Doylestown Hospital extended its global outreach and humanitarian efforts to Hôpital GénéralIdrissa Pouye and Centre de Santé Aristide Mensah, both located in Dakar, Senegal, Africa with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The signing of the MOU on April 26, by leadership of Doylestown Health and a delegation from Senega, represents the next phase of growth in a years-long partnership between Dr. Albert Ruenes, Jr., Doylestown Health Urology, and Senegalese colleagues. The MOU establishes clinical cooperation and support between the medical centers and Doylestown Hospital and will support the training and exchange of clinical information and skills between physicians and other clinicians, among other educational priorities.
In 2004, Ruenes established ASSISTS (America-Senegal Surgical Initiative, Surgeons Teaching Surgeons), a nonprofit organization that provides African surgeons training and support to help eliminate suffering from medical conditions endemic to West Africa. The collaboration involves American and West African surgeons working together in Senegal to incorporate contemporary surgical techniques and improve the facilities in which these services are delivered.
“I’ve explored both the challenges and great rewards of delivering health care to rural indigent populations,” Ruenes said. “It is not only the patients and small communities who benefit but also the clinicians delivering the care. Humanitarian work teaches empathy, humility, and reinforces the fundamental ethical standards we commit to when taking the Hippocratic Oath. Over the years, it’s been my honor to be welcomed with such warm hospitality by my Senegalese partners, and I’m delighted that I could introduce them to my colleagues at Doylestown Hospital this week. It’s been a wonderful experience for all of us.”
The signing of the MOU was the culmination of a series of events this week titled, Caring Across Continents: A Celebration of Medicine, highlighting and celebrating Senegalese partners and the global humanitarian efforts of clinicians and employees across Doylestown Health.
A poster session, free and open to the public, was held at Pearl S. Buck Estate on April 25, and showcased the global reach of physicians, nurses and associates of Doylestown Health through their medical mission work in Eswatini, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Belize, Peru, Mexico and Senegal.
A dinner and speaking program followed. Dr. Scott Levy, vice president and chief medical Officer of Doylestown Health, paid tribute to the work of ASSISTS, and shared, “If anything personifies the work of a humanitarian, it is the work that Dr. Ruenes is doing, and we are very grateful.”
Ruenes and colleague Dr. Kurt McCammon presented Dr. Serigne Magueye Gueye with the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year award. Gueye was joined by his physician colleagues, and associates from Centre de Santé Aristide Mensah in Yeumbeul, Dakar, Senegal.
Although separated by thousands of miles on different continents, Ruenes spoke of the connections between the work of Doylestown Health and the Centre de Santé Aristide Mensah in Senegal,
“This labor of love, this collaborative work that has so fulfilled me, reminds me of when, in 1923, a group of women called the Village Improvement Association founded Doylestown Hospital to improve the health in their community. This expansion project to growing from a community clinic in Senegal to a small community hospital … this is our Village Improvement project,” he said. ‘
During the evening’s program, Kyle Melander, district director from the office of U.S. Brian Fitzpatrick, presented Congressional citations on behalf of the United States House of Representatives in honor of the occasion. Proceeds from the dinner support the Doylestown Health Foundation Global Relief Fund and directly benefit the work of ASSISTS.
To learn more or contribute, visit https://dh100.org/assists/.