November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Day Thanks

We received the books here in good condition, and we will get the books to their intended destination!

As I am writing this on Thanksgiving Day, the best to you and all of yours. We here are thankful for your generosity, support and consideration.

Here's a photo of part of the USAID component of Team N with the books. Some of the background gives you an idea what life is like in a war zone. Pictured are V. Myev and myself with two of our Afghan colleagues. They are part of what gives me hope and inspiration for the future of Afghanistan.

Best regards,

G. Roemer


November 23, 2010

University of Health Sciences Antigua School of Medicine Library

Paper journals are too text heavy for Afganistan. Over the last eighteen months, all OML journal donations have been sent to University of Health Sciences Antigua School of Medicine and Macedonia School of Nursing. According to Lyzette Román, Vice President Institutional Advancement and International Affairs University of Health Sciences Antigua School of Medicine, "All of these donations are a true blessing."
Visit the UHSA Website

New York College of Osteopathic Medicine Sends Textbooks to Jalalabad

On Friday, November 19, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine's student chapter of Physicians for Human Rights shipped Medical Textbooks to George Roemer for the Nangarhar University Medical School and the Midwifery Institute in Jalalabad. The shipment included 52 textbooks collected from our medical students. We hope they are of use to the students at these two institutes!

Thank You for the work you do and the opportunity to share our books!

Kristin Gotimer, MPH

New York College of Osteopathic Medicine - OMS II
NYCOM Physicians for Human Rights - President


October 13, 2010

OML Donations Make Difference in Afghan Medicine

Photo captions:
A recent delivery of OML contributions to Afshar Hospital in Kabul. Pictured are Dr. Gary Davis,
a member of my command who graciously offers to transport OML deliveries on my behalf, and Dr. Ghulam Farooq, the Director of Afshar Hospital.

Kabul Medical University, Afghanistan's premiere medical school, has received thousands of volumes of medical education resources through OML.

To All,

As a point of contact in Afghanistan for Operation Medical Libraries (OML), I want to acknowledge receipt of your generous contributions. I apologize for the impersonal nature of this email, but the overwhelming number of boxes we've received since my arrival in theater two months ago leaves me little time to thank each one of you individually, as much as I would like to. I can't thank you all enough for taking the time and effort to collect, pack, and mail your medical texts and other educational materials on behalf of OML.

My colleagues here in the Medical Training Advisory Group (MTAG) marvel over the extreme value of many of these references. We often discuss which Afghan medical training facility, school, or hospital would most benefit from certain contributions -- a Netter anatomy text for a medical school reference library, a wonderful text and CD on surgery of the skin for a local hospital with plastic surgery capabilities, so on and so forth.

The MTAG nurses covet the few nursing texts we've received and are planning to hand-deliver a recently sorted shipment to members of the Armed Forces Academy of Medical Sciences for the benefit of their nursing program. My colleagues have delivered many medical texts to augment the reference libraries of local medical universities and hospitals, both civilian and military. One physician colleague recently delivered several surgical texts to two very deserving and courageous female Afghan OB-GYN physicians employed at a local hospital operated by a U.S. non-governmental organization. They were so thrilled.

Very few physicians in this country can afford to purchase medical texts for their personal use. According to my colleague, one of the OB-GYNs has already read one donated text on operative obstetrics from cover to cover. Extremely shy and reserved, she even corrected a male attending physician during morning rounds (something rarely done much less by a female), reportedly gazing stiffly at her feet while quoting directly from the text. This is just a small example of how your donations have made a difference in the world of Afghan medicine.

Needless to say, my colleagues and I are very appreciative for all OML donations. Our Afghan counterparts are equally, if not more, grateful. For those few that enclosed a return email address with your donation, I can at least acknowledge our appreciation. If you are aware of those who donated texts but did not enclose an email address, please pass on our heartfelt thanks.


S. L. Holtzclaw, MD, MPH
Lead Advisor, Medical Policy and Development
Mentor, GIRoA Office of the Surgeon General
Liaison, GIRoA Ministry of Public Health & USAID
Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan / NATO Training
Mission-Afghanistan / Medical Training Advisory Group Office of the
Command Surgeon


September 29, 2010

International Publicity Has Immediate Impact

Irene M. Wielaswki's article on OML, which first appeared in the New York Times Science section on August 31, has traveled on the web and published in American and international newspapers including: Chicago Tribune, Sun-Sentinel, The Hindu (India), Tajikistan Times, and International Herald Tribune, as well as military websites and blogs. The global exposure has had an immediate impact in Afghanistan.


