Listen to her speak, and you know her force. Watch her work, and you know her passion. Listen to her laugh, and you know her kindness. Watch her cuddle a baby, and you know her heart.
She’s our Dr. Datta.
Before World Pediatric Project had an office or staff in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we had Dr. Bharati Datta. Before World Pediatric Project had the dream of a successful model of pediatric surgical services for the Eastern Caribbean region, we knew Dr. Datta. Before the first scoliosis surgery was performed or the first round of island-wide rheumatic fever screenings was conducted, Dr. Datta was there. She’s World Pediatric Project’s first pediatrician partner, and she’s foundational to what’s been accomplished for children in St. Vincent and beyond.
Dr. Datta has spent her entire career advocating for children. She’s spent the last 18 years in partnership with World Pediatric Project to make specialized surgical care possible and to improve the resources available to care for the tiniest babies. When World Pediatric Project’s volunteer pediatric cardiologist Dr. Bill Moskowitz saw the need to conduct screenings throughout the entire island to find kids suffering from rheumatic heart disease, Dr. Datta packed her stethoscope and helped make it happen. When World Pediatric Project wanted to open the doors to children from nearby islands in the Eastern Caribbean region so that they could connect with needed surgical care through our visiting teams to St. Vincent, Dr. Datta stood ready to take care of these kids before and after surgery just like her own patients. She has been a key part of identifying and partnering to help over 180 Vincentian children access advanced surgical care through World Pediatric Project’s hospital partners in the U.S. since 2002. She’s stood beside many other partners in St. Vincent to will forward renovations for the children’s ward, neonatal intensive care unit, and operating theater at the island’s national hospital where World Pediatric Project visiting surgical, diagnostic and training teams visit almost every month of the year.
All in all, she’s been there for a program that has to date served nearly 4,000 children with advanced diagnostic and surgical care and received over 150 visiting medical teams in partnership with World Pediatric Project. Beyond the impressive numbers, Dr. Datta can probably still tell you the names of many of the 4,000 children helped. She likely remembers vividly the many scared parents she’s counseled and guided as they’ve sought critical care for their children. Dr. Datta has developed relationships with so many volunteer medical professionals from World Pediatric Project over the years, building camaraderie and collaboration. She’s been described as the pediatrician you wished every child had.
These are the many reasons why we are so proud.
Dr. Datta’s official capacity as World Pediatric Project’s Medical Director for the Eastern Caribbean region has ended, giving us cause to reflect on and celebrate all of her accomplishments. Our staff in St. Vincent had the opportunity to recognize Dr. Datta last month for the integral role she has played for World Pediatric Project. Lauren McIntosh, Executive Director for the Eastern Caribbean, as well as World Pediatric Project staff members Jackie King and Sherri-Ann John presented a framed resolution to Dr. Datta from World Pediatric Project’s Board of Directors that affirms the incredible work she has done to impact so many – a token of thanks for a monumental partnership and a recognition so well-deserved.
We’ve heard Dr. Datta describe the medical volunteers, staff, and donors of World Pediatric Project as “angels.” Surely we can say the same about you, Dr. Datta. We’ve seen your wings in action for many years… and we are so thankful.