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Herman Weed, Roger Dzwonczyk, and Project Hope

 

For many years, Project HOPE has worked to make better health care available to people around the globe. Since its founding in 1958, HOPE has trained more than two million health professionals and made medical services available to millions of the world’s poorest people. HOPE’s long-term health education programs combined with humanitarian assistance initiatives promote goodwill while fighting disease and alleviating suffering. Over 5,000 health care professionals and volunteer educators have worked for HOPE. Since 1958, Project HOPE has provided approximately $2 billion worth of resources to some 120 countries to make quality and sustainable health care available for people around the globe. Currently, HOPE works actively in 37 countries on five continents.

A major component of Project HOPE's work involves bring medical technology to the healthcare systems of developing, and disaster and war-torn regions of the world. This engineering aspect of HOPE was created and developed by Professor Herman Weed, The Ohio State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who was for many years the director of the University's Biomedical Engineering Center and who inspired the development of the Ohio State’s Department of Biomedical Engineering the University has today.

He established clinical engineering departments in hospitals in countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America. With help from many volunteer engineers in the US, he developed the training programs, and provided equipment and organizational skills so that these departments could develop into self-sustaining technical resources for the hospitals.

Professor Weed passed away in 2012 at the age of 89. His legacy includes 50 years teaching at Ohio State as well as over 30 years of service to the clinical engineering efforts of Project HOPE. His technical work of HOPE is carried on today by several of Weed’s students and engineers, including  Roger Dzwonczyk, who has worked at Ohio State  for 30 years and who has served HOPE for 27 years. He and his HOPE counterparts have traveled to many HOPE sites throughout the world to train clinical engineers and medical staff members in medical technology, conduct infrastructural and medical equipment assessments of existing facilities that have been decimated by wars, natural disasters or neglect, and solve specific technical problems as well as help plan new healthcare facilities. For more information about Project HOPE and volunteer opportunities visit www.projecthope.org