Project Hope HOPE Voyages On Land
People Dr. Walsh "Hopies" Milestones

HOPE Milestones

Project HOPE has maintained a special commitment to improving the lives of those who are most vulnerable to the ravages of war, natural disasters and poverty: infants, children and their mothers. This commitment is clearly evident in HOPE's milestones.


The Founding of HOPE

William B. Walsh, M. D. obtained President Dwight Eisenhower's support to refit a Navy hospital vessel to become the world's first peacetime hospital ship, the S.S. HOPE. With funding from the American people and corporations, the S.S. HOPE became a teaching hospital for medical professionals from disadvantaged countries. For fourteen years, the S.S. HOPE made humanitarian voyages to these ports of call: Indonesia (1960), South Vietnam (1961), Peru (1962), Ecuador (1963), Guinea (1964), Nicaragua (1966), Columbia (1967), Sri Lanka (1968), Tunisia (1969), Jamaica (1971), and Brazil (1972 and 1973). The S.S. HOPE retired after 14 years of active duty and Project HOPE becames land-based organization, able to tackle multiple missions simultaneously in several countries.


Establishing a University Teaching Hospital and Nursing School in Peru

HOPE's mission in Peru helped the University of Trujillo establish the first University Hospital and School of Nursing outside the capital of Lima. This effort in the northern region of Peru is the first of many programs that HOPE conducts worldwide to establish and upgrade medical universities and baccalaureate and master's level nursing school programs.


The First U. S. Assignment

At the invitation of the governor's office and the Commissioner of Health of the State of Texas, HOPE began its first program in the United States to improve health care for the Hispanic community in Laredo, Texas, near the border with Mexico. HOPE trained Community Health Assistants to increase access to health care services and established nursing degree programs at Laredo Junior College. On the Navajo Reservation in Gando, Arizona, HOPE helped to develop the first Native American-operated health care system in the United States, which is known today as the Navajo Nation Health Foundation. HOPE graduates from numerous U. S. programs are still on the job in many border neighborhoods in Texas, Arizona, and California, and in New Jersey.


Project HOPE Goes Behind the Iron Curtain

HOPE became the only U. S. private voluntary organization to work behind the Iron Curtain of communism with a program to improve the Polish- American Children's Hospital (PACH) in Krakow and provide medical training for the hospital's staff. In addition to being the country's premier pediatric teaching hospital PACH today serves more than 2.4 million children in Southern Poland and is a referral center for Central and Eastern Europe.


Center for Health Affairs and HEALTH AFFAIRS Journal Established

Responding to pressing health policy needs in the United States, Project HOPE established the Center for Health Affairs to research, analyze, and disseminate information about the state of health care systems in the United States and throughout the world. HEALTH AFFAIRS journal was started as a forum for debating and explaining the increasingly complex changes in health care delivery and management. Both the center and the journal have evolved to provide a respected and independent voice in health policy analysis and dialog.


HOPE Invited to Help China

At the invitation of China's Ministry of Health and university medical centers, Project HOPE became the first private international health organization to make a long-term commitment to improving this vast nation's health care system. HOPE conducted training programs for medical professionals in pediatric care, established China's first master's degree program in nursing and began a preventive dentistry program for children.

(HOPE Milestones Continued)

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