Dr. Ann Messer had a dream project for nearly a decade -- to build upon her personal mission work by starting a nonprofit organization. A veteran of many medical mission trips, Ann struggled with how to respond to the overwhelming medical needs of neglected communities in a meaningful way. With each clinic and cultural experience, she gained a deeper understanding of "responsible, sustainable, and non-harmful" medical care.
When Ann met with Monica Cosby during one of their kids' school trips, Monica's wisdom, can-do attitude, and extensive business knowledge made Ann's dreams come true -- One Good Turn (OGT) became a nonprofit organization in the spring of 2016 with its very own Facebook page and website.
Ann has found that partnering with organizations who are already successful in the community creates a welcoming environment for health education. With extensive research into the illnesses and the challenges of the people of these communities, Ann can create a medical plan to both further the mission of OGT's project partner while also addressing focused, appropriate community medical needs. Most importantly, Ann works to create an atmosphere of togetherness and teamwork in every encounter. In this way, every participant in a medical campaign can be both student and teacher.
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International Journal Club | 2019
One Good Turn is in the process of creating an International Journal Club that will be hosted on platforms that are accessible to medical professionals in developing countries. While many professional journal clubs are shared through online databases and/or email newsletters, these are often inaccessible for many community health workers and rural medical professionals. In order to increase accessibility, we will be using WhatsApp and Facebook to host our journal club. Articles will focus on treatment and identification of common ailments in neglected communities. We currently have participants based in Jordan, Cambodia, Mexico, Kenya, Nicaragua, the US, and other countries.
Kenya | Fall 2019
In 2018, we implemented our Project Manager program in Mathare, Nairobi as a follow up to our 2017 trip where we provided medical exams, treatment, staff training, and a community-wide de-worming program for over 1,200 people through the Change a Life Ministry school. Through our Project Manager program, we compiled medical records and conducted follow up care in collaboration with the school's medical officer. We will return to Mathare in October 2019 with the help of Change a Life Ministry and the World Dream Foundation to provide more medical education to schools and local community health workers.
Cambodia | Summer 2019
One Good Turn will return to Cambodia for a third time this summer following two initial trips in 2018. OGT will be collaborating with the University of Puthisastra and other contacts in Cambodia to provide medical education/training at 3-5 rural clinics in the Koh Ker region. Our Cambodia-based Project Manager conducted needs assessments of several clinics in March. Following the needs assessments, OGT will travel to Koh Ker to provide medical education and clinic services to the clinics there, as well as deliver necessary supplies and medicines. OGT will also provide training in the World Health Organization / American Academy of Pediatrics Helping Babies Survive suite of programs (including Essential Care for Every Baby, Essential Care for Small Babies, and Improving Care of Mothers & Babies). We hope to involve the UP medical students in training Community Health Workers in Koh Ker in order to build a sustainable educational bridge between the medical school and the rural clinics.
Ongoing Education & New Certifications | 2019
Dr. Messer attended a multi-day training and certification course for the World Health Organization / American Academy of Pediatrics sponsored Helping Babies Survive suite of programs (including Essential Care for Every Baby, Essential Care for Small Babies, and Improving Care of Mothers & Babies). Dr. Messer is now a Jhpiego master trainer and a master trainer for Helping Babies Survive. Dr. Messer will also be attending the World Health Organization / American Academy of Pediatrics sponsored Helping Babies Breathe training in Houston in June 2019.
Nicaragua | April 2019
One Good Turn will be traveling to several remote Nicaraguan communities in April 2019 in partnership with the Austin-based organization, Project Schoolhouse. PSH works to tackle education, water, and sanitation issues simultaneously by building both schoolhouses and clean water collections systems in remote communities in Nicaragua. OGT will be accompanying PSH on their trip in April to conduct medical needs assessments and provide basic medical care to community members. This will be the first collaborative trip between OGT and PSH. Following the needs assessments, OGT hopes to continue this partnership with PSH and to be involved in future trips where OGT can deliver needed medical supplies, medicines, and medical education/training to the communities.
Brownsville, TX | Spring 2019
One Good Turn partnered with the volunteer-run organization Team Brownsville that provides free meals and clean water to refugees and asylum seekers at the Texas/Mexico border. One Good Turn conducted a medical needs assessment in March and is continuing to collaborate with Team Brownsville to provide medical supplies and basic medicines to the 500 refugees currently seeking asylum at the border. OGT has involved the charitable efforts of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church to gather donations, particularly gift cards for basic supplies, food, and clean water to support Team Brownsville’s mission. The OGT and St. Michael’s teams will be traveling to Brownsville in early May to deliver basic supplies, cook meals for the refugees in partnership with Team Brownsville, and distribute much-needed medicines and medical supplies to the refugee camp.
Albendazole/Vitamin A Certification Course
Using the standards set by the World Health Organization, One Good Turn is developing an educational program about deworming medication and critical nutrient supplements. The course is designed specifically for community healthcare workers. After taking the course and passing the evaluation, volunteers will be equipped to provide these essential services.
