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Posted: January 18, 2008

Dr. John Howe

Dr. John Howe

AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. John Howe, president of Project HOPE, an international humanitarian assistance program which responded to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami by sending millions of dollars worth of aid and hundreds of medical volunteers to the devastated region, will speak at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing Feb. 1.

Howe’s lecture, “Nursing on the World Stage: the HOPE Experience,” will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Lone Star Room of the Frank C. Erwin Center. The event is sponsored by the Jack & Laura Lee Blanton Lecture in Nursing and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Howe, an internal medicine and cardiology physician who served 15 years as the chief executive officer at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, has been president and chief executive officer of Project HOPE since 2001. He is the recipient of the U.S. Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service, among other honors. Following the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, he represented the United States at a tri-national conference on health in Mexico City designed to develop solutions to multi-national health concerns.

The health challenges facing the world today are very different from those in 1958 when Project HOPE first pioneered medical diplomacy by developing friendly relationships with peoples of different cultures and orientations, Howe said.

“Though the challenges have evolved,” he said, “Project HOPE remains as committed as ever to addressing the world’s new health threats by playing a leadership role — forging new alliances among those on the frontlines of health and together seeking new solutions.”

Soon after the December 2004 tsunami, which killed more than 130,000 people in Indonesia, Project HOPE joined in organizing the relief effort. The volunteers, which included a School of Nursing faculty member and student, were stationed off the coast of Indonesia and worked for several weeks providing health care.

The organization has sustained its tsunami relief efforts by reestablishing and improving health posts in Indonesia as it also continues its humanitarian efforts in other parts of the world.