Hello from Eldoret. As usual, the past three weeks have flown. It has been a wonderful visit. As to the title “Dow Jones Exceeds Expectations”, let me explain. Two outstanding physicians made their first visit to Eldoret, Drs. Dow and Jones.
Lyndsay Dow is a remarkable palliative care physician from Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. In addition to her clinical expertise, she specializes in teaching health care workers to navigate difficult conversations. For this trip, she developed a teaching program “Communicating Bad News and Responding with Empathy”. She trained the palliative care team in this two-hour interactive seminar. By the time we left, the team was doing an excellent job training physicians, nurses, and trainees. It was very exciting to see Dr. Korir, the lead palliative care physician in Eldoret, do an outstanding job teaching this program. It was also encouraging to see the interest by health care workers throughout the hospital in improving their communication skills.
Ti Jones is an oncologist and palliative physician from Lafayette Indiana. His expertise in oncology really contributed to our work in assessing patients and balancing the tough decisions that many cancer patients face. He spent time with the palliative care team and with the local oncologists. That certainly helped communication between both teams. He is also a natural teacher and his prior work in Uganda made the transition to Eldoret seamless.
An exciting outcome from our visit is the decision by both physicians to continue an ongoing relationship with the Eldoret palliative care team. Now that they know the lay of the land, they are looking forward to returning and working independently. The two of these physicians, along with myself and the ongoing commitment by Colleen Brown from St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis and Peter Kussin from Duke University, will work to support the team throughout much of the year.
Finally, to put the icing on the cake, several leaders at the hospital in Eldoret are ready to proceed with development of a palliative care certificate program for nurses, physician assistants, and physicians. This is a topic we have discussed in the past, but there is now clear movement. It will be a lot of work, but I believe we can play an important supportive role in curriculum development. We hope to work side by side with our Kenyan colleagues to bring new specialty training to Western Kenya.
Your support is greatly appreciated. Asante Sana (thanks so much).