update from the Main Health Office, Bogo City, Philippines
The Bogo City Health Office has limited funds for the purchase of Ferrous Sulfate tablets. If there are supplies available, the pregnant women are the top priority, however, the availability of the iron vitamins is not sustained so there are times that those pregnant women have to buy the Ferrous Sulfate tablets on their own. Unfortunately, most of the pregnant women seeking prenatal care in our health centers are not financially capable and most of them stop taking iron vitamins during their pregnancy.
Upon the receipt of the donated bottles of Ferrous Sulfate tablets from RMF and International Relief and Development, there is continuous supply of the iron vitamins to all our pregnant women starting from the 1st trimester of their pregnancy until their lactating period.
THANK YOU to RMF/IRD, ANEMIA is being prevented in our locality.
Below are some of the pictures taken during the distribution of Ferrous Sulfate tablets to the pregnant women during their prenatal visits.
October 21st 2011, I had the privilege of going undercover as a waitress at the highly publicized and anticipated Dionicess IX, a culinary extravaganza which has been appearing on the LA scene for the past 3 years, with all proceeds benefitting charity.
Gev Kazanchyan,a member of the Real Medicine Advisory Board and creator of these events was introduced to Real Medicine 3 years ago through our Armenian Project Director, Nairy Ghazourian. This introduction would lead to a series of pairings over the next 3 years benefitting our project in Shinuhayr, Armenia. From Dionicess II (which paired Coffee & Chocolate) to Dionicess VI (which paired Beer, Sausage & Fries) all have had rave reviews and have brought much needed awareness and support to our Armenian Projects.
This year’s event teamed up Gev with Dave Waltrous (Beachwood BBQ & Brewing) , Randy Clemens and Matt Biancaniello featuring “Beer & Booze” with an assortment of vegetarian dishes to compliment each.
The event was held at the Steingarten LA, which gives you a feeling of times past. Dark woods, a beautiful patio area and an atmosphere of sophistication, were the perfect setting for what we were about to experience. Their extensive menu was hard to pass up, and I enjoyed an absolutely exquisite Wild Boar & Berry Sausage with owner Abraham Berookhim between seatings.
Matt Biancaniello (voted LA’s top bartender 2010) was hard at work preparing the garnishes for the cocktails. There was fresh verbena that had been hand picked at 2am, pumpkin infusions, and a rare Belgian elderberry liqueur thathad never seen American soil. International shipping had caused quite a predicament as the precious nectar-of-the-gods had only arrived 2 days prior to the event!
Author and Chef Randy Clemen’s tantalizing vegetarian dishes included items such as the “Taquit-Ohhh Yeah”, a fabulous “Risotto Pop” and myfavorite, “the Hop and the Hound” which had a had a kick stronger than a mule! Randy’s “Sriracha Cookbook” is
available through Amazon.com and his recipes do deliver a punch! If you like it spicy, this is definitely the crème de la crème of cookbooks!
Having not waitressed since college (we won’t say how long ago that was!), I was a bit nervous-but with the assistance of Dr. Susan Jarakian & Armenian Country Director Nairy Ghazourian we were well prepared for the days journey. The 1st seating’s attendees consisted of a host of press from a variety of culinary publications, some local and some from as far as Wisconsin. The 2nd seating was primarily comprised of Gev’s cult following, this being his 9th highly anticipated event which each year sells out within days of its announcement.
This year’s event raised over $1,400 for our project in Shinuhayr ,Armenia which supports 8,000 people from surrounding villages and is the only access to medical care in the region. Last year, we were able to provide food and clothing to sustain families through the brutal winter months as well as providing the region with an ambulance equipped with emergency supplies.
A huge Real Medicine thank you to all that helped to put on this year’s event! To read more about Dionicess IX please go to:
This past weekend, Real Medicine Foundation & the Florence Western Medical Center hosted their first “Back to School” Event, providing more than 60 children and families with brand new backpacks filled with school supplies.
Recognizing the needs of this community has not been the challenge; the challenge has been how to encourage the community to show up for the services available to them. Free health and fitness programs for adults and children are offered at the center by Real Medicine, yet often we find a low attendance due to lack of access to information, transportation and health issues. While we have worked diligently to encourage the patients with incentives to attend these programs, at times it can be frustrating. Many charities in Los Angeles share this dilemma.
So the question becomes how can we bring about awareness of our programming in an area where the digital age has fallen behind? Phone numbers on sign-up sheets are often disconnected the following month. Most patients do not have home computers, making emails a futile effort. How can we meet the needs of the community and bring forth something that they will show up for, while giving them access to information about the center’s services and our programming?
