These are difficult and uncertain times. We are certainly feeling them here at World Pediatric Project. Still, I wanted to take a moment to provide you an update on how we’re weathering these times and our plans for moving forward:
For the Children in the United States for Care
We continue to care for 10 children and their caregivers who had traveled to the United States for treatment prior to the pandemic.
A few have completed their treatments and are eagerly awaiting for travel restrictions in their home countries to ease so they can return home – we hope in early June. An already stressful time of travel to a foreign country for critical care has been made more so due to COVID-19, but our entire program team led by Natalia Rosales and Kate Corbett in St. Louis and Pilar Waters in Richmond, has stepped up to keep our families healthy and safe.
For Our Programs
Despite financial and fundraising difficulties and uncertainties created by these times, we are still working to ensure delivery of our mission, even if it’s in a limited capacity.
Led by Sarah Iracane in Richmond, our Program Team has crafted a full slate of activities for the second half of 2020. The delivery of these programs depends on many factors and conditions outside of our control – but we are striving to reach as many children as soon as possible. Our plans through the end of 2020 include:
Referrals: Bringing up to 19 previously identified children to the United States for urgent and life-saving care in Richmond, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. We remain fully committed to caring for those children in the months ahead. Additional patients scheduled for care during this time have been postponed and will be prioritized in 2021.
Teams: Planning to send approximately 10 teams of medical volunteers to our partner countries to continue their life-saving work. Although we would usually send double this number of teams during the same time period, our program team is working hard to facilitate remote evaluations and telemedicine clinics for as many teams as possible in the months ahead.
Training: Maintaining our commitment to Eastern Caribbean neonatal health workers by conducting 3 virtual regional training workshops, ongoing remote consulting, 2 training teams, and regional observership opportunities for select local nurses.
We continue to explore opportunities to expand and adapt our program delivery so we can reach as many children as possible. We have every intention to ramping up to previous levels of service as soon as our ability to travel and our financial capacity to support our programs permits.
For The WPP Team
Decisions to delay or convert upcoming major events to virtual settings, coupled with financial difficulties created by the economic uncertainty around COVID-19, have forced us to make some tough changes within WPP.
While we successfully received an SBA PPP loan to support full employment through June 15th, we will unfortunately have to conduct a reduction-in-force, reducing our staff in the United States and abroad by approximately 50%. We are maintaining full-time offices in St. Vincent, Belize, Richmond and St. Louis with reduced programs, development, and administrative staff.
These were extremely tough and sad decisions to make. World Pediatric Project is recognized as a world-class organization because each member of the WPP team is committed to going the extra mile on behalf of our mission and every child we reach. We will miss our colleagues, but we honor their work by ensuring World Pediatric Project can continue to deliver life-saving care to children who need it the most.
For Our Fundraising
The development team has been hard at work to close financial gaps created by the current times.
Revising our development plan in the face of COVID-19, we are working to position WPP and our programs for the new fiscal year that begins on July 1st. While we will issue a full report at the end of the fiscal year, we are deeply grateful for the support of everyone who has stepped up during this time. It underscores the depth of support and trust in World Pediatric Project and our mission – and ensures we can get back to healing children as soon as possible.
Our Executive Board will hold its annual meeting on June 1st. Among the items on the agenda will be the approval of the organizational budget and development and communication plan for the coming year. I look forward to sharing the results of that meeting next month.
In closing, I want to recognize the hundreds of medical and non-medical volunteers, supporters, and donors who have reached out to us during this very challenging time. We are grateful for your support and everything you do for World Pediatric Project. Thank you.
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