September 27, 2010

POC's Overwhelmed by Shipments of Books


The response to your recent articles has been overwhelming. I feel like
a librarian!! I have a couple pictures for you. There is also a Egyptian
Field Hospital here who cares for local nationals. I will have to get a
picture of their "library" they have compliments of you and your
friends. I cannot begin to tell you how great it is to give these books
away. We are so so grateful. They appreciate the generosity of
everyone. You are making a difference here! Who knows maybe someday
there will be peace here. We can only hope. Thanks again,


OML Adds New POC

Last week Chuck Wolfe found OML through a Google search. He has been in Afghanistan since 2007. His team teaches an Afghan medical company in Mazar-e-Sharif to provide Level II medical care from the front lines medical units to the hospitals. They are in need of medical texts covering emergency and trauma care, physical diagnosis, clinical medicine, primary care, wound care and closure, operational surgery and pre-post surgical care to help them learn current medical treatment.

Chuck Wolfe
Camp Mike Spann
APO AE 09368

Last shipment date from U.S. is January May 1, 2011


September 10, 2010

NY Times' Readers Respond to OML Article

Operation Medical Libraries (OML), formerly MAA’s Books without Borders, was featured in the Science section of the New York Times on August 31, 2010, which brought world-wide attention to the program. The first correspondence came from a British physician, who had been following OML on Twitter, wondering if OML had a UK operation. Within 24 hours of his email, OML had identified an Afghan province where American and British troops are mentoring local medical professionals, and his books could be sent there.

Since the article first appeared, there has been a spike in OML Website visitors and a steady flow of emails, including one from a pediatrician at CSI Hospital in Bagalore, India, who asked how he could participate. A psychiatrist in Cape Cod packed up medical textbooks while she waited for Hurricane Earl. Large medical universities and hospitals scattered throughout the country are interested in sponsoring OML drives.

The response from the OML military point of contacts (POC) resonates with appreciation. “Hey, I was on R&R!! The books have been coming in, and my boys put them in the conex (container express) for me. WOW, are there any books left in the USA? I have already had a request from outlying army clinics for books. So this is great. I cannot thank you enough,” emailed P. Aitchinson, USA Army nurse, Director of the Afghan Trauma Mentorship Program Task Force.

As the article stated, more than 27,000 new and gently used medical textbooks have been donated to Afghanistan. Using a conservative estimate of $50 per book, the value of these educational materials is $1,350,000 and increasing daily, as new donations are sent.

OML has libraries in four Afghan provinces. It provides educational resources to hospitals, clinics and two of the eight Afghan medical schools, including the premier Kabul Medical University that graduates approximately 360 students every year. Overall, 1,000 students graduate from the medical schools in Afghanistan.

During the time of the Taliban, medical models, and even posters, of organ systems, were not allowed in the classrooms. Pictures in books were also banned. Thus the Afghan medical schools are so desperately in need of such books.

An Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Jacobi Medical Center in Bronx, New York, ordered a new copy of A Comprehensive Study Guide for S. Holtzclaw, deployed in Kabul as liaison, GIROA Office of the Surgeon General. In an email to the donor, Holtzclaw wrote, “Everyone here is extremely grateful for any donations and your generosity. We can certainly use ANY medical texts, especially those concerning Emergency Medicine, with the surge of combat casualties of late. Many thanks!”

To read the New York Times article,>OML Website and click on Resources and Publicity tab.

August 30, 2010

New York Times Science Section Spotlights OML

Extra,extra read all about Operation Medical Libraries in the New York Times Science section on August 31, 2010.Doctors Heed Call for Books

July 21, 2010

OML Continues to Provide Training Resources for Afghan Trauma Mentorship Program


For over 18 months, OML has been providing textbooks for the Afghan Trauma Mentorship Program in Bagram, Afghanistan. The current director of the two-week program is an amazing US Army nurse. Here are some of the photos she took of her students using the OML resources.

May 14, 2010

OML Salutes Dr E.H. Munro Medical Library within St Mary's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado

The Dr E.H. Munro Medical Library within St Mary's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado is in the process of sending a large amount of journals, textbooks and software to the University of Health Sciences in Antiqua. The library is fortunate to currently have Tyler H., a young volunteer who is responsible for getting these items packed securely to survive the trip to Lyzette Roman, whose office is in Puerto Rico. Hopefully Ms. Roman has a 'large' office, as we have already sent 61 boxes of just journals, and will be sending textbooks and software when the volunteer gets them packed up. The challenge is finding enough smaller boxes, so this can all go by USPS at Library Media rate [which has a maximum of 70 lbs!!].