The thought came to me that a “Back to School” event just might be the perfect solution. Given that our annual children’s holiday party has grown steadily these past few years, I wondered if we were to add an additional annual event, one that would prepare the children for the upcoming school year with a sturdy, brand new backpack if we would not have a good response from the community. A backpack filled with school supplies that once upon a time were provided by the school systems. A backpack that would free the parents from the financial stress associated with back to school (and as most families have several children these stressors can be extremely hardening on the family as a whole); a backpack that would produce excitement in the child about returning to school.
Dr. Kevin Thomas and I discussed the idea and we proceeded to move forward. Now the real challenges would begin! I contacted company after company to see about the possibility of donated or discounted backpacks for the event. Time and time again I received the same automated response that – “due to the overwhelming number of requests each year, unfortunately at this time they would be unable to help us”. I then turned to the internet and in search of ideas for discounted backpacks. Sure, I could go to downtown LA and get backpacks for cheap, but I was determined to give the children something they could be proud of, something that would last. Every parent knows that the backpack is just about the most important accessory in a child’s life (other than tennis shoes, which will be next year’s event goal!).
I presented my woes to Dr. Martina Fuchs, CEO and founder of Real Medicine who offered to delegate $1,000 from a recent event’s proceeds, and I asked that the remaining funds raised from my 2011 “Athletes for Real Medicine” LA Marathon 5k also be applied toward the budget. I searched high and low and finally found the source of our backpacks; Wal-Mart. They not only offered fabulous backpacks that fit the budget, but had the best pricing on the school supplies we needed to fill them!
In a collaborated effort, in the final week we were able to fill the backpacks and secure even more, as we had a waitlist of 21 children looking to attend the event on top of the 60 already confirmed.
Mary Miller returned to Northrop Grumman countless times for items such as pens, reusable water bottles and science books. Florence Western contacted their partners and the Office of Councilman Bernard Parks for support; I reached out to friends and family with pleas on Facebook & a Causes “birthday wish”. The response from all was overwhelming and as the supplies began to trickle in, I found myself quite emotional. Monday morning I had 56 backpacks and a long list of supplies needed, we had some but where short on what we needed to complete each backpack. By Monday afternoon I had personally raised enough funds to purchase cases of notebooks, glue sticks, pencil boxes, colored pencils and 4 additional backpacks. When I returned home, I found that a friend had placed 5 cases of water from Costco inside my gate, which brought me to tears.
Tuesday morning, Mara Leng, the office manager from Florence Western Medical Center, called to say that they had secured 30 additional backpacks and several boxes of supplies from their Health Net representative, which allowed me to phone the remaining families on the waitlist and confirm their children for the event. One mother expressed tears of joy that her son would be able to attend and receive a backpack, which was a stark reminder of just how great the need for this type of event was and an affirmation of why I love my job so much. Wednesday, Real Medicine Team Armenia member Nairy Ghazourian introduced us to Amy Sheyer and Diane Baxter, Health Net executives who offered to provide all of the food for the event, which was a huge weight off our shoulders! Chip Matthews from FWMC then informed me that several LAPD cadets would be available to assist with the event (also very welcomed news!!). Thursday morning Nichole Stephenson a RMF volunteer and I began filling the 80 pencil boxes (I couldn’t help but be reminded of the “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy and Ethel were on the factory line at the chocolate factory) we figured out what we were short and it was one last trip to Wal-Mart, 60lbs of red apples from Costco c/o Health Net to supplement the granola bars they were providing, and my all time favorite, the 99cent store for 60 water bottles. My apologies to the cashiers and to anyone that found themselves in line behind me this past week! Friday morning the city of LA dropped off 10 tables and 75 chairs (this is a free service for community events, a huge thank you to the office of Bernard Parks!) We completed the backpacks, did a walk through, called volunteers and printed flyers about the Saturday children’s outreach program and sign-up sheets. I didn’t know if I would ever sleep again..
At 8:30am on Saturday, setup began. A host of RMF volunteers along with Dr. Kevin Thomas’s sister and niece began the process of preparing the stage – the large parking lot area in the back of the clinic. Everyone pitched in and to our delight we were completely prepared to meet the 60+ children that were due to arrive at 10am. Once the children were checked in, they began working on banners for the clinic and for the upcoming “Mobility Event” the following weekend. The children were then led in a large group exercise routine by our very own Roz Baker, I peeked around the corner and a huge smile crossed my face as I watched these children in a large circle working together.
