This project was started in early 2007 by retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Robert Etherson, an American combat veteran of the Vietnam War and fellow veteran Dermot McGrath, after their successful M.I.A. mission to Dak To in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam in October 2006.
Prior to returning to Long Island, where Col. Etherson is a Critical Care Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the North Lindenhurst Fire Department’s Ambulance Rescue Unit, they visited Viet Duc University Hospital, which is the center for all surgical operations performed in Hanoi. They were aware of the critical shortage of modern medical equipment at the hospital and wanted to see if there was something they could do to help alleviate the problem.
Col. Etherson and Mr. McGrath were extremely impressed by the dedication of the Viet Duc staff and immediately upon their return to the U.S., began the process of acquiring the much needed medical equipment from hospitals, medical companies and other donors in the New York metropolitan area. They are working with Rotary International to help with the shipment of the donated equipment to the Viet Duc hospital.
The mission of the project is to provide Viet Duc hospital with state-of-the-art medical equipment to better serve its patients, and to find short term, temporary, intensive specialty training positions in American hospitals for Viet Duc’s bright young physicians, which will increase their knowledge and skills for application upon their return home. In addition, this project will provide a better understanding of the diverse cultures of our two countries and help draw us closer together in the future.
The project coordinators have reached an agreement with Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip to invite two doctors from Viet Duc for a two month observation and study program in summer, 2008. The Lindenhurst Rotary Club will be raising money through fundraisers which will be used to assist the doctors with room and board expenses during their stay on Long Island. The visiting doctors will be observing procedures at Good Samaritan’s highly acclaimed EMS/EMT department that responds to traffic accidents.
Last year in Vietnam, more than 12,000 people were killed in traffic accidents alone. Many died due to serious trauma injuries or because they did not receive proper first aid due to the critical shortage of trained EMS personnel and vehicles to bring them to the nearest hospital. Viet Duc Hospital and members of the Vietnam government are very concerned about this growing trend. Once the doctors complete their observation at Good Samaritan, they will return to Viet Duc University Hospital to implement a similar EMS/EMT system in the greater Hanoi area.
The project coordinators have been receiving an increasing amount of critically needed donated medical equipment which they plan on shipping to Viet Duc University Hospital as soon as they can find a company or organization to assist them. The Viet Duc University Hospital Humanitarian Project can be contacted via email at email@example.com
Veterans Initiative of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
The Veterans Initiative is an historic effort which brings former enemies together in an attempt to resolve the issue of those on both sides of the conflict who still remain missing from the war.
Friends of the Central Highlands, Vietnam, Inc.
The FoCHVN is of the belief that through education there is hope for a better future.
Hear Lt. Col. Robert Etherson (ret.) & Dermot McGrath talk about their experiences in Vietnam then & now.
Vietnam Then & Now
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