News & Updates

Rotary Districts Continue to Sign On with HealthRays!

Rotary districts 5950 (Minnesota) and 7360 (Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia) recently became the latest Rotary districts to join our HealthRays initiative, pledging $10,000 each.

In addition, 2017-18 District Governor Nominees in Rotary Zones 28 and 29 have organized a “class project” in hopes of garnering support from additional districts for our project.

We thank these generous Rotarians for joining the HealthRays project!

For more information about the digital x-ray project, or to learn how to provide financial support, please call 847-(847) 533-6336 or visit www.healthrays.info.


Rotarians in Taiwan Provide Funding Support for HealthRays

(April 20, 2015) Five Rotary districts in Taiwan have generously contributed funding to the HealthRays initiative. The participation of these districts helps underscore the international impact of this project, which aims to install 29 digital x-ray units to bring new healthcare capability to underserved populations in Guatemala.

Funding from Taiwanese Rotarians will be applied to our fourth unit, which is slated to be installed soon in Villa Canales, Guatemala.

Taiwan districts participating, and their funding levels, are:

* District 3470: $10,000

* District 3490: $30,000

* District 3500: $10,000

* District 3510: $5,000

* District 3520: $10,000

We thank these generous Rotarians in Taiwan for joining the HealthRays project.


Project Bringing Digital X-Ray Technology to Needy Populations Announces Opening of Third Clinic in Guatemala

(Sept. 30, 2014 – Evanston, Illinois, USA) Guatemalan health leaders and government officials joined Rotary volunteers in a special ceremony recently in Guatemala City, Guatemala officially unveiling the third of 29 planned digital x-ray units that are being distributed to clinics in Guatemala in an ambitious effort to serve needy populations in that country. The new digital x-ray unit will serve patients in one of the most underserved areas of Guatemala City.

Digital x-ray services will be offered at a clinic in Guatemala City as a part of the Rotary HealthRays initiative, organized by members of Rotary clubs and districts in the United States and Guatemala in partnership with Guatemala’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).  The project is being spearheaded by Rotary District 6440, which represents more than 70 Rotary clubs near Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Guatemala’s Minister of Health, Dr. Jorge Alejandro Villavicencio, was on hand to formally dedicate the new x-ray unit August 21 on behalf of the Guatemalan government during the special ceremony.

Two other digital x-ray units have been installed in Guatemala since the summer of 2013 and plans for a fourth unit are under way. Organizers of the project are now raising funds and recruiting new partners for the purchase and installation of the remaining units, which will be operated by local Guatemalans and will be connected to regional hospitals via the Internet.

Organizers of Rotary HealthRays expect the digital x-ray project to expand dramatically the reach of health service to rural and poor Guatemalans by allowing their x-ray images to be read by physicians far from the physical location of remote medical clinics, via the Internet.

Rotary District 6440 estimates that its project could eventually impact more than one and a half million people in Guatemala. In addition, it will benefit Guatemala’s economy by creating new jobs at the 29 medical clinics and by potentially improving the long-term health and work productivity of Guatemalans through better access to medical care.

Guatemala, one of the world’s poorest countries, is among the countries most in need of digital x-ray technology, with health outcomes among the worst in Central America. Poor, rural people living there are impacted by injuries and other maladies that could be easily cured – or at least properly diagnosed – with x-ray technology.

The HealthRays initiative is based on a unique partnership model, in which a single Rotary club or district enters into a formal agreement with a sovereign government to address a public need – making the effort precedent-building in the Rotary world.

“This is truly groundbreaking – and Rotarians in Illinois are making it happen,” said Pamela Kerr, past governor of Rotary District 6440 and co-chair of the committee overseeing the digital x-ray project. “Literally billions of people around the globe have little or no access to simple x-ray technology, which is taken for granted as a basic health tool in most industrialized nations. We believe that the foundations we are laying in Guatemala can lead to a model that will help them lead healthier lives.”

Kerr said HealthRays has begun a new effort to identify new funding partners to help achieve its long-term goals. The project is anticipated to cost $2.5 million to complete.

“This model proves that the most effective way to address global health issues is by cooperating across sectors and across borders,” she said. “We are engaged in encouraging discussions with potential funders and we are very optimistic that our momentum will continue.”

Rotary districts that are providing support for Rotary HealthRays include District 6600 — Northern Ohio, USA; District 7150 — Central New York, USA; and District 7610 — Northern Virginia, USA.

For more information about the digital x-ray project, or to learn how to provide financial support, please call 847-475-1283 or visit www.healthrays.info.

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About Rotary

Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 200 countries and geographic areas worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 34,000 Rotary clubs. To learn more, please visit www.rotary.org.


New PAHO Manual Provides Guidance on Radiation Shielding in Clinics and Small Hospitals

(Washington, D.C., 27 August 2013) ― The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in collaboration with Rotary International District 6440, has published a new online manual, Radiation Shielding for Clinics and Small Hospitals.