At this point, Councilman Bernard Parks, former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and now representing the 8th District in South Los Angeles, made an appearance, much to everyone’s excitement. His tireless efforts and compassion towards the families of South Los Angeles have made him a pillar within the community. Snacks and much needed hydration were handed out to the children followed by the grand finale: Backpacks!! We lined up the little ones first, managed to avoid any mob scenes and successfully handed out all of the backpacks (along with shirts and other goodies that Mary Miller had received last minute) and the children proceeded to personalize their brand new backpack with a rainbow of fabric pens.
Parents expressed their gratitude and filled the Saturday Children’s Program sign-up sheet (much to my delight!). The children’s thanks came with hugs as we watched them head out the gate with their backpacks in tow.
We all sat back and relished in the day’s events, there had been not a single glitch and only one scraped knee (which Dr. Kevin Thomas saw to personally). Cadets and volunteers enjoyed much deserved sandwiches and discussed the marvels of the day. We had all come together for a common cause, and the day could not have been more perfect. I thank all of those who came out to support, who donated funds, supplies and most of all helped create our First Annual Back to School Event which will now be a part of our services for years to come.
As we get ready to dive into a new year of challenges we want to pause and take a moment to celebrate all that we have accomplished. All of you have helped us achieve so much, and we give our deep thanks to everyone for their support!
In 2010 we…
We are now reaching over 6 million people in 15 countries across 4 continents.
We have treated hundreds of thousands of patients at our permanent and mobile health clinics in Africa, Asia, and the Americas
In India, Real Medicine Foundation surveyed over 37,000 families and 56,000 children across 500 villages for our Malnutrition Eradication Program with 38,000 counseling sessions held and over 6,000 cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition diagnosed.
In South Sudan, we initiated the First Ever Accredited Nursing and Midwifery College; the first class of 40 students is in full swing.
In Pakistan, we have been peacefully holding the Taliban at bay by providing access to healthcare for 150,000 in the KPK region.
Also in Pakistan, we have treated over 20,000 Flood Victims at our Free Medical Camps.
In Haiti, post earthquake, more than 200 patients were treated per day at our Primary Healthcare Clinic in Port-au-Prince and over $600,000 in medicines and supplies were delivered.
Our free clinic in Haiti provides public access to 24-hour emergency and general healthcare to a community that is home to more than 100,000 displaced persons living in tents.
In the drought regions of Turkana, Kenya, we gave food and water to thousands and provide medical support to a community of 30,000.
In Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Uganda, more than 1,000 longer term care patients are cared for.
Across Africa and Asia, we support school fees for almost 1,500 children.
We are so grateful to all our followers, supporters and staff and wish everyone a fantastic 2011!
If you were considering donating to a worthy cause in 2010 and taking advantage of the tax benefits of charitable donations, now is your last chance to contribute!
As we look towards new efforts and projects in 2011 it is only through your generous funding that we will be able to continue our long term development projects in some of the poorest areas on this planet.
As you know, we have set the goal of raising $100,000 by December 31st, and would greatly appreciate if you consider Real Medicine for your year-end donation.
In the spirit of Real Medicine Foundation’s concept of “Friends helping Friends helping Friends” so much is possible when we do it together.
From all of us here at Real Medicine: Thank you for your support!
We are very proud to announce that Real Medicine Foundation has received a grant from the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund for our disaster relief efforts in response to the flooding in Pakistan.
Through the Tides Foundation, Google’s charitable fund manager, we received $25,000 directed towards the immediate funding of our medical camps treating the flood affected across Pakistan. We have so far held two of these medical outreach camps and have already treated thousands of patients. With this new funding we will be able to significantly increase the number of victims treated.
Thank you so much to the teams at Google, Google Pakistan, and the Tides Foundation for helping us help our friends in Pakistan!
Founded in 1976 by Drummond Pike, Tides Foundation’s mission is to partner with donors to increase and organize resources for positive social change. Tides believes that healthy societies rely fundamentally on respect for human rights, the vitality of communities, and a celebration of diversity. Tides Foundation offers donor advised funds and other grant making vehicles as well as professional philanthropic advice, institutional regranting services, comprehensive grants management and much more. It also creates opportunities for learning and builds community among donors and grantees committed to fairness, equality and the sustainability of this world.
Our biggest thanks usually come from the people we help in the field, but sometimes they also come from our donors, which is always pleasure to see. The letter we are sharing below was just sent from an Pakistani-American, Dr. Zeba Vanek, to our founder, Dr. Martina Fuchs, thanking her and RMF for all our efforts in Pakistan since 2007 and specifically for our current Flood Relief campaign. Zeba also used her own network in the US to raise funds for the flood relief campaign and continue to be a great advocate for our cause.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I wanted to respond to your email in which YOU have thanked ME! I find that quite incredulous!
