June 20, 2017
Lessons in Resilience
caroline.philhower

Hundreds wait outside my clinic. I call it a “clinic” but it could be anything from a disused storage shed to a makeshift school classroom for refugees. The patients know we only have a few minutes to talk about their symptoms before they disappear into a sea of tents or urban...

Read More
June 6, 2017
Committed to Care
caroline.philhower

“Working with SAMS made me feel part of a brilliant community of great minds and spirits, committed to care for communities of refugees, not just through health but also through advocacy,” SAMS Global Response volunteer Dr. Kate Markham said of her work with SGR in Greece.  Dr. Markham volunteered with our Global...

Read More
June 5, 2017
Medical Missions Are Important, But They Are Not Enough
caroline.philhower

Six years after the eruption of the conflict in Syria, Jordan’s Al-Zaatari Refugee Camp has become the largest Syrian camp in the region, with 80,000 residents. Over half of the camp’s population is under 24 years old, with 19.9% of the population being under five years old. Through our medical...

Read More
May 31, 2017
Kasem & The White Hand Center
caroline.philhower

“If we were to create something called ‘human devastation syndrome’ that is what we’re seeing,” with these words, Dr. MK Hamza, Chair of SAMS Mental Health Committee,  kicked off his discussion of mental health in Syria, at the SAMS’s 6th Annual National Conference in Los Angeles, CA on February 18th,...

Read More
April 28, 2017
Dr. Naveed Iqbal: “It’s a privilege to serve the Syrian people”
caroline.philhower

Stopped eight times by the army as well as various uniformed officials for scheduled security checks at Beirut airport alone, one can sense the tense atmosphere in this country. 25% of Lebanon’s population is now Syrian refugees. It’s a country surrounded by decades of conflict with Palestine in the south...

Read More
April 26, 2017
SAMS Medical Mission with Dr. Saleem: Day 3
caroline.philhower

Today, I spent the day in a specialty clinic in the Beka’a Valley. When I arrived, I asked the clinic staff how many patients were here to see me. A staff member answered, “15, but more may show up”. At 1 pm, after I had seen 12 patients, she suggested I...

Read More
April 25, 2017
SAMS Lebanon Medical Mission with Dr. Saleem: Day 2
caroline.philhower

Let’s start with a few quick facts about the Syrian American Medical Society. SAMS is a non-profit, non-political and non-religious medical relief organization. They provide financial support to the dwindling doctors and hospitals remaining in Syria, that continue to face attacks. Today,  5 million Syrian refugees are spread across the...

Read More
April 25, 2017
SAMS Lebanon Medical Mission with Dr. Saleem: Day 1
caroline.philhower

Our medical mission to Lebanon kicked off with a nice breakfast followed by group orientation with the 38 volunteers currently on SAMS’s medical mission to Lebanon. A few key statistics remind us of the gravity of the refugee crisis in Lebanon:  Lebanon has a population of approximately 6 million.  It is...

Read More
April 20, 2017
A Lifesaving Diagnosis
caroline.philhower

Early in 2016, Tabarak Al-Jabawi lay waiting for surgery in Amman, Jordan. For five years, a malignant tumor on her wrist had grown in size. The tumor had followed her, from her hometown in Syria, to Al-Zaatari camp in Mafraq, Jordan. After years of pain and frustrating diagnoses, she was...

Read More
April 17, 2017
Dispatches from Jordan with Dr. Jihad Shoshara: Epilogue
caroline.philhower

It’s now 4:40pm in Amman, and 8:40am in Chicago as I write this from 30,000 feet up above the Atlantic. (I mean “writing” in the literal sense – thanks to the #ElectronicsBan on flights from Arab cities, I’m rediscovering how atrocious my longhand is.) As I begin my reentry to...

Read More
April 13, 2017
Five Days of Neurosurgery with Dr. Khalid Kurtom
caroline.philhower

Dr. Khalid Kurtom and his neurosurgery team from University of Maryland Shore Regional Health joined SAMS for medical mission to Amman, Jordan from April 7 – 14. Dr. Kurtom’s team joined a group of over 70 other medical professionals providing high quality, culturally appropriate medical care to refugees and the local community, including...

Read More
Load More