Mark McKenney, the medical librarian, managed to get four oncologist MDs to donate a large number of oncology journals that they had access to electronically via their various medical associations they belong to. Mark also contacted the local nursing education department at Mesa State College [also in Grand Junction, CO], and the faculty came up with several large boxes of textbooks/journals/software that were picked up on May 12 2010, and those will also be going to Antiqua.


April 16, 2010

OML POC Daughter Salutes Her Dad and Military in Song

For every deployed soldier there is a family left behind waiting for his/her safe return. One of the current OML POC's stationed in Kabul received a special song from his daughter, who wrote and performed We Salute You. She dedicated the song to her dad and all those deployed. The clip is on YouTube. We Salute You

Verse 1
To the men and women out there who stand for liberty-
To the ones who died in battle to make our country free-
To the families of veterans who fought for the truth-
To the mothers of young men who gave up their youth:

We salute you for this country we call free,
We salute you for the land of liberty,
We salute you for safety in the night.
We salute you for fighting for the right.

Verse 2
You have all fought so bravely, our thank you's not enough.
You risked your lives to protect us, you gave up so much.
But you did it for service to country and God
And you stood up for what you know is such a great cause.



March 10, 2010

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria Weighs In BIG

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria is in the middle of a very successful OML drive. To date, they have collected and sorted by subject (OB/GYN, surgery, trauma, pediatrics, etc.) 15 very heavy of boxes. A big OML thanks to Molly M., a third year medical student, for organizing this book drive. Way to go, Molly!


February 23, 2010

MedImpact Donates New Medical Books to Antigua

MedImpact Healthcare System in San Diego donated 7 boxes of medical books and journals to the University of Health Sciences Antigua.

From all of us here at MedImpact, thank you OML for giving us the opportunity to donate unused medical books to such a great cause. We are happy to know they will be put in good use.

MedImpact is a full-service, transparent Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) company, focused on aligning our goals with our clients' goals – delivering value by providing flexibility and choice. We deliver straightforward, cost-efficient and clinically effective prescription drug management for clients. Our evidence-based approach to delivering customized, innovative products and services is designed to manage overall costs while increasing quality of care.

February 12, 2010

OML's Website Re-design is Complete

Kudos to the UCLA Alumni Association marketing team for making the final tweaks and edits of the OML Website re-design. It looks fabulous! OML Website

January 19, 2010

OML Invited to Participate in the 14th Annual UCLA Health Care Symposium

OML has been invited to participate in the 14th Annual UCLA Health Care Symposium: Bridging the Divide: Practical Health Care Solutions for Los Angeles on Saturday, January 23. The symposium organizers recognize the important role that OML serves in the international community. OML will have a table at the interactive exhibit of community organizations.The goal of the exhibit is to facilitate networking opportunities for all and to initiate future collaborations.

January 13, 2010

OML Website's Remodel is Still Under Construction

OML Website

Thanks to the supportive relationship between OML and the UCLA Christian Medical Dental Association (CMDA), OML's Website has a new look. Unfortunately, uploading the photo albums and thank you letters found on the Photos & Recipients page have been a challenge. Bear with us. These items will be back---bigger and better! The rest of the redesign is awesome!

Check it out the OML Website
For more information, call 310-794-4025.

January 4, 2010

OML Welcomes Two New POCs in the First Two Days of the New Year!

In the first two days of 2010, OML received requests from two American service personnel stationed in Kabul.

One is currently assigned to the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CTSC-A), Directorate of Command Surgeon, as Medical Embedded Training Team Advisors and requests any books pertaining to dentistry, including specific book titles: Pathways of the Pulp, Dental Oral Anatomy, DentalAnesthesia, Operative Dentistry, Oral Pathology, Perio Book, Dental Materials, Dental Radiology, Preventive Dentistry, and Oral Surgery Anatomy (Netter).

The other is a Pharmacy advisor at a national police hospital and requests pharmacological book/references for advisees. The pharmacy is staffed by 3 pharmacists and 1 medical specialist. They serve (ANP and family members) about 90 outpatients per day and support several inpatient wards. Current and updated references would help them do their job better.

If you have dental or pharmacological textbooks to send, please call OML at 310-794-4025 or visit the OML Website