Pediatric urology is a medical specialty that is uncommon in the United States and even rarer in other countries. Conditions caught early in the states and fixed when a child is still a baby can go unresolved in places like Palestine. IVUmed is dedicated to bringing much needed care to youngsters and to teaching these necessary surgical skills to physicians and medical personnel in developing countries. Because of the travel restrictions in place in Palestine, the work done by the organization takes on an even greater importance. Physicians cannot travel to conferences or for training; parents cannot bring their children to hospitals outside their towns. Over the course of the IVUmed clinic, surgeons evaluate, schedule and operate on as many children as they can. At the same time, they work with local hospital employees, including physicians, anesthesia nurses, OR staff and ward nurses to ensure that the work can continue after they leave. Two IVUmed doctors and 3 nurses have a huge impact in a week; that impact continues as local doctors continue the teaching to their peers.
I made a conscious decision early in my photographic career to work in the nonprofit sector. I believe that these organizations change lives; person by person, those in the field make an impact that we all should pay attention to. By photographing this work, I can play a small part in this change. I see it all over- a parent’s joy in seeing a child’s medical problem finally resolved, a recovery room nurse tending to patients she can’t really speak with, doctors who come time and time again on their own dimes because they love the work and the teaching and the people. It is amazing to see; lucky me, I get to be a part of it with my camera.
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IVUmed (International Volunteers in Urology)