Jordan | September 2018
One Good Turn visited Zarqa, Jordan where we undertook a needs assessment and clinical work in one of the most challenging and underserved areas of the world. While there, we worked with an inspiring clinic where the dedicated staff serves the many needs of Syrian refugee families. Coordinated by an organization based in Austin, Dr. Messer was one of a small group of volunteer doctors and nurses who saw patients for several days in both an urban clinic and a refugee camp in the desert. Our team worked with Jordanian medical students, local physicians and nurses, and the clinic directors of Mercy Clinic, establishing relationships that impacted all of us deeply. OGT continues to be a resource for medical education for the clinic staff.
Costa Rica | July 2018
Summer of 2018 found OGT on the Panamanian border of Costa Rica. There, Dr. Messer worked with the veteran indigent health care organization Medical Mission Adventures. The goal of this multispecialty clinic was to bring dental and medical care to migrant field workers on both sides of the border. Much was learned about local illnesses and medical systems, and a remarkable group of patients and providers had the chance to share experiences and explore the concepts of culturally sensitive medical care, with a focus on dental and obstetrical service.
Cambodia | March 2018
Dr. Messer continued her work with the University of Puthisastra (UP) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a Fulbright Specialist. There, Dr. Messer taught clinical skills to upper-level medical students. She also collaborated with the Steering Committee to design curriculum for the medical school.
Fulbright | December 2017
As a result of her work with the University of Puthisastra (UP), a medical school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Dr. Messer was made a Fulbright Specialist by the United States Department of State. Her tenure runs for three years. In her first project with the Fulbright Program, Dr. Messer will develop a Clinical Competency Curriculum for the medical school, working with medical students, physician teachers, and the Steering Committee of UP. One Good Turn returns to Cambodia in March 2018.
Cambodia | September 2017
In partnership with Expert Exchange www.expert-exchange.org , OGT traveled to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to do a medical needs assessment of the rural clinics in the province. We met with government officials, NGOs and visited several clinics. A project was developed and approved by the local government to provide durable medical goods and educational support to these community clinics. We conducted de-worming and Vitamin A clinics as we traveled and established relationships with local leaders.
Haiti | June 2017
One Good Turn was privileged to work again with Haiti Austin. On this trip, organized by April Watkins and sponsored by Intervol, a team of doctors, nurses and students traveled to small villages around Leogone. Medical care was provided in mobile clinics set up in schools, churches, and local parks.
Houston | June 2017
Dr. Messer volunteered with the Harris County Medical Society and local physicians to help set up the Health Clinic at the NRG Refugee Center after Hurricane Harvey.
Kenya | May 2017
One Good Turn worked in Mathare, a city slum in Nairobi, at the elementary school of Change A Life Ministry. This remarkable school provides an excellent education to the poorest of children. One Good Turn provided medical exams and treatment for conditions ranging from anemia to typhoid. We also did a community-wide de-worming program for over 1200 people and trained the staff to continue biannual treatments.
South Texas | August 2016
OGT worked with Remote Area Medical and the Texas National Guard at Operation Lonestar, a yearly free clinic that provides all aspects of family medical care for over 5,000 people living in communities on the Texas-Mexico border.
Kenya | June 2016
OGT worked with Well Aware in Kenya to assess the health status of communities served by the clean water solutions of Well Aware. While a new and hugely productive well was drilled, OGT provided health clinics focused on parasitic, skin, and eye illnesses. These Neglected Tropical Diseases will be easier for the community to combat, now that they have clean water.
Uganda | July 2015
Ann worked with Genda Uganda, providing community clinics with a dedicated group of medical volunteers, to support and increase awareness for their local church health center. Internet access was provided to help with the education of local medical staff, and Ann organized the digging of a well at the church’s community outreach center.
Haiti | June 2015
Dr. Messer traveled to Haiti as the team physician with Haiti Austin, a nurse-led and organized program that provides mobile medical clinics to more than 2,500 patients on each trip, as well as sponsoring the education of young community leaders in Haiti.
Haiti | June 2014
At the request of My Life Speaks, a wonderful special needs children's home in Neply, Dr. Messer acted as medical advisor for their busy clinic, teaching protocols and physical diagnosis to the staff. Coincidentally, she was there for the first Chikungunya outbreak, and thus diagnosed, treated, and educated the victims of that mosquito-borne epidemic including Haitians, the American staff on the MLS campus, and the many American visitors to the village.
Peru | June 2012
While her daughter led a successful project to build a school playground, Dr. Messer taught basic physical exam skills and concepts of diagnosis to graduate students at Sacred Valley Health, a medical outreach program in the mountains near Macchu Picchu.
Nicaragua | January 2011
Dr. Messer and her family provided mobile medical clinics as they traveled through the remote mountains of Northern Nicaragua, as well as high protein infant formula and education to young mothers and their babies.
Hurricane Katrina, Austin | September 2005
Dr. Messer was the lead volunteer physician for the Katrina Relief effort at the Austin Convention Center. The first physician to arrive, she coordinated with a host of organizations to set up a general acute clinic, methadone and diabetes clinics, a mobile pharmacy, population communications and more, then guided the transformation of the medical operation to focus on longer term needs. 7,000 refugees lived at the Center over the three weeks it was open.