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Join us in welcoming Elvis












Esperança is pleased to announce Elvis Lopez has joined the nonprofit as surgical program coordinator.

“We’re excited to have Elvis on board,” said James Hoyt, CEO of Esperança. “He will help coordinate our volunteer surgical program, which sends 14-16 surgical teams and medical supplies to developing countries each year.”

Lopez has over nine years of experience in hospital admitting/patient access (ER, outpatient, inpatient and diagnostic services).  Most recently he was a Service Excellence Manager in Chandler, AZ and prior to that he was a Surgery Coordinator for Barrow Neurosurgical Associates.

Elvis is a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant as well as Certified Medical Bilingual Interpreter.


AZ Health and Living Features Esperança’s Work Locally and Internationally

We’re very excited to be featured in the June issue of AZ Health and Living.  The article talks about our efforts to expand our services to Peru and our recent trip with a group of local donors, supporters and volunteer doctors.  The group was able to attend a kick off meeting for the surgical program, as well as, visit a few agricultural projects. They also met with community leaders, built an adobe home in Santo Tomas and visited Esperança’s “House of Waiting.”

To learn more about our efforts in Peru and programs that benefit low-income families in Phoenix, read the full article at http://issuu.com/arizonahealthandliving/docs/azhl_east_valley_june_2015_issue_di/1?e=6323197/13246398.





Mission of Hope 2015: Peru Donor Trip Continued

A group of 11 travelers includes donors, doctors and Esperança staff traveled to Peru May 16-24. The travel team had a very successful trip and enjoyed meeting with program partners to discuss the new surgical program.  They are hoping to schedule their first medical mission trip in the coming months!

The group also visited a few agricultural projects and experienced Peruvian hospitality at its finest with meals of homemade potatoes.  They also helped make an adobe home in Santo Tomas and visited Esperança’s “house of waiting”, called La Casa De Espera, which is a safe facility for pregnant women to come for the last stages of pregnancy.

Gregory Simpson of MidFirst Bank in Phoenix enjoyed his first trip traveling with Esperança.  As a donor and supporter, “It was an incredible trip, very positive and eye opening.  The people truly live off the land.  They work long days to provide food, water and shelter for their families.  It almost felt like we stepped back in time to see a village that operates without means of transportation, electrical, plumbing, and just the basic infrastructure we take for granted in the United States.”

The travel team said how wonderful the people were and how grateful they were for Esperança’s help.  Gregory added, “I hope this was the first of many more trips with Esperança.  They are doing amazing work internationally!”

If you’d like to participate in an upcoming mission trip, please contact Jared Leslie, development director at Jared@esperanca.org.




Mission of Hope 2015: Peru Donor Trip

This year’s donor trip is set for May 16-24 in Peru.  Our group of 11 travelers includes board members, donors, doctors and Esperança staff. While on the ground, our travel team will take part in a kick off meeting for the surgical program and visit a few agricultural projects.  We will also meet with community leaders, help make an adobe home in Santo Tomas and visit our “House of Waiting”, called La Casa De Espera, which is a safe facility for pregnant women to come for the last stage of pregnancy.

One of the donors traveling with the group is Gregory Simpson of MidFirst Bank in Phoenix.  This is his first trip with Esperança and he’s looking forward to seeing our work first hand.  He’s been a supporter of Esperanca for about three years.  Gregory serves as the President of the Squaw Peak Rotary Club in the 2015 –  2016 year.  When he first learned of Esperança he was immediately drawn towards the mission and after attending several Hope Breakfasts and learning even more about our work internationally and in Phoenix, he wanted to go on a volunteer trip.

“The first 10 years of my life were spent in a low income neighborhood,” said Simpson. “We didn’t have running water in our home and no one came to our rescue.  I can relate to what these people are experiencing.  I am looking forward to building homes with them and giving them new opportunities for a better life.”

Gregory and the team will share their experiences and pictures after returning from Peru.  Stay tuned to hear more about the trip and work they accomplished.

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Fifth Annual “Hope Breakfast” Raises Record

Our Fifth Annual Hope Breakfast was Wednesday, May 6 at Grand Canyon University. We set several records with over 260 people in attendance and more than $93,000 raised! We had several wonderful corporations come forward and contribute to the event for a total of $45,000 in sponsorships. We are so grateful for their support!

We also had two outstanding speakers: Dr. Kris Volcheck, D.D.S., M.B.A (Phoenix resident) and Dr. Daniel Custer (Texas resident). Dr. Volcheck is a domestic program partner here in Phoenix helping low income children with dental hygiene and care and Dr. Custer has served on several volunteer medical missions to Nicaragua. Everyone loved hearing their inspiring stories about helping those in need.

Thank you again to all our corporate sponsors and those who attended. We appreciate your
support and financial contributions!


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Esperança to Remodel Safe Haven for Pregnant Women in Peru

The House of Waiting, in Haquira, Peru.  The facility has been providing women in the latter stages of pregnancy with a safe place to come for the last 17  years, but the dilapidated home is in desperate need of remodeling.

