Bridge of Life Celebrates a Year of Growth
According to DaVita RN Kerri Jordan, volunteering for Bridge of Life means more than giving back – it also means realizing the bridges that connect us are stronger than those that divide.
“I was able to experience a different culture and different ways of life,” Kerri, who volunteered in the Dominican Republic, said. “And I learned that no matter how much or how little people have, everyone just wants the opportunity to live and love and keep their families as happy and healthy as possible.”
Thanks to the over 200 DaVita teammates who volunteered for Bridge of Life (BOL), the nonprofit organization and Village Program was able to complete a total of 24 international medical missions and 25 domestic screenings, ultimately impacting nearly 14,000 lives in 2017.
This past year, BOL was also excited to kick off multiple new initiatives. They established a Community Health Worker Program where they trained 13 individuals in Haiti and Nicaragua, allowing BOL to refer patients to local medical staff with their in-country partners and to ensure those patients receive continued follow-up care. They also developed an Electronic Medical Record system, allowing BOL to go paperless and to enter and maintain patient data more quickly and efficiently.
BOL wrapped up the year with a busy December. In Guatemala, they completed an AV fistula pediatric surgical mission, providing 23 surgeries and training 31 local staff on surgical best practices to improve post-operative patient care, as well as a primary care mission for kidney donors, providing basic healthcare services and education to promote good kidney health to 94 kidney donors. And in Nicaragua, BOL screened 210 sugarcane workers in the rural area of Villa El Carmen for chronic disease, such as hypertension and diabetes, also providing participants with preventative education. BOL also completed end-of-year dialysis missions in Haiti, India and Guatemala.
BOL will enter into 2018 hoping to make an even stronger impact on communities in need around the world.
“We’re touching lives and impacting communities in ways we can’t imagine, and in the process, we ourselves are changed.” – Dave Stephenson, IT Tech Lead, DaVita & Bridge of Life volunteer on multiple medical missions
“As a non-clinician who works in a business office, this [participating in a Bridge of Life medical mission] is a great way to feel personally connected to the reason for DaVita’s existence — the patient.” – Matt Daley, Director, Home Modalities, DaVita Kidney Care & Bridge of Life volunteer in Nicaragua
“I needed this experience in my life right now. I have suffered for many years with kidney disease. I’ve lived through different modalities of dialysis treatment and two transplants. I had to do something important with all that I have suffered through. This trip provided me with an opportunity to have my story make a difference for people that need it most.” – Roxy Templos, Educator, Patient/Clinical Services, DaVita Kidney Care & Bridge of Life volunteer in Bolivia