American Society of Hematology

Health Volunteers Overseas

Together with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving global health through education, ASH brings invaluable consultation and training to hospitals in the developing world. Training provided by ASH members includes rounds in the clinics, bedside consultations, classroom lectures to on-site staff and trainees, training in laboratories, and more. The objective of the program is to develop sustainable improvement in the management of hematology patients at these institutions and to, ultimately, enhance patient care.

Each program site has an ASH member program director and on-site coordinators who oversee volunteer visits at the institutions and provide feedback on the institutions' evolving needs and goals. ASH and HVO consultants also work with on-site hematologists, laboratory scientists, blood bankers, faculty, administrators, and others to formulate mid- and long-term goals for each site and to create profiles for volunteer hematologists who can help fulfill these needs.

ASH and HVO are looking for pediatric or adult hematology/oncology clinicians, laboratory scientists, and academicians for volunteer opportunities, with assignments spanning from one to four weeks.

How to Apply

To be considered, applicants must be members of both ASH and HVO. Volunteers from outside the United States are encouraged to apply.

For more information on the sites and to learn about becoming a volunteer, complete the online form or contact:

Elysabeth Stuehrmann
HVO Volunteer Coordinator
e.stuehrmann@hvousa.org

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Program Sites

Peru

Peru

Management of a large cohort of patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a high priority for the volunteer sites in Arequipa, Peru. The Catholic University of Santa Maria and affiliated Carlos Alberto Seguin Escobedo Hospital enthusiastically receive ASH volunteers to help address this disease burden, as well as other lymphomas and aplastic anemia.

Volunteers are needed for short-term assignments to provide didactic instruction, training and consultations in the clinics, laboratories, and blood bank, mentorship, and assistance with the preparation of teaching materials.

Current needs and goals at this site include:

  • Adult and pediatric patient management for ALL
  • Performance and interpretation of smear and bone marrow aspirates
  • Development of assessment processes for hematology students, residents, and clinicians
  • Development of protocols and treatment guidelines for blood banking and transfusion medicine
  • Development of protocols and treatment guidelines for non-malignant and malignant hematology

In addition, training in the interpretation of blood smears and bone marrow aspirates, flow cytometry, blood banking, and hematopathology is highly desired.

Tanzania

Tanzanian flag

Hematopathologists are particularly desired at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam, which is currently experiencing a great need for training in smear review and interpretation of morphology in both peripheral smears and bone marrow aspirates. Sickle cell experts, laboratory scientists, and blood banking and transfusion medicine volunteers are also desired at this site.

Six hematologists work diligently at MNH to manage a large population of hematology patients, but the expertise of ASH members can make an indelible impact toward progress in the clinics, laboratory, on-site blood bank, and classrooms. The hospital is affiliated with the adjacent Muhimbili University for Health and Allied Sciences, where volunteers are also asked to provide lectures to supplement the hematology curriculum.

Uganda

Ugandan flag

This program seeks to improve hematology training for clinicians, laboratory technicians, technologists, and students at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, which is affiliated with Makerere University. Volunteers provide training in diagnosis, bone marrow and blood smear interpretations, pediatric and adult hematology, and hematologic oncology. The program also works to provide an interface between the laboratory staff and the clinical staff in the interpretation and diagnosis of blood-related illnesses.

Volunteers should have a current medical license and be board-certified/eligible in hematology and/or oncology. Previous international travel and/or work experience is preferred. Assignments are from two to four weeks.

Current needs and goals at this site include:

  • Performance and interpretation of smear and bone marrow aspirates
  • Delivery of standard hematological workups
  • Teaching of techniques (bone marrow biopsy)
  • Performance and interpretation of smears and staining

Cambodia

Cambodian flag

At Ankor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, hematology volunteers with expertise in clinical laboratory hematology assist in optimizing the functioning of the laboratory, using a systems-based approach. Pediatric hematologists/oncologists provide lectures on benign hematology and pediatric oncology to trainee physicians and help staff implement treatment for patients with leukemia.

Volunteers are needed at specific times to provide training as part of the hematology module offered to pediatric residents. Assignments range two to four weeks.

Current needs and goals at this site include:

  • Diagnosis and management of ALL
  • Smear interpretation
  • Develop trigger values for low counts (high prevalence of aplastic anemia)
  • Limited bedside training with in-patient department, in-patient rounds on specific presentations

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