Local health outposts provide basic medical care to Peruvian women, but they cannot handle late-stage pregnancy and childbirth.  Women in their final stages of pregnancy walk to La Casa de Espera because there is supervised care by nurses 24 hours a day.  When it’s time to give birth, the nurse summons an ambulance, and the mother-to-be is transported to a nearby hospital to give birth.

Esperança is hoping to raise $37,000 to remodel the 1,050 square foot home that has three bedrooms with four beds in each room plus one bedroom for the nurse on duty. The home provides medical care for up to 12 women at one time.  Last year, La Casa de Espera served approximately 100 women.

“We are one of the only homes like this in the area, and we know the women are counting on us to continue to provide care,” said Jared Leslie, director of development for Esperança.

To make a donation or learn more about La Casa de Espera, contact Jared Leslie at Jared@esperanca.org.




In partnership with Maricopa County Health Department, Esperanca is one of 3 key partners awarded the SCALE initiative funded through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement

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Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH), on behalf of the Health Improvement Partnership of Maricopa County (HIPMC), today announced it has been named a final awardee and will receive funding from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to support promising community-based work on health improvement, as part of the SCALE (Spreading Community Accelerators through Learning and Evaluation) initiative. Made possible by a $4.8 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and led by IHI, Community Solutions, Communities Joined in Action, and the Collaborative Health Network, SCALE will help communities further their capability to improve the health of targeted populations and develop ways to share and spread community-driven approaches across the country.

SCALE is designed to jumpstart an unprecedented community-to-community learning system right out of the gate in that the initiative matches four “mentor communities” – those with a recent track record of achieving better health – with 20 “pacesetter communities” that are seeking to accelerate their pace of change.

“After reviewing hundreds of impressive applications, we are pleased to welcome these 24 communities to the SCALE initiative and to bring them together to deepen their ability to create effective improvement and to generously share what’s currently working in various locales,” stated Soma Stout, MD, MS, Principal Innovator in SCALE, and Executive External Lead, Health Improvement, IHI.

Through participation in SCALE as a “Pacesetter” community, MCDPH, in conjunction with four HIPMC member organizations, will have access to high level capacity building support for community health improvement plan initiatives through assistance with process improvement, creating shared metrics, evaluation and community engagement strategies over the course of 20 months (May 2015 through December 2016).

“We are excited to have this opportunity to work alongside our community partners to build upon our successes and advance the work of the HIPMC in achieving a common vision of health, well-being, and equity for Maricopa County,” said Dr. Bob England, director of MCDPH.

The Health Improvement Partnership of Maricopa County (HIPMC) is a multi-sectoral coalition of more than 60 organizations collectively working to implement the 2012-2017 Maricopa County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP identifies areas where we can have the largest impact on improving the quality of life for all residents, particularly the most vulnerable. The CHIP focuses on the five health priorities that were identified in the 2012 Maricopa County Community Health Assessment: obesity, diabetes, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and access to care (read more at www.maricopahealthmatters.org).

MCDPH is regarded as the backbone organization for the HIPMC, providing a stable infrastructure including staffing, meeting facilitation, communications, evaluation and epidemiological support.  HIPMC partners contribute expertise in working with targeted populations, especially those experiencing health disparities, and implementing a wide variety of evidence-based and promising practice interventions.

The HIPMC provides the infrastructure to share ideas and resources, identify gaps and barriers, and engage in thoughtful planning to achieve its vision of “empowered communities working together to reach optimal health and quality of life for all”. HIPMC partners include a diverse representation across its four sectors: Community (Where We Live), Worksites (Where We Work), Education (Where We Learn), and Healthcare (Where We Seek Care).

Key partners for this SCALE initiative include a representation of our partners from across our sectors and each has been a foundational partner of the HIPMC.

Banner Health, is a strong partner in the Healthcare Sector. As one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health care systems, Banner Health operates an integrated system that seeks to provide equal access to quality to the community.

Esperança is a key partner within the Community Sector, working to provide nutrition, healthy eating and physical activity education to un-and-under-insured families. Esperança’s CHIP initiatives focus on serving Latino children and families, who data shows disproportionately suffer from obesity.

FitPHX, is a Phoenix citywide healthy-living initiative created by Mayor Greg Stanton, Vice Mayor Daniel T. Valenzuela and Olympic Gold Medalist Misty Hyman. FitPHX actively leads CHIP initiatives with businesses, nonprofits and other government agencies to develop partnerships to encourage residents to lead healthier lifestyles at work, home and play.

Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), one of the largest community college systems in the country, is a partner who supports both the Education and Worksite sectors. MCCCD leads initiatives to eliminate tobacco use and create a learning and working environment that promotes health.

SCALE communities will seek to obtain improved health outcomes, spread effective best practices as quickly as possible in order to realize improvements in health, and become beacons and resources for any community, anywhere, striving to obtain the best health possible – especially those communities most vulnerable to poor health due to poverty, violence, or lack of social supports. The initiative will tap into the expertise of Abraham H. Wandersman, PhD, from the University of South Carolina, who will lead a team of experts in formative evaluation across institutions.

