Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spotlight on Volunteers in the Field

                                    Sister Clarice Carroll (left) chats with K.J.Crane

What sort of person volunteers to work in war zones, in impoverished underdeveloped countries, or in a clinic for torture survivors? A dedicated, caring, bold, and often idiosyncratic person. We would like to highlight two long-term MFP nurses in this issue, and they are most extraordinary women. 

Sister Clarice Carroll, RN, MSN has practiced her skills as a midwife and gynecological nurse from Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota to the Leprosarium in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, from directing a School of Nursing and Midwifery in Tanzania to managing the OB-GYN clinics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She has not only provided medical care to impoverished women but championed their struggle for fuller, richer lives. The success of the MFP cervical cancer screening program in Northern Haiti is, in large part, due to her efforts: delivering high quality gynecological care, educating Haitian nurses to become competent in colposcopy and cryosurgery to detect and treat early cervical cancer, and pushing an under resourced medical system to deliver modern medical care.

Sr. Clarice is well known and respected in Gros Morne. Mothers and children wait to greet her in the morning as she walks through town to work, and she responds with a smile, bon jou, and a hug.

                                         Pat Clausen at the MFP Health Center    

After Pat Clausen, RN, MSN received a degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky, she spent two years in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. Her experience as a community health worker there prompted her to return to school for a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Nursing Sciences. Armed with a fluency in Spanish and skills as a nurse practitioner, she spent three years as a rural health clinic nurse in La Liberta province in El Salvador, and returns frequently. In the United States, Pat has cared for low-income, uninsured and immigrant families in Northern Virginia and Maryland. She was one of the first volunteers in the MFP Clinic for Torture Victims and has become highly skilled in forensic examination. Having an extraordinary sensitivity to abused women, Pat now sees all of  our female patients who have been sexually assaulted or have been subjected to female genital mutilation, primarily in Africa.  Pat provides a safe space and the opportunity for our patients to speak freely to a woman who responds with compassion and understanding