The project that we started in Bonni’s honor in Phnom Pehn is moving along nicely, if slowly (but such is Cambodian time in many ways). With Sihanouk hospital we have continued to identify staffing and move forward with training. Our local physician, Dr. Nara, has proven to be outstanding and the hospital administration represented by Ellen Maring have been pushing hard to get the program moving. We now have a dedicated clinic space with the necessary equipment. A friend and Dartmouth colleague, Dr. Kathryn Duevel, spent 2 weeks in June in Cambodia to initiate some specific training and start the screening and education process with the first group of patients. While we still face some administrative, training and staffing hurdles, I am confident these will be overcome in the next several months and our program will move ahead as a model for the country.
A very positive part of this project for me personally has been the opportunity to speak and interact with the cervical cancer healthcare network worldwide. I have spoken with doctors and administrators in Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, as well as many in the US. They have all been extraordinarily generous with their time, helpful, and display a rare passion for their cause.
We are now waiting for a final approval for our study protocol from the Cambodia ethics board. I am continuing to recruit doctors to visit Cambodia to help develop and mentor the program. I hope to return there in the late fall myself and have just sent a second grant from the Bonni Curran Philanthropic Fund to help with the next phase. Finally the hospital just received a grant from a private US foundation that will help with recruiting an analyst who can help with some of our data. All good.
Thank you all again for your support. Peter