Dr. Braner to Lead Project HOPE's Hurricane Katrina

09/08/05  Millwood, Va.

Dr. Dana Braner rushed to the aid of Indonesian children whose lives were threatened by the lack of healthcare after the December 26, 2004 tsunami devastated communities throughout South Asia.

Dr. Dana Braner rushed to the aid of Indonesian children whose lives were threatened by the lack of healthcare after the December 26, 2004 tsunami devastated communities throughout South Asia.

Now, eight months later, the pediatric intensivist has left his position at the Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital again to join Project HOPE on a humanitarian aid mission aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort. During this relief effort, Project HOPE is coordinating medical teams - doctors, nurses and other key health professionals - to deliver expert care on the ship to victims of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst disasters to hit the Gulf Coast.

Project HOPE recruited Dr. Braner, Portland, OR, to serve as its medical director. Dr. Braner will oversee all Project HOPE medical volunteers on the Comfort. He currently serves as a professor of pediatrics, anesthesia and medical informatics, and medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Doernbecher.

"Project HOPE volunteers, like Dr. Braner, reflect the true spirit of America - particularly our compassion - during this time of unprecedented devastation," said John P. Howe, III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE.  "As an organization, we have always been committed to providing 'Health Opportunities for People Everywhere.'  Today, there is no greater need than in communities along our own Gulf Coast."

The health education and humanitarian assistance organization has also recruited:

* Colin Credle, Winchester, VA, as its logistics officer. Credle is manager of Project HOPE's global humanitarian assistance efforts.
* Karen Holland, RN, BSN, Swampscott, MA as the chief nursing officer for Project HOPE. Holland is an emergency room nurse at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
* Jon Kissane, Frederick, MD, as its operations officer. Kissane works at Logistics Management Institute (LMI) in McLean, VA.

More than 80 medical volunteers from across the United State will join Project HOPE's leadership team next week and begin addressing the public health issues arising from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina . Over the next six weeks, Project HOPE will send more than 200 volunteers to the USNS Comfort.

The team of Project HOPE volunteers will work alongside their Navy counterparts to care for the hurricane's survivors - as did 210 volunteers earlier this year when the USNS Mercy, sister ship to the Comfort, was sent to aid survivors of the tsunami in South Asia.
In May, Project HOPE and the Navy completed this four-month mission to bring life-saving healthcare to Indonesia. These medical volunteers from Project HOPE evaluated and treated more than 49,500 patients and performed more than 97,000 medical procedures aboard the Mercy.

Project HOPE began in 1958 with the first peacetime hospital ship, the SS HOPE, donated by President Eisenhower.  Today, Project HOPE conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in 33 countries across five continents. For more information about Project HOPE, visit www.projecthope.org.