Dear Friends of Nursing Heart,
In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, Nursing Heart would like to provide the following update on changes to our operations.
Four out of five of our remaining partner universities for 2019-2020 have had to cancel their upcoming medical trips, with the last one close to cancelling as well.
As a result of this as well as the current Public Health recommendations locally in Guatemala and worldwide, we have had to make the tough decision, in consultation with community leaders and partners, to postpone all remaining medical clinics and school health clinics until further notice, though for not less than a month.
Foremost this is to protect the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable communities in which we work and also to protect our staff and families. While this was a very hard decision to make, community safety is at the forefront of our thoughts and concerns. As a Public Health-focused organization, our commitment is to support their health and safety. To quote our founder: “…as nurses, first, we must do no harm.”
As you know, our relationships with our community partners in Guatemala are the real heart of Nursing Heart, Inc. and we are not willing to compromise on our commitment to their health. We have developed a continuity plan that will allow us to continue to operate and live up to our commitments of providing general medical and school health clinics by contracting local physicians, nurses and nursing students. However, until we know it is safe to perform these activities again, here are our current plans:
- If they desire, we will provide communities with current and up-to-date information regarding the virus, including education on prevention.
- We will be a contact for community leaders should they require assistance during this time.
The People for Guatemala (Hombres y Mujeres en Acción) medical clinic will remain open in San Martin. Due to the cancellation of our medical clinic on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, NHI will cover the cost of transport to take any patients with urgent medical needs to the clinic for care and will cover medication expenses per our usual commitment.
NHI will continue to work administratively. Beginning Monday, staff will be working exclusively from home. We appreciate your understanding at this time and support of our efforts. To follow through with our commitments to the communities, NHI will need to raise additional funds to cover the costs of the groups who have cancelled.
Thank you for your support of our community during this time.