Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our newest supporter!

"baby with yellow balloon"

In the very beginning days of HealthEd Connect, a thoughtful young couple in California, Catherine and Chris, chose to donate to HealthEd Connect in lieu of providing wedding favors to their guests.  We're forever grateful for their belief in us! 

And now super exciting news!  They have expanded another member to our support base.  Little Hudson Haik has joined the family.   Born at 11:27 AM on April 26, 2011, Hudson weighs in at 8 lbs, 8 oz and is 19 inches long.

A huge congratulations to the whole family!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New publication!

HealthEd Connect is going to print!  Several months ago I was contacted by Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson regarding a book they were writing, The Humanitarian Leader in Each of Us: 7 Choices That Shape a Socially Responsible Life .  Dr. LaFasto and Dr. Larson conducted a lengthy interview with me (along with a number of other people) over the phone and subsequently wrote a book.  They asked me questions that dealt specifically with the 7 choices they believed shaped humanitarians' lives. The book is being published by Sage Publication and will be on the shelves soon.  HealthEd Connect will be listed in the book.  We're eager to see the finished product.  What a huge and humbling honor to be included with so many people who have accomplished so much.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Scholars' Showcase

What a fun day!  Graceland University sponsored the third annual Scholars' Showcase on the Lamoni Campus April 21.  Over 70 students presented posters, oral presentations, demonstrations, etc. in the Resch Science and Technology Hall.  The hallways were jammed with onlookers and people coming and going.  The SIFE students made a presentation with the video they will be using at Nationals in a couple of weeks.  We were proud to have HealthEd Connect featured as one of their two major projects this year!  SIFE has added so much to the Zambian programs.  I was especially thrilled to be asked to be the keynote speaker for such an illustrious event.  There was a great turnout with a packed house of students and faculty.
For a summary of the presentation go to Graceland's homepage or click on

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harvard and HealthEd Connect??

I just received an email from an acquaintance I met over two years ago.  She's now doing research at Harvard on complementary and alternative medicines.  When we last met I told her about a series of little pamphlets given to me by traditional healers in the DR Congo.  She would now like to come to Kansas City to see the little pamphlets herself and also suggested I consider co-authoring an article with her.  Wouldn't that be great!  These pamphlets are extremely interesting and contain information not found anywhere else.  The preface in the first pamphlet states:

"When a traditional healer is using the herbs to heal the patients, people look at him as a devil and illiterate. He is not even accepted neither could he mix with members of certain congregations. The reason why these traditional healers are rejected is that they scare people with their type of dressing they put on. They even stop using Bemba, a language everybody understands, but speak something else people fail to understand. This makes it difficult for the patients to know the type of medicine the traditional healers use, it is their secret. That is why our committee is carrying out a research on the application and use of traditional medicines in order to teach others what our ancestors used to do and hope that even our children will benefit from the same."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A treat for Malawi health workers

Attendees at the Buckhorn Camp Retreat packaging presents for Sinkhani in Malawi.
Sixty-seven women at the Buckhorn retreat prepared a special treat for the Sinkhani health workers in Malawi that will be trained in June.  The women made paper bead samples, wrote personal cards of greeting, packaged needed supplies in individual baggies for each of the 28 women anticipated at the training, and in general prepared a little gift that will bring great joy.  With the supplies in their baggies, each one of the Sinkhani will be able to make a charming little bracelet for herself, feel connected with the women on the other side of the world who packaged the supplies with love, and potentially learn the craft of paper-bead making that could turn into an income generating activity.  One other connection... a good friend, Lois Hillman, from Lee's Summit, MO designed the greeting cards along with little book marks and sent the design to me electronically.  The card were printed in Denver by Derek Newcom, and carried to California for the event.  Now on to Malawi!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Idyllwild at its most surprising!

Co-leaders Patti Kome (left) and DeDe Cooper (right) before the 'fall'

The adventures of guest speakers are sometimes full of surprises!  My weekend at Buckhorn Camp for a women's retreat in Idyllwild, California April 8-10 brought several inches of snow along with an ice downpour.  What an amazing sight!  No one was prepared for such unusual weather...especially with the brave little daffodils starting to peek out.  In spite of the weather the weekend was terrific in all ways except one.  Our dynamic leader and co-planner of the event, DeDe Cooper, fell on the ice and fractured her wrist which ultimately necessitated surgery.  The fall occurred the last morning of the event, however, so she gamely iced her wrist, propped it up on pillows, and directed events for the closing service from her armchair.  What an inspiration!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Greenwood Village

What a terrific evening!  A "Meet HealthEd Connect" event at Greenwood Village on April 6 brought together friends from the past that renewed wonderful memories.  One had been a great colleague in Nairobi.  A couple had served in Korea and inspired us years ago.  Others had been board members at Graceland University.  Another a special friend in college.  And one had even grown up in my childhood neighborhood!  Regardless of when or where we knew them, it was special to share stories of HealthEd Connect and to introduce them to our new friends in Zambia, Malawi, Nepal, and the DRC.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ft. Collins Event

Wow!  What great people live in Ft. Collins!  The HealthEd Connect story was warmly received by a group of compassionate, interested, individuals Monday evening.  And....(drum roll!)....we had the premiere showing of the new HealthEd Connect video developed by MajorOaks Productions.  Considering the footage was primarily field shots taken by the Kirkpatricks, the video turned out extremely well.  We'll have it on YouTube soon for everyone to see.  Keep watching for an announcement!

Monday, April 4, 2011

No April Fools!

Jeff and Karyn Manuel, assisted by 16 month-old Grayson, hosted a fantastic "Meet HealthEd Connect" at their home April 1.   Both Karyn and Jeff served as World Service Corps volunteers in Malawi (Jeff later returned during medical school) so we focused on sharing stories of the Sinkhani in Malawi.  An interesting and interested group of friends gathered to learn about our programs and to share stories of their own.  Other than a few technical video difficulties (which we managed to conceal -- the show must go on!) the evening was perfect.  Many thanks to the Manuels for helping spread the story.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The Graceland University SIFE team won at  Regionals this week in Chicago and now go to Minneapolis to compete in Nationals May 9-11.  We're so proud of the team!!  The HealthEd Connect Zambian Bicycle Income Generating Activities were a major focus in their presentation.  The local Zambia groups have already made over 90,000 KW from the projects.  We're so glad the judges liked their projects as much as the people in Zambia do!!  We're planning to be in Minneapolis in May to cheer them on.