Radiological safety depends on strict work habits, protective measures, and adequate shielding in medical facilities. This new manual provides guidance on shielding for clinics and small hospitals, where few daily X-rays examinations are performed. It details calculations used to determine the radiation shielding required for the minimum-size room (16 square meters) that is acceptable for a WHIS-RAD X-ray unit. Adjoining spaces as well as various situations involving staff, patients and the storage of X-ray sensitive materials (such as film and digital receptors) are included. The manual notes that common building materials, such as adobe, bricks or concrete, can provide adequate shielding if they are of sufficient thickness.

Calculations use to determine the required shielding are based on a workload consisting of X-ray examinations of 3,000 patients per year, as is common in small hospitals, and also for many times that workload. The manual also provides references for comparing shielding requirements for similar installations.

Radiation Shielding for Clinics or Small Hospitals with a WHIS-RAD is available in Spanish and English in pdf format and is part of a pilot project on diagnostic imaging that has been carried out in Guatemala in collaboration with the country’s Ministry of Health, PAHO, and Rotary International districts 4250 (in Guatemala) and 6440 (Northern Illinois, USA).

Worldwide, an estimated 3,600 million diagnostic examinations utilizing X-rays are conducted each year. However, there is still a disparity in the rate of radiological studies performed between developing and industrialized countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, countries at an intermediate level of health development perform some 400 radiological studies per 1,000 population per year.

The manual was written by Dr. Phillip E.S Palmer and Dr. Gerald Hanson, who have worked for PAHO and WHO in the past on radiology and radiologic safety.

Click here for more information on the manual.

Related link

Click here for PAHO Radiological Health Web Page


Multi-national Project to Install Digital X-ray Machines Formally Launched by First Lady of Guatemala and Rotary International President-elect Gary Huang

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:

Pamela Kerr, Gov.Pam@rotary6440.org

Paul Larson, 847-475-1283

(August 26, 2013 – Evanston, Illinois, USA) Rosa Leal de Pérez, First Lady of Guatemala, will join Rotary International President-elect Gary Huang of Taiwan and other dignitaries in a ceremony Monday, Sept. 2 in Mixco, Guatemala, formally recognizing the start of an ambitious Rotary project to bring digital x-ray technology to the rural poor of the world.

Ms. Leal de Pérez and Mr. Huang, along with U.S. and Guatemalan Rotarians, , Guatemalan government officials, foreign dignitaries, and representatives of other not for profit organizations, will unveil a plaque recognizing the project, which aims to install 29 digital x-ray machines in rural clinics in Guatemala. The first of the new machines arrived earlier this summer, and has been installed in Mixco, a community near Guatemala City.

The digital x-ray project has been spearheaded by U.S. Rotary District 6440, which created a unique memorandum of understanding (MOU) that formalizes a partnership between District 6440 and Guatemalan Rotary clubs in Central American Rotary District 4250, Guatemala’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, the Radiological Society of Guatemala (RSG) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Also assisting in the effort are U.S. Rotary Districts 6600 and 7610. The MOU was signed in May 2013.

Together, these partners will buy and install 29 digital x-ray units to serve the rural poor in Guatemala. The units will connect remote clinics to regional hospitals via the Internet. The project is anticipated to cost $2.5 million to complete. Eventually, project organizers hope to expand their efforts to other nations around the world.

As many as four billion people around the globe – basically two thirds of the entire population — have little or no access to simple x-ray technology, which is taken for granted as a basic health tool in most industrialized nations. Guatemala, one of the world’s poorest countries, is among the countries most in need of this technology. Health care outcomes in Guatemala are among the worst in Central America. Poor, rural people living there are impacted by injuries and other maladies that could be easily cured – or at least properly diagnosed – with x-ray technology.

The digital x-ray project will dramatically expand the reach of health service to rural and poor Guatemalans by allowing their x-ray images to be read by physicians far from the physical location of remote x-ray clinics, via the Internet.

“This is an important milestone,” said Pamela Kerr, past governor of Rotary District 6440 and chair of the district’s committee overseeing the digital x-ray project. “The presence of one of Rotary International’s world-wide leaders at our launch ceremony demonstrates the importance of this project as an example of a new kind of partnership that can be forged between Rotary districts and other government and not-for-profit partners.”

“We deeply appreciate Rotary International’s support for this project, and the wonderful cooperation and assistance of the Guatemalan government, PAHO, RSG and our Guatemalan Rotarian partners,” she said.

Guatemala was chosen for the Digital X-Ray Project because Rotary District 6440 has engaged in a variety of humanitarian projects in recent years there — including the previous installation of a digital x-ray machine in Guatemala City in 2011 — and because of the extreme need in Guatemala for digital x-ray technology.

