NORWICH – It's easy for us here in Chenango County, U.S.A. to get caught up in the mundane day to day that we work for in our quest to be in a better place. With that in mind, it is no wonder that we so easily take things like hot water, running water... or even clean, clear water for granted.
Two Norwich area health care professionals employed at UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital were afforded the opportunity to leave their realm of the comfortable western civilization and travel half way around the globe to Ghana, Africa to do their part in offering medical expertise to those truly deserving.
In December of 2013 Susan Converse, FNP, Pediatrics, approached a friend and colleague of many years, Joseph Pisani – an RPA in Orthopedics with Dr. Downs’ practice at UHS – and pitched the idea of traveling abroad to assist the people of the third world economy who were in desperate need of medical treatment.
“This was in early December that she (Converse) came to me and – I think jokingly – asked if I was interested in participating in a medical mission to Ghana. I don't think she expected me to inquire, but I'm glad that I did,” said Pisani. “We became aware of the trip very late in the game, so I had to make a quick decision if I was serious about making the trip in early March.”
With a 22-month-old and a wife at home, Pisani cautiously pitched the idea to his wife, CarrieAnne – also a Physician’s Assistant practicing out of The UHS Primary Care office in Oxford – understood her husband's position, and his desire to lend his expertise and resources to the less fortunate. “I told her that I would understand if she didn't want me to go; knowing that we have a lot on our plate, but it really wasn't a surprise to me that she was as supportive as she was about the trip and left if completely up to me,” said Pisani.