I am an American of Pakistani descent. I am 50 years old and moved to the USA at the age of 32. I consider myself one of the most privileged persons in the world. Most of the blessings that have come my way, I feel have I received from Pakistan. These include my mother, my husband, an opportunity to get a good education, great friends and family, all the necessities of living like food on the table, a good roof on my head, access to healthcare, civil liberties and in short everything that a human being needs to thrive and live a life of freedom, dignity and happiness in this world. What I got from Pakistan during the earlier years of my life, equipped me with the abilities to become one of the most privileged and blessed immigrants to the USA!
And so my friend, and I truly consider you to be my friend, besides everything else that I think you are………it is not you or the other people who work with you, to serve humanity with utter selflessness and integrity, who should be thanking me……the people who live in Pakistan today or who live abroad as immigrants in other countries……need to thank YOU, with all our earnestness and sincerity, for what you have done and are doing for our nation. THANK YOU!….. and may God bless you in every possible way for all the good that you do. I pray that we, of Pakistani descent, also show people of other nations, the same courtesies they have shown us.
Good news….. People have sent about $3000/ – more in checks since we last communicated and Sarah…..I’m very hopeful that people will be very generous during this very difficult time for Pakistan.
With best wishes,
Dr. Zeba Fatima Vanek
Neurologist, Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology, UCLA
If you are interested in donating to the Flood Relief Campaign or any of our other efforts, please visit our website or click on the Donate button below.
We’d like to give thanks to Carly Shankman for holding a succesful fundraiser in San Diego for the Malnutrition Inititiative in India. Here is the blog she’s written about the fundraiser and her upcoming volunteer trip to India with RMF
By Guest Blogger, Carly Shankman
I was introduced to the Real Medicine Foundation through Michael Matheke (RMF India Programs Coordinator) about 4 months ago. It was at that time I decided to leave my life in San Diego and take the journey of a lifetime backpacking through India. Even greater than my desire to travel and learn for my own personal growth, I wanted to contribute to the people and communities of India. My passion in life is to see, do, explore, meet, live, love, appreciate and experience everything I come across on my journey. I believe in contributing to the greater good of the world and leaving the world a better place than when I arrived. RMF provided the platform for me to do this. After reviewing the website I immediately resonated with the malnutrition eradication program and the work they are doing with children.
I spoke with Michael and expressed my desire to volunteer on-site. After the plans were set for me to stay onsite with RMF I started to brainstorm fundraising ideas to make a monetary donation prior to my arrival. Since I am traveling with 3 other girls to India, Bri, Kayla, and Laura, I wanted to do something we could all work on together. We ran the idea of having a car wash at the restaurant with our GM, James Stephenson, and he was completely on board. He even allowed us to advertise the event to all our customers that came in.
The car wash was held on Saturday, July 10th and it was a complete success! We were a little concerned because the carwash was being held on the 4th day San Diego had been really overcast and cloudy and thought it might deter people from coming. Right after we were done setting up the sun came out and the cars started lining up. We had a steady flow of 3-4 cars at a time all day long and all our friends stopped by with cars to clean, snacks to share and the DJ kept the music jamming all day. There were approximately 15 volunteers helping to wash cars and collect donations and nearly 50 people stopped by to support us. The event went perfectly and thanks to LJ Strip Club, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Vons, Einstein’s Bagels, Trader Joe’s and all the amazing volunteers that came out, we raised $750 for RMF!
The opportunity to raise money to directly enhance the quality of someone’s life is truly a gift. It’s amazing that I will be able to see my fundraising efforts put to use in person when I arrive in India. I am grateful to Martina, Sarah, Michael and Real Medicine Foundation for allowing me the opportunity to assist and make a difference. Thank you!
Approaching our 5th birthday August 16th, 2010 and look back to remember who we go to where we are now, here is a voice from those early days: the second update sent from the ground after opening our first clinic in Sri Lanka writen by Dr. Martina herself.
In it Dr. Martina Fuchs gives grateful thanks to those tho helped her, speaking as a friend to her network of friends who came together to make it possible.
February 20, 2005
From Martina Fuchs in Mawella, Sri Lanka
Hi everybody, here I am again, with the next chapter from Sri Lanka. So much has happened, it almost feels like a lifetime in itself.
