National Volunteer Week: Project HOPE Names Volunteer of the Year Ann Perez

MILLWOOD, Va., April 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Project HOPE, the global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, today named Ann Perez, a registered nurse from Santa Fe, New Mexico, as its Volunteer of the Year. Massachusetts General Hospital was meanwhile recognized as Global Partner Volunteer of the Year after many years as a longtime partner in disaster relief efforts worldwide.

Ms. Perez contributed 1,408 hours of medical humanitarian work to HOPE in 2015, training health care professional in India and responding to the earthquake disaster in Nepal last year. Accepting the award at a special presentation during National Volunteer Week, at HOPE headquarters in Millwood, Virginia, Ms. Perez expressed her passion for medical humanitarian work.

"Every volunteer says that they gained more than they contributed to their experience and I concur. In India, while elevating nursing standards and care, I learned the true meaning of hard work, devotion, dedication and generosity. Nepal was just two weeks out of my 26 weeks of work as a HOPE volunteer, but it was powerful teacher nonetheless. The one common thread connecting my experiences in India and Nepal is the beauty of the family bond in these cultures," said Ms. Perez.

Ann was one of the first HOPE volunteers on the ground in Nepal after the earthquake struck, Ms. Perez provided care to the disaster's youngest victims.

"Ann Perez is a credit to her profession and an exemplary HOPE volunteer. She did great work in India and was an outstanding nurse at a crucial time after the earthquake struck in Nepal. Ann not only provided excellent care to patients, she also comforted injured children and distracted them by playing games and listening to their stories during the most chaotic moments of their young lives," said Tom Kenyon, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of Project HOPE.

Each April, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to inspire, recognize and encourage community and volunteer service and was established by the Points of Light Foundation, in 1990. HOPE's Volunteer of the Year nominee is selected through a committee comprised of Project HOPE staff members and alumni. HOPE's supporters participate through an online voting campaign to select the award recipient. In 2015, all of HOPE's volunteers filled 549 positions, providing care and recognized for their outstanding contributions in 2015 were Harry Owens, Maureen O'Reilly, Freya McGregor and Jon Brack.

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) mobilized six medical volunteers to quickly respond to the earthquake in Nepal in April last year. All of the volunteers were experts in disaster response and specialized in emergency medicine, surgery and emergency management.

"We are immensely proud and inspired by our medical volunteers and partners like Massachusetts General Hospital, our Global Partner of the Year. MGH is a longtime partner of HOPE in disaster relief and we are enormously grateful to great institution for their continuing efforts to help us deliver health care, education, medical training and humanitarian assistance to people in need in the developing world," said Dr. Kenyon.

The MGH volunteers donated 720 hours of service and focused their efforts on the Manmohan Memorial Teaching Hospital, supporting the local staff in treating patients and managing the emergency room system.

"Their incredible work resulted in more patients receiving the best possible care, lower infection rates and earthquake victims receiving more one-on-one comfort from additional medical support," said Hilarie Cranmer, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Global Disaster Response, MGH Center for Global Health, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School & Harvard School of Public Health.

For more information about volunteering for Project HOPE, please visit our website at

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solution to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries. Visit our website and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

CONTACT: Melanie Mullinax +1-540-837-9557

Source: Project HOPE