Collaborative Models: The Value of Life for All

As part of the Hilton Prize Coalition Collaborative Models Program, Operation Smile hosted training sessions alongside the American Heart Association (AHA) and Help Age International at Operation Smile’s Roma Downey Center in Amman, Jordan, on March 15 -16, 2017.

With support from the Coalition, Operation Smile invited Hilton Prize Laureates to participate with Jordanian and Lebanese health care workers involved in the treatment of refugees. The program featured an AHA training session, which focused on strengthening emergency life-saving skills for healthcare professionals. Participants also had the opportunity to learn about caring for elderly populations and received instruction from experts around psychological first aid during presentations by HelpAge International advisors. Participants, including staff from the Jordanian Ministry of Health, the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET), UNHCR, HelpAge Lebanon and HelpAge Jordan, as well as medical volunteers from Operation Smile Jordan, observed an Operation Smile medical mission at a local hospital as well.

Overall, a total of 30 AHA certifications – 29 Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider certifications and one BLS Instructor re-certification – were issued by Egypt-based AHA instructors.

One trainee who received his BLS Instructor re-certification, longtime Operation Smile volunteer and Jordanian emergency room physician Dr. Tareq Househ of Specialty Hospital in Amman, offered insight into the experience:

“As an ER physician, I realized that we look after and care for physically-injured casualties more often. We are not always looking out for post-traumatic psychologically-injured people who may also need a lot of help; especially women, children, adolescents, elderly and people with health conditions, disabilities and chronic illnesses.

The program gave me a new approach for these groups, namely the psychological first aid for patients, including looking and caring for their basic needs and safety, listening to them, connecting them with social support teams, screening them for disaster-related disorientation, and addressing effects on their chronic illness, mainly in the elderly.

The life support program also continued to emphasize supporting life for these groups and the value of life for all. Saving lives by providing high-quality life support and providing psychological first aid for the patient needs and their families are examples of (the Help Age International and Operation Smile/AHA training) programs working together.

I would like to thank everybody who enrolled in the Hilton Prize Coalition and Operation Smile Collaborative Education Program. I enjoyed the combination of the basic life support and the Help Age lectures since both of them support human beings in crisis. The trainers demonstrated professionalism and successfully motivated the trainee to participate. The program was well-organized, professional and friendly.”

Since 2003, Operation Smile has educated more than 25,000 health care professionals in life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills through AHA training programs. According to the AHA, when CPR is administered in the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, a person’s chance of survival can be doubled or tripled. By providing AHA and other skill-specific training sessions for our international medical volunteers, Operation Smile improves patient safety and strengthens health systems where it works.

(AHA Training participants in Amman, Jordan)

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