Fall 2012 Quarterly Newsletter
The first of many to come...
This is our first of what will be regular quarterly newsletters from Salud Juntos. We will be sending these out every 2-4 months to past and present volunteers, donors, and supporters - as well as anyone else that it interested in knowing what we are up to. In this news letter you will hear about:
- Our updated website
- The beginnings of our work in Nicaragua
- Two new board members
- New fundraising activities (including one on the 7th and one of the 29th of this month)
- Our current financial picture
- How another $6000 will move Salud Juntos toward sustainability
We hope that all is well with you and encourage you to contact us with questions or comments on how we are doing! As an organization we strongly believe in the participation of our clients in Honduras, volunteers from both the US and Central America, and our supporters of all stripes. We are really working towards making sure we connect with all those involved with Salud Juntos and we strongly encourage your continued involvement through your interest, concern, and monetary support. We strongly encourage you to consider having Salud Juntos as one of the organizations that you support this year if it isn't already. We are currently at a point where we are transitioning from a good idea to an enduring organization and every bit of support helps. If interested, please visit our donation page. Regardless, we hope you enjoy the newsletter.
Sheridan and the Board of Salud Juntos
Corina, our treasurer in Honduras
(L to R) Dra. Eylin of the La Guacamaya clinic, promotora Yanira, La Guacamaya clinical assistant Angela, head promotora Cristina
ED Sheridan Reiger training on taking blood pressures with Nicaraguan promotores de salud who work with AMOS Health.
- In early August board member Dr. Jeff Harris, med student volunteer Erin Cooley, Honduran promotora Cristina Nunez, and ED Sheridan Reiger visited Nicaragua to work with the NGO AMOS Health (www.amoshealth.org) to help them develop programming for high blood pressure prevention and treatment. Both SJ and AMOS hope to continue this collaboration going forward so that community blood pressure groups (similar to those SJ has developed in Honduras) can be scaled up in over 15 communities in rural Nicaragua.
- Our community high blood pressure groups in Honduras have expanded to a third community. These groups now serve over 100 patients with high blood pressure.
- We will have an evaluation of the effectiveness of our high blood pressure groups completed and submitted for publication. Thus far, our results look encouraging - showing that our sustainable group model is lowering blood pressure, increasing blood pressure control, improving the percentage of patients taking their medications, and raising the quality of hypertension treatment. We will have a link to the manuscript up on our website soon!
- We have launched our diabetes treatment group in Punta Ocote. Thus far, working with diabetes has been more difficult than working with hypertension, but our community health workers and the community clinicians are optimistic. We will be tracking this program to see how it goes. For more information on how the group works look on our website.
- Our Honduran Board of Directors continues to do great work in supporting and running the organization in Honduras despite the state of things there (most notably violence and political instability). In particular, Corina has been doing a great job as our book keeper and Treasurer in Honduras - making sure that all of our employees are paid on time and that all of our programs receive the resources and tracking they need.
- ED Sheridan Reiger recently visited Honduras in August after spending time with AMOS in Nicaragua. He spent four days meeting with the doctors from both Punta Ocote and La Guacamaya, all the members of the Honduran board of directors, the promotoras, and the clinical coordinator Angela. Overall a very successful trip!
State Side Updates
- Seattle Fundraiser: We had a very successful event at board member Jeff Harris' house in mid-September. Over 30 guests showed up to share great food, a beautiful view, and good news about all that Salud Juntos is doing. A special thanks to Pat O'Neill, Vincent O'Neill, Jenn Ambrose, & Linsey Battan for making it go so smoothly!
- New Fundraising Efforts: Salud Juntos has recently been evaluating its fundraising efforts and has decided to incorporate a few more components into its fundraising strategy. This will include more participatory event focused on bringing people together (bringing them Juntos?) at quarterly dinners, happy hours, wine tastings and other similar events. Look out for invites!
- November 7: We will have our first quarterly dinner, where long term supporters, newly interested people, and people that missed the fundraiser will come together with Salud Juntos representatives to talk about chronic disease in Central America and enjoy good food.
- November 29: We will be having a Thursday "Pre-Game" on Capitol Hill for people who want to get ready for the evening with Salud Juntos. More to come on this later.
- Website: Our website is fully redone and updated thanks to the volunteer work of Alex Knapp. Please check it out!
- New Board Member and Secretary: Katrina Ortblad was welcomed onto the board in March as a new board member and has recently rised to the role of Secretary! Katrina is currently a fellow at the UW's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation where she works on the Global Burden of Disease Project.
- New/Old Treasurer: Bob Ortblad, Katrina's dad, was Salud Juntos' original Treasurer in 2008 when we were founded. Unfortunately, Bob had to step down from that position in 2009, but now is back! Ee are very glad to have him back!
Guests at the Seattle Fundraiser
ED Sheridan Reiger and Board Member Jeff Harris discuss the importance of controlling and preventing chronic disease in Central America at the Seattle Fundraiser
New board member and secretary Katrina Ortblad
- We have set our baseline budget for the coming year roughly equal to last years, coming in at approximately $20,000. This goes towards paying our Honduran staff, maintaining and expanding our programming, keeping in contact with our collaborators, and tending to our organizational responsibilities in the United States. This fiscal year we have already raised $13,000, but still have a ways left to go before the end of our financial year in March.
- This year we want to pursue an additional fundraising goal of $6,000. This will be a Sustainability Fund that will enable us to hire someone part time in the United States to take over many of the logistical aspects of the organization as ED Sheridan Reiger transitions to his clinical rotations in medical school this coming summer. It is very important to Salud Juntos to raise these funds soon so that we can be sure to have someone selected, hired, and trained by the time that Sheridan begins rotations in July.