News from Upstate

January 25, 2011
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Pediatrician off to teach and treat children in Liberia

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— The African nation of Liberia is the destination of Upstate Medical University pediatrician Bradley G. Olson, M.D., who will spend the next two weeks on a medical mission as a Heartt volunteer. He will provide pediatric care and will teach pediatrics to medical students and interns at JFK Hospital, Liberia’s only teaching hospital, located in the nation’s capital of Monrovia. Olson will be the sole pediatrician among this current group of Heartt volunteer physicians traveling to Liberia. He will assist Liberia’s one and only pediatrician.

“It is fulfilling to me as a physician to be part of this international health effort,” said Olson, whose professional interests include medical education and pediatric international health. Olson is associate professor of pediatrics, associate director for Graduate Medical Education for Upstate’s Pediatrics Department, and director of the Pediatric International Health Clinic at Upstate where he cares for a large pediatric refugee population.

Olson’s visit to Liberia is part of a new international initiative of Upstate’s Department of Pediatrics. Steven D. Blatt, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and director of the General Pediatric Division, and pediatric resident Saadiya Khan, M.B.B.S., will travel to Liberia next month.

The U.S.-based non-profit organization, Heartt (Health Education and Relief Through Teaching), was founded and is chaired by Dr. James A. Sirleaf, the son of Liberia’s president. Heartt addresses Liberia’s vast healthcare gap, a result of a past civil war, by improving healthcare delivery and establishing partnerships with academic institutions throughout the world. Liberia, is a country on the west coast of Africa, which according to a 2008 Census, is home to 3,476,608 people and covers 43,000 square miles.

Follow Olson’s experiences in Liberia by visiting his blog: http://bradinliberia.wordpress.com.

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