First: A million thank you’s! Thank you for all your e-mails and contributions and thank you for being so incredibly supportive and encouraging! It means the world to me since the need and despair here sometimes do get overwhelming. I am so grateful to have this amazing network of wonderful people in Europe and the US, of people who are so unbelievably generous. Please know that everything you contribute gets right to where it is needed the most and you do make a huge difference in the lives of innumerable people!
Today, Sunday, we just came back from a big event in Tangalle, the nearest town to our camp. Several optometrists had come from Colombo with a total of 500 glasses to examine people who had lost their glasses in the tsunami. Will had organized two vans and we shuttled about 50 of our villagers to Tangalle. The optometrists had set up camp in a Buddhist temple, the Wajiragiriya temple, and there were huge lines as we arrived. But almost everybody left happy and a lot of our villagers with new glasses.
Waiting in line with our villagers, we caught glimpses of the Buddhist Sunday school:
The Buddhist monks here in Sri Lanka have initiated celebrations to mourn the people who died in the tsunami and to celebrate their lives, the Peritha celebrations. One of these celebrations was held in our camp on Saturday night. All the villagers did their best to dress up, and many of the kids were actually proudly wearing their new clothes that had come in from donation packages within the last few weeks. We were invited to be part of the celebration. It never ceases to amaze me how generous they are with the little they have. I was sitting on mats with a whole bunch of mothers with their kids and there were small packages of peanuts. They took pride in making sure that I was never without supply. The children fell asleep one after the other, and the celebration, the chanting and praying continued throughout the night.
My little clinic is up and running, and I couldn’t be more proud.
I am proud to present two of my patients :
The Sri Lankan Navy helped us to install electricity, we have light, we have two fans (thank you, Commander Jagath Mutubandara, for making it all possible!).
Jonathan and Orrin built our examination table and all the furniture:
Wasana, a woman from the camp, sewed curtains for us:
We will get a sink, a water tower is already prepared in a nearby tree. Patients are lining up as soon as our clinic opens, and it is everybody, infants and children and their parents of course, but also adults of all ages, pregnant women, I believe there were about 70 patients in two days. Right now, we have an infection going around in our camp, a lot of children are suffering from really high fever. And what I am seeing a lot, too, are patients who had swallowed water when the tsunami happened and need reassurance that they are okay. At this point, I want to thank the pediatric surgery division of the Kinderkrankenhaus St. Marien in Landshut, Germany, and their chief, my brother, Dr. Oliver Fuchs, from the bottom of my heart. The seven large boxes of medical supplies that you have provided and sent to us are absolutely invaluable. We would not be able to work without them. We are absolutely impressed by your generosity.
A few days ago, I met with psychologists from Galle, who had organized a day of psychological evaluation for 250 children from 4 schools in the area who still showed signs of extreme emotional distress after the tsunami. They had arranged a day of singing, playing at the beach, etc. while they observed the children and their reactions in order to help them specifically. We connected with them to provide psychological support for the children in our camp, too, and are very proud that a psychiatrist now is specifically looking after our villagers.
Children paint the tsunami:
Father Surangika Fernando took me aside and told me about an inter-religious nursery he had organized in a Methodist church, including Muslim children, Buddhist children, Christian children, etc. It is a total of 60 children under 5 years of age who have lost one or both parents in the tsunami, or children coming from families who have lost everything in the tsunami. In addition to the kids in our camp, this is where the toys and children’s clothes are going to go that are coming out of the beautiful toy drives in Germany and the US. Words cannot express my gratitude, Mutti, Papa, Gloria, Christiana, Familie Sigl, all the children and parents of the Kindergarten Hersel, Uschi, Loren, and everybody else who is part of it and who’s contribution is invaluable. Because of your support and generosity, I can keep my promises to these children, I would be helpless without you.
As promised, here a quick update on the Tangalle Hospital project, that RealMedicine supports. For the complete proposal, please go to: www.realmedicine.tv/foundation/TengalleTrustIn the following are some impressions. As I had mentioned before, this hospital is in dire need, and we are committed to supporting Nick Buckingham’s efforts to renovate and upgrade it.
Hospital main entrance
Burning of toxic waste:
Nurses and nurses’ room:
Nick’s team at work:
I will update here on our website again in about a week, stay tuned…
Thank you for following up on our suggestion to take on sponsorships for specific families. We are choosing families right now and will keep you posted. Any suggestions or ideas are always welcome!
Last, but not least, I would like to thank all the travelers here in Sri Lanka who spontaneously decided to support our work, Kumar Fernando, Solange, Wim & Adri Hendrik, Jaques & Francoise Mourrieras.
Your generosity is highly appreciated.