SCALE marks the first community-based program of the recently announced global initiative, 100 Million Healthier Lives, led by IHI and 140 founding partners. Through unprecedented collaboration, this initiative aims to achieve an audacious goal: 100 million people living healthier lives by 2020. To date, nearly 500 patients, community members, leaders, organizations, and implementers across the domains of public health, community health, health care, policy, academia, business, and financing have joined the 100 Million Healthier Lives initiative, with additional members welcome to join here.


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.


About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement

IHI is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. For more than 25 years, we have partnered with visionaries, leaders, and front-line practitioners around the globe to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. Recognized as an innovator, convener, trustworthy partner, and driver of results, we are the first place to turn for expertise, help, and encouragement for anyone, anywhere who wants to change health and health care profoundly for the better. To advance our mission, IHI’s work is focused in five key areas: Improvement Capability; Person- and Family-Centered Care; Patient Safety; Quality, Cost, and Value; and Triple Aim for Populations. Learn more at ihi.org.


About Community Solutions

Community Solutions is a registered 501(c)(3) organization that helps communities solve the complex problems facing their most vulnerable, hard hit members. We work from eight locations to assist communities throughout the United States and internationally. http://cmtysolutions.org/


About Communities Joined in Action

Communities Joined in Action (CJA) is a private, non-profit membership organization of nearly 200 community health collaboratives – each of our members being committed to improving health, improving access, and eliminating disparities in their communities. Our mission is to mobilize and assist these community health collaboratives to assure better health for all people at less cost. http://cjaonline.net


About Collaborative Health Network

Collaborative Health Network is a vibrant network that connects diverse stakeholders and trusted groups who are working to improve community health and healthcare, especially those taking a multi-sector, collaborative approach. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and led by the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI), the Collaborative Health Network is designed to accelerate the adoption of what is working locally, and to identify the next generation of challenges. http://www.nrhi.org/collaborative-health-network


Teach a Man to Store a Fish?















When you think of the old saying, “Rather than give a man a fish you should teach him to fish”, do you ever think of where to store the fish? Food storage is something that most of us do not think twice about. However, most Mozambicans living in rural communities think of this fact every day.

Storing food is something that many villagers have to spend a lot of time worrying about. Not having effective ways to store food puts many at risk of avoidable disease and poor nutrition, especially for the children. The country is still suffering from the effects of a protracted civil war that ended in 1992, historical knowledge about food storage has been lost in many communities. Reintroducing this knowledge will be a key way to address the issue of malnutrition, a serious issue in Mozambique. Currently 44%
of children under the age of five are stunted from poor diet and chronic illness.

Esperança is partnering with local development groups to find innovative ways to address the issue. In the small village of Maciene, Mozambique, 145 miles north of the capital city Maputo, villagers are rediscovering ways to address issues of nutrition and food security. The Mabumwine Community Development Center will be working to reintroduce animal husbandry and food curing methods that have been lost. Women and children will be provided with training and technical assistance on different approaches to agriculture and food preparation. This training will include ways to increase community members’ crop yields, in addition to educating villagers on ways to preserve food, such as through traditional smoking and curing methods. Both efforts will lead to women and children having better balanced diets. Additionally, community members will be able to sell any surplus crops grown to create an alternative revenue source for the community.



Mission Possible – The view as a Boardmember

This past February Bob (an Esperanca Boardmember) and Robin (his wife and Professional Photographer) boarded a flight for Managua on their way to Jinotega. They embarked on a journey to the villages with us to find more patients for our surgical program, for an upcoming mission here is some insight into what he and his wife experienced:

“Esperanca travels twice a year on a difficult, and risky trip into one of the most remote areas in Nicaragua to find patients for our plastic surgical missions. The only way to find these patients is to go to their villages. I sent a clip of a boy taking his grandmother off the boat. She is blind. As we launched on the first day, they had been waiting three days for a boat that would take them downstream where they would walk another three hours to their village. We gave them a ride.  In Siksayati, the farthest point of this mission, we transported a mother and her baby who had pneumonia, dropping them off in a larger village where the child could be given oxygen and antibiotics. On the final leg of our trip up Rio Coco, we brought a women and her infant, taking them to the hospital in Wiwili. These missions cost several thousand dollars per year, and would not happen without support from Esperanca/AVODEC.” Bob Craig – Esperanҫa Board Member



Reaching Out to the Developing World – St. Thomas the Apostle Church

At Esperança, compassion is expressed in many ways, such as monetary and medical supply donations, volunteers, prayers and surgical trips. Since the early days of Esperança, donors and doctors traveled to Brazil. We have continued to reach out with compassion to families around the world.
That wonderful tradition will continue this Easter when a group from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan will travel to Nicaragua on a Mission of Hope. The group represents the people of St. Thomas who have been faithful supporters of Esperança since 1980. Their tithing stewardship has transformed many lives in the past 35 years. The group of 6 adults and 5 teens, accompanied by Esperança staff, will meet with community leaders in the town of Jinotega where they will help dig latrines for neighboring villagers. In addition to manual labor, they will enjoy meals with staff members from our Nicaraguan partners, AVODEC. A visit to the Masaya volcano and a pottery workshop is also on their itinerary.
We are truly grateful to the people of St. Thomas the Apostle Church for their many years of support!



Esperança is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations.