The View

As I am preparing this column for publication, about half the population is enduring the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy as it comes ashore in New Jersey. The destruction is already extensive and we haven’t heard from the inland areas that are bound to experience wide ranging power outages, flooding, and loss of life and property. We sincerely wish all our friends and business associates in the Mid-Atlantic, New England, Great Lakes, and Canada God speed and good luck during these terrible few hours and the days and weeks of cleaning up ahead.
Congratulations to Basic Health International for receiving the most clicks in our Making A Difference issue that is published on-line every July. Basic Health International will receive a $1000 donation from the CoffeeTalk Foundation and our warm congratulations. Basic Health International developed, along with students from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, a transportable lightweight gynecological exam table made from inexpensive materials. The table folds up and can be carried like a backpack into remote areas that may not have seen women’s medical care for generations. The frame also has pouches for carrying the cryotherapy tanks and supplies
In the words of BHI…
“Imagine painting a 5-story building without a ladder, or harvesting coffee without a container to store the beans? This is the situation that many health care providers find themselves in when administering cervical cancer screening in remote and rural areas. Health care providers often travel long distances to provide life-saving cervical cancer screening and treatment to rural areas that do not have health clinics or gynecologic examination tables. Women have to be examined on desks, tables, hard floors or low mattresses in community rooms or private homes. These non-traditional facilities are often poorly lit and uncomfortable for women. In addition, to treat pre-cancerous cervical lesions, cryotherapy (freezing) of the cervix is employed. This requires providers to lug the gas tanks that weigh approximately 25 lbs each. These tanks are awkward and difficult to grasp because of their cylindrical shape and lack of a handle. As a result, providers either roll the gear on a dolly-like structure, or bear the weight on their own
heads – all of which prove unfeasible in remote, mountainous areas.”
We hope that our small contribution will help Basic Health International deploy more of these needed tools to villages and women in need. We also urge you to give as well. For more information on Basic Health International, you can call 212-241-0733 or email them at Their address is:
Basic Health International
Mount Sinai Medical Center
One Gustave, L. Levy Place, Box 1170
New York, NY 10029-6574
Thank you for making our raffle successful!
On behalf of the 5th graders of the West Seattle Elementary School (a school with hope and heart), we would like to thank the generous Coffee Fest exhibitors and our dinner party guests for their contributions to our raffle fundraiser. Miles and I were amazed at the contributions of so many friends and business partners, enabling us to successfully reach our goal to sustain the camp in Islandwood, where the students participate in experiential and project-based fieldwork. For many of these students, it is their first time being outside of the city and they come back changed, with a broader view of themselves and the impact they have as members of a community. Keeping the program alive would not have been possible without your support!

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