those who had participated in bringing this vision to life.
It was my honor to represent all of the Helping Children Worldwide partners and leaders who worked so hard, believed with such faith, and operated with such compassion. Of course, I had to put in a plug for the "next steps" work we're doing to raise up Sierra Leone.
For more photos, check out the HCW news story.
This is what I said:
Remarks of Melody Curtiss, Executive Director
Helping Children Worldwide
January 18, 2019
Dedication of Mercy Hospital Surgical Wing
Good morning, I am Melody Curtiss, Executive Director of Helping Children Worldwide. HCW has been a UMC Sierra Leone Annual Conference Partner for twenty years. We are blessed and honored to be included in this occasion. We are represented here today by myself and two others who are well known to most of you, my Financial Specialist, Cynthia Grant, the longest serving member of the HCW team, who has been part of this ministry since the birth of Mercy Hospital ten years ago, and Kim Nabieu, my Medical Programs Field Director, who has been living here in Bo and working with Mercy leadership for two years. Please stand and be recognized.
We are grateful to have been able to come alongside Bishop John K. Yambasu, DS Rev. Francis Charley, Health Coordinator Catherine Norman, Manager Jinnah Lahai, Doctor Sao Amara, Matron Augusta Kpanabaum and all the amazing medical and support staff at Mercy Hospital in this shared Christian ministry and desire of attending to the healthcare needs in Bo.
Eight months ago, I stood at the top of that ramp with Sister Catherine and the Bishop and looked out across this entire campus of the UMC Urban Centre, talking about a shared vision for this facility. We spoke of what was possible, and imagined this very day, with all of you here together to witness Mercy Hospital celebrating the opening of a new surgical wing, with trained surgical staff to perform complex medical procedures, and surgical deliveries of babies. It seemed a long road, but, with God’s help, we have arrived.
I am blessed to have the responsibility of helping to find resources to aid the mission of Mercy Hospital. I don’t do this alone. The Board Members of HCW are great leaders. My staff is amazing and we have a partnership of UMC churches and donors all across the United States to assist as well, including Ebenezer UMC in Virginia, who made a large bequest available for the construction project, and the Peterson Family Foundation, who sponsored the shipment of surgical supplies and equipment necessary for an operating theatre.
It takes more than money to do what Mercy Hospital has done here. Their leadership and dedication shows in every miracle they manifest. They are the very hands of God in their care for their patients. HCW also has a medical advisory group of talented doctors who work with Mercy’s medical team, and a relationship with the Medical University of South Carolina to support Mercy’s dedication to operating under the highest medical standards.
We have so much to celebrate here today. Look at this beautiful campus, every day, a new improvement. I can see them right now, and keep in my mind’s eye all the visions that Bishop, Sister Catherine and Manager Lahai shared with me. However, that day in April when we all imagined the future of Mercy Hospital together, we did not imagine that Mercy would have the advantages of working in so many collaborations with other hospitals and medical facilities in Bo, and I am delighted to have met so many of you during my visits to Bo. We did not imagine how the leadership of District Medical Officer Dr. Roland Carshon-Marsh would create new opportunities for collaboration and alignment with the government of Sierra Leone priorities. We also did not imagine that in our midst was a talented team of professionals who would engineer an Electronic Hospital Information System for Mercy Hospital, the first of its kind in all of Sierra Leone.
I would like to introduce to you the database designer, Joseph Lamin, to share with you the next future innovation for medicine in Sierra Leone, and for operations at Mercy Hospital.
I will leave you with Joseph and my sincere gratitude and delight in the miracle of Mercy Hospital. May God continue to bless our lives.