Posted by Dirk Farrar on Oct 16, 2017
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Date: 10/16/2017
Program: Dr. Mosoka Fallah - Every Life Counts: The Story of Refuge Place
Meeting called to order by:  Past President Wendy Holden at 12:21
  • Invocation:  Carol Murphy
  • Pledge of Allegiance:  Gerald Pumphrey
  • Song:  America the Beautiful – Allen Miller
  • Four Way Test:  Lynn Heinold
Visiting Rotarians: 
  • Van VenJepmond - Lacey
  • Bob Lovely - South Puget Sound
  • Olympia High School Interact Club Members
Guests of Rotarians: 
  • Jean and John, (former Peace Corps volunteers in Liberia) guests of Kalo Wilcox
  • Heather Antanaitis, guest of Rosemary Barnhart
Happy Bucks:  
  • Wendy Holden Brought a boutonniere for Denny that she had intended to present to him earlier, but had to "preserve" in her refrigerator for 4 months. 
  • Oscar Soule -  Went to his 55th college reunion and has done lots of traveling lately
  • Trent Hart - Reminder that we will be bell ringing for the Salvation Army on 12-16.  Looking for volunteers
  • Mo Considine - They have interviewed 7 outgoing exchange students and they were all wonderful
  • Allen Miller - Reminded us about the upcoming ballots for the election, and to vote! 
  • Exchange Students - Were happy.  Our exchange student from Taiwan was happy her sister was going to be an exchange student next year.
  • Rosemary Barnhart Went to san Francisco for her 55th wedding anniversary
  • Victoria ByerlyMade an announcement about the literacy committee
Cool Jazz/Clean Water
Micky Dumont announced that Cool Jazz/Clean Water event on  11/18 needs donations for the baskets and volunteers.
100th Anniversary Committee

Don Chalmers announced the next meeting for the committee for the 100th anniversary of our club meets Thursday at Mercatos to plan for the year 2020 event.


Steve Bean auctioned off 2 husky tickets for $200 to Anthony Brock

Program: Dr. Mosoka Fallah - "Every Life Counts: The Story of Refuge Place" 
Dr. Jim Balz introduced our speaker.  Dr. Fallah recounted the story of how he returned to Liberia after studying medicine in the US.  There were only 2 obstetrics/gynecologists in the country.   Maternal (1072/100,000) mortality and Infant (66/1000) mortality was one of the highest in the world.   Liberia had suffered through 14 years of civil war.   Basic services were in disarray and there was a collapse of health systems.  
Research indicated a need for a model maternal child clinic for the poor urban slum dwellers in Liberia.  Greater than 50% of the women treated had lost three or more children.  Dr. Fallah knew he could not sit idly by and let this happen.  In 2010 he helped create "Refuge Place" a model maternal child clinic.  Their core vision was "Zero death to Mothers and Children."
They acquired land in 2010 and construction of the facility continued in 2010-2014.  On Hune 9, 2014 the cliic was completed in the mdst of the Ebola crisis in Africa.  Total cost of the construction and furniture was $65,000.  Refuge Place provided services during the Ebola crisis when Liberia was the hardest hit nation with over 4800 deaths. Dr. Fallah launched grassroots public health efforts by visiting and winning the trust of the local Ebola-stricken communities.  the provided free had-washing buskets and chlorine beach to households to prevent the spread of Ebola. They follwed this up with a vaccination program.
In addition to maternal and child care services, Refuge place now provides clinic, ambulance, and pharmacy services.  Since 2014, with a total revenue of just $285,000, they have treated over 33,000 patients, including 887 births with no deaths. 
There is now an urgent need to transition from a 24-hour clinic to a hospital.  Referral of pregnant women with urgent need for Caesarean section is now delayed due to lack of hospital beds in referral hospitals.  Clinical services have grown to 1200 Patients a month and the clinic lacks abilities for advanced medical and surgical services-turned away or refer complicated cases.  transition to a hospital will attract more funding for sustainability and more doctors for critical services. 
This process of transition has now begun.  (1) They have completed the purchase of two incomplete buildings and land (2) A volunteer Liberia architectural graduate student studying in Morocco has completed the plans for the future Hospital (3) They have engaged a medical supply NGO in Kentucky to cover the hospital once completed.


Mr. Snappy Winner:

Mr. Snappy was won by Bill Latta.  The prize was $25 gift certificate to Drees.

Meeting adjourned by Past President Wendy Holden at 1:09