Rotary District 6440 estimates that its project could eventually impact more than one and a half million people in Guatemala. In addition, it will benefit Guatemala’s economy by creating new jobs at the 29 remote clinics and by potentially improving the long-term health and work productivity of Guatemalans through better access to medical care.

“Most importantly, the unique multi-organizational public/private sector structure of this project – very different from previous Rotary-district models – will serve as an example to the rest of the Rotary world, demonstrating a new strategic approach to humanitarian efforts,” said Carlos Früm, past Rotary District 6440 governor and vice chair of the district’s committee overseeing the project.

Rotary District 6440 will be represented at the Sept. 2 ceremony by Kerr and Früm.

For more information about District 6440’s digital x-ray project, please call 847-475-1283 or visit www.healthrays.info.


Technical Information on Digital Imaging for Clinics and Small Hospitals

(August 13, 2013) U.S. Rotary District 6440 has posted two manuals with information to help those planning or involved in providing primary care diagnostic imaging to underserved communities.

Rotary District 6440 has installed digital x-ray systems as a part of its HealthRays project and has worked with other Rotary clubs and Districts to help them do the same.

The purpose of these links is to provide information that can help assure successful, sustainable installations delivered in a cost effective manner.

“Diagnostic Imaging in the Community, A Manual for Clinics and Small Hospitals” provides detailed information on establishing a system. It is authored by Dr. Philip E. S. Palmer and Dr. Gerry Hanson internationally recognized experts on establishing X-ray and Ultrasound services in developing countries.

The World Health Organization’s “Manual of Diagnostic Imaging: Radiographic Technique and Projections” is also provided.

To access Palmer and Hanson, click here Digital Imaging Manual

To view the WHO Manual, click here WHO Manual


Multi-national Effort to Bring Digital X-Ray Technology to the Poor in Guatemala Moves Forward with Opening of Second Clinic

(Feb. 28, 2014 – Evanston, Illinois, USA) American and Guatemalan Rotary volunteers joined Guatemalan health professionals and government officials in February to mark the installation of the second of 29 planned digital x-ray units that are being distributed to clinics in Guatemala in an ambitious effort to serve needy populations in that country. The new digital x-ray unit will serve residents near El Amparo, in southwest Guatemala.

Digital x-ray services will be offered in the El Amparo area as a part of the Rotary HealthRays initiative, organized by members of Rotary clubs in the United States and Guatemala in partnership with Guatemala’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, the Radiological Society of Guatemala (RSG) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).  The project is being spearheaded by Rotary District 6440, which represents more than 70 Rotary clubs near Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Guatemala’s Minister of Health, Dr. Jorge Alejandro Villavicencio, formally dedicated the new x-ray unit February 25 on behalf of the Guatemalan government.

The first of the new digital x-ray units being distributed in Guatemala arrived last summer and was installed in Mixco, a community near Guatemala City. Organizers of the project announced recently that they have completed fundraising for a third unit, to be installed in the near future, and that they are now raising funds and recruiting new partners for the purchase and installation of an additional 26 x-ray units in clinics serving the poor. The units will be operated by local Guatemalans and will be connected to regional hospitals via the Internet.

Organizers of Rotary HealthRays expect the digital x-ray project to expand dramatically the reach of health service to rural and poor Guatemalans by allowing their x-ray images to be read by physicians far from the physical location of remote medical clinics, via the Internet.

Rotary District 6440 estimates that its project could eventually impact more than one and a half million people in Guatemala. In addition, it will benefit Guatemala’s economy by creating new jobs at the 29 medical clinics and by potentially improving the long-term health and work productivity of Guatemalans through better access to medical care.

The project is anticipated to cost $2.5 million to complete.  Eventually, project organizers hope to expand their efforts to other nations around the world.

As many as four billion people around the globe – basically two thirds of the entire population — have little or no access to simple x-ray technology, which is taken for granted as a basic health tool in most industrialized nations. Guatemala, one of the world’s poorest countries, is among the countries most in need of this technology. Health care outcomes in Guatemala are among the worst in Central America. Poor, rural people living there are impacted by injuries and other maladies that could be easily cured – or at least properly diagnosed – with x-ray technology.

“We are delighted to have successfully installed our second digital x-ray station in El Amparo ,” said Pamela Kerr, past governor of Rotary District 6440 and co-chair of the committee overseeing the digital x-ray project. “What is important now is continued financial support from other Rotary districts, as well as other not-for-profit and corporate partners. We are excited about the prospects as our project begins to meaningfully impact the health of Guatemalans and benefit Guatemala’s economy.”

Rotary districts that are providing support for Rotary HealthRays include District 6600 — Northern Ohio, USA; District 7150 — Central New York, USA; and District 7610 — Northern Virginia, USA.

For more information about the digital x-ray project, please call 847-475-1283 or visit www.healthrays.info.

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About Rotary

Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 200 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 34,000 Rotary clubs. To learn more, please visit www.rotary.org.