These are part of our team of medical secretaries. They work at the main nurses station in the hospital and try to make sure that all patient charges are entered correctly in the computer system. We have an on-call phone at our house and this week I’ve been fielding a lot of requests to return to the hospital to help with changing a charge or removing a duplicate charge. In fact, between issues at the cashiers office and the medical secretaries area I’ve taken a lot more after-hours calls this week than Melissa has as an on-call doctor.
For our patients that are non-urgent and just need a clinic visit, registration of the first stop. Here their vitals are taken, they are given a chart, and they are assigned to a room.
While suffering is very hard to see, seeing the suffering of sick children is especially difficult. We are blessed with two amazing pediatricians here at the Hospital of Hope. (Dr. Kelly recently posted a great blog which you can see by clicking here.)
And we’re open! You can see the triage tent in the background where we’re trying to sort out the more urgent cases to be seen in clinic this week and of course children are not being turned away either.
Today’s ceremony celebrating the opening of the hospital went very well. We had a huge turnout which included thousands of people from the region, the US Ambassador to Togo, the President of Togo, and many others. This was the first “look” at our project for most people here today and people seemed very impressed with the size, capabilities, and the modernness of this facility. Monday we open our doors and we’re praying for a much more manageable number for that. (Click Here to view a video which captures part of the activities of today.)
Tomorrow thousands will be here for a grand opening ceremony for the Hospital of Hope. It’s hard to believe that after years of work and planning we’re on the verge of opening our doors. There are so many that should be thanked.. the hundreds of volunteers who paid to give of their time to fly here to help with the building, the many Togolese people who have been hard-working employees, the many prayer warriors that have covered this project with prayer, the financial backers who have given generously to get this place built, and our GREAT GOD who has worked in unbelievable ways to show us this this is all in his hands. We’re overwhelmed…
With the word out that Togo’s President will be attending our opening ceremony tomorrow, there has been no small army of people (including the military) who have come to do their part to make our grounds and the road in front ready for the big day. A couple of my favorites would be the crew that took it upon themselves to whitewash all the rocks and bottom portion of the trees lining the street and in front of the property, and the hundreds of school children who arrived with twig brooms and machetes to trim and sweep up grass. Never a dull moment…
Currently much of the route from Lomé to Mango is under construction and includes long detours on rapidly built dirt roads. The drive took over 11 hours today and since the day started with gathering the last of the pharmacy supplies and included needing to be towed from a mud bog that had formed after some rains, by the time we got home we had been in the vehicle for more than 13 hours and were glad to be home and none to eager to do that trip anytime soon.
While we’re in Lomé for two nights we’re staying at a place on the beach. The boys are enjoying the water, and we get to spend a bit of time with fellow teammates and also must say farewell to the Jenkins who will be returning to Idaho after working for over a year on carpentry and cabinetry at the hospital.
We made a trip to our southern hospital to attend a few meetings and visit some friends before heading on to Lomé for hospital supplies and personal groceries. While at the southern hospital it began to rain and since this was the first rain we’ve seen since October the boys were very excited to see, and be in the rain.
The sign went up today and we are now just two weeks from opening our doors.
Valentines Day in Togo didn’t include flowers or chocolate but we did find time to take a short moto ride together and then rode over to the Minister’s house where the single missionaries had put together an amazing four course dinner for all the couples and arranged for babysitters to come to our homes if that was needed. Life can be hectic at times, but days like today remind me how blessed we are to be a part of a team that cares for one another, and how blessed I am to be in this never-a-dull-moment life, with my wife.
Today began with all missionaries acting as mock patients at the clinic so we could see how flow would work and to give the staff an opportunity to get used to how things would run. This included all missionary kids as well, so school was cancelled except for a Valentines party around noon. Each person was given an illness, from serious and needing blood drawn and possibly being admitted to the hospital, to simple follow-up appointments. Much was learned and we all are now in the system in case we need medical care. Today ended with the return of the hospital van and our pharmacy workers from a drug run to Lomé. By the time we got all the pharmacy supplies unloaded and everyone taken to their homes it was nearly 11pm. We’re in the home stretch now… The grand opening ceremony is in just under two weeks.
Since I was taking this photo and Melissa had run home to check on the kids during this break, we are not in this photo but it includes most of our opening staff.
Well the employee orientation seems to be going very well. It’s been fun to see how competitive they all are during the team building exercises and how funny they find the closing just-for-fun skit each day. Today Melissa F. (NP) shared with all the employees some basic health and hygiene practices including how to build a Tippy Tap so that one can still wash your hands despite having a limited water supply at their homes.