HanesBrands and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Deliver Healthcare Services to Children in the Dominican Republic
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., May 10, 2012 /3BL Media/ - HanesBrands today announced an ongoing partnership with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to provide critical ear, nose and throat surgeries to hundreds of children each year in the Dominican Republic through volunteer medical missions.
Following the overwhelming success of the partnership’s initial mission, in which 50 children ages 2 to 17 received tonsillectomies or surgeries for ear, cleft palate, congenital neck lesion and other conditions earlier this year, Hanes and Wake Forest Baptist have agreed to continue the outreach to conduct several missions each year.
The unique partnership between Hanes, a leading marketer of everyday basic apparel that has production facilities in the Dominican Republic, and Wake Forest Baptist, a highly ranked, fully integrated academic medical center in Winston-Salem, will send a 12-member team of surgeons, doctors, anesthesiologists, nurse-anesthetists, surgical nurses and medical students to Bonao in June to conduct up to 60 additional surgeries during the weeklong volunteer mission.
Using the relationship that Hanes has with the only public hospital in the central Dominican town of Bonao, the Hanes-Wake Forest Baptist medical missions are providing life-altering surgeries that the patients otherwise would not receive.
“It’s phenomenal how much sleep apnea exists in this country and the severity of it (as a result of tonsil and adenoid conditions),” said J. Dale Browne, M.D., professor and chair of the otolaryngology at Wake Forest Baptist. “Little children have mouths that are so full of tonsil tissue that they can’t run, they can’t play, and they just sit in their homes. There were just scores and scores of children like this, and typically the only chance they have to get this type of surgery is if it is really a life-threatening emergency and they have to show up at the emergency room.”
>Even if children are lucky enough to receive emergency treatment, there is significant risk in having children wait until such treatment is necessary.
“The significance of tonsillectomy and adenotonsillar hypertrophy and life-threatening emergency would mean that you waited until either the child has an infection that is going to kill them or that they had progressed to heart failure,” said pediatric otolaryngologist Adele K. Evans, M.D., who joined Dr. Browne on the medical mission in February. “Waiting until their sleep apnea is so bad that they are in heart failure not only condemns them to needing emergency surgery for their tonsils but creates risk of them just dying early in childhood.
Hanes has operated production facilities in the Dominican Republic for more than 30 years and has approximately 7,500 employees in the country. Six years ago, the company and its employees began a relationship with Pedro E. Marchena Hospital in Bonao when Hanes employees provided thousands of volunteer hours to renovate the pediatric and maternity wings of the public hospital, as well as the hospital's kitchen. Hanes donated funds to purchase cribs, beds and kitchen equipment, and donated an ambulance to the hospital, the only public hospital in Bonao, located 60 miles north of the capital of Santo Domingo.
To prepare for the otolaryngological ear, nose and throat medical missions, Hanes employees donated another 2,000 volunteer hours to renovate the Bonao hospital’s pre-operation, surgery and post-operation facilities. Hanes and Wake Forest Baptist also donated medicine, anesthesia and other medical equipment to the hospital to enable the surgeries.
The partnership with Wake Forest Baptist allows Hanes to significantly expand the community healthcare support it provides in the Dominican Republic. Screenings to select surgery candidates are conducted at Hanes mobile clinic health fairs that are held around the country. The June mission will include surgeries for patients transported from San Pedro de Macoris, approximately 90 miles southeast of Bonao, and future missions will assist patients from Santo Domingo. Hanes has operations in Bonao, San Pedro and Santo Domingo.
“We believe in being a responsible corporate citizen and helping the communities where we operate meet their fundamental needs,” said Chris Fox, Hanes vice president of corporate social responsibility. “This unique partnership with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has been absolutely terrific and has allowed us to take our community commitment beyond what we could ever do alone. The medical teams that Wake Forest Baptist sends down in conjunction with the logistical support that Hanes provides on the ground genuinely make a difference in the quality of life for hundreds of people.”
The medical missions also have a powerful effect on the medical professionals as well.
“We found this to be uplifting, exciting and certainly something that affects all the members of the team in a great way,” Wake Forest’s Dr. Browne said. “It certainly empowers us to be the kind of health professionals we want to be. It also allows the physicians locally in Bonao to learn from us. We are developing an internship program in which nurses and residents from Marchena Hospital will be able to come to Wake Forest Baptist for two- to four-week immersion programs. These kinds of relationships, over time, can grow and mature, and change lives.”
HanesBrands is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic apparel under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes,Champion, Playtex, Bali, JMS/Just My Size, barely there, Wonderbra and Gear For Sports. The company sells T-shirts, bras, panties, men’s underwear, children’s underwear, socks, hosiery, casualwear and activewear produced in the company’s low-cost global supply chain. Hanes has approximately 53,300 employees in more than 25 countries and takes pride in its strong reputation for ethical business practices. More information about the company and its corporate social responsibility initiatives, including environmental, social compliance and community improvement achievements, may be found on the Hanes corporate website at HanesBrands.com. Hanes is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star 2012 Sustained Excellence Award winner for energy management and a 2010 and 2011 Partner of the Year. The company ranks No. 152 on Newsweek magazine’s list of Top 500 greenest U.S. companies.