Heroes-Caring For Those In Need

Amid America’s economic crisis, dedicated workers are quietly bringing health care to those most in need. For my dream project I will photograph these devoted heroes who provide community health care to those who are isolated and in need.

Some in need may be isolated by geography, living in remote regions. Others may be isolated by economics, living in urban areas but unable to afford care. Still others, arriving here illegally, may be isolated by culture or language. But for each kind of isolation, there are community healers who quietly and surely provide care for those in need.

My project would be a series of success stories, showing how modern day health heroes work in often extreme conditions. I’d show how they are involved in their patient’s life passages, from saving babies in high-risk urban areas to comforting the aging in remote rural regions. At every stage, I’d show how these health heroes foster and preserve dignity, providing critical care for individuals and communities. Here are some examples…

In the half-light of a frosty February Alaska afternoon, health workers pack supplies, then load up an SUV to drive north on a mission to deliver care for a remote settlement of 800. But in this part of Alaska, there are no open roads in winter. The workers drive atop the frozen Kuskokwin River, listening carefully to the ice crunching beneath her wheels. If the heavy SUV hits a thin spot and the ice breaks, they won’t be able get out of the car before it sinks to the river bottom.

At dusk, the Arizona sky above the arid desert along the Mexican border turns a deep red as the day’s heat fades away. A lone figure moves through the desolate scrub brush and towering cactuses. She is hunting illegals—not to catch them but to help them. She is a Samaritan—one of a dedicated group of nurses operating along the border who provide water, clothing, and food to those risking their lives to start anew in the United States. Calling out in Spanish, she announces that she is not the police, but has blankets, food and water for those in need. In doing so, she faces danger. The border attracts many criminals and she carries no weapons on her nightly mission of mercy.

On a fine spring morning in Kentucky’s rural hill country, a woman weaves along a narrow mountain road, driving to the first of five home visits she’ll make today. She is part of a group of health workers who provide the only care available to those living in this impoverished region. The young nurse begins her morning by stabilizing a heart attack victim who walked into her clinic complaining of chest pains. Afterwards, she journeys to isolated settlements, counsels an elderly woman with psychiatric problems and persuades a rural farmer to stop drinking untreated stream water. In this remote corner of Kentucky, she and her colleagues have become the new country doctors.

To tell a complete story of these and the many other health heroes I’ll photograph, I’ll also collect audio to create multimedia pieces on each. Those will be donated to each organization, for use on websites and for their educational and awareness efforts.

Rank: 197



Wow. This is a worthwhile cause. Great idea.


I voted for you!.... please return the favor! thanks!


Karen, I love it! Add this: Caring clowns, supported and sometimes trained by Patch Adams, visit hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, orphanages, schools and more in countries around the world to bring support and love to people in need. I went to China with Patch. Here's my vote for your GREAT idea!


i like your idea. I voted for it, check out mine and vote for it or leave a comment if you like. good luck!


Voted for you. Feel free to return the favor and vote for my project on Zimbabwe.


What a wonderful idea, a song in pictures for some of the unsung heros and reminding us of the needs that exist that we normally don't see or think about in our everyday lives. Great Idea Karen!


I think your idea is really a wonderful idea. I think we many times forget the very dedicated and compassionate people that help us in times of need. Good luck


Karen...I fully embrace your commitment to share with others the unselfish care that our nurses/health care provided give to those less fortunate. Your belief in this demonstrates their gift and the story needs to be told; inclusing those in the Good Samaritans.


most of the projects here are documentary assignments, and most of the judges are documentary photographs. I believe in my project, but I don't think I have a chance, coz my project is more conceptual. Anyways.. good luck with yours!


Good luck with your idea! I pic'd it. Please click on my name and vote for my idea too!


I'm a friend of Kay Morrows, and I love your idea! Good luck!


What a great project! My daughter-in-law-to-be is a nursing student who goes to Mexico and assists doctors in surgery helping those who cannot afford to see a doctor or get medical services otherwise. I hope you get it. (Kay Morrow's cousin)


Interesting idea, check out mine and vote for me if you like it. Its about poverty and society in 3rd world countries and how they are controlled, devastated by their governments and western industrialized nations. http://tinyurl.com/chy79g


Great idea.

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