Tuesday, April 28, 2015

JOURNAL HIGHLIGHTS: The Roads I Have Traveled . . . Excerpt 3 from September 1998

Founder, Project C.U.R.E.
Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (cont.): Following lunch, Dr. Miguel agreed to go with us to four of the outlying rural clinics to let me evaluate them. Cesar had arranged for his wife to go with us as our interpreter. I had viewed many similar clinics in the backcountry areas of Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Cuba, and Haiti. As soon as I approached the clinic, I said to myself, Oh, my goodness. If I were to ever get sick or be in an accident, I wouldn’t want to come to this place!    

The first clinic was Maria Auxihadora, which, I was told, means “Mary, the helper.” The clinic serves an extremely poor area, much like a favela or squatter’s area in Brazil. There is really nothing available for the people there even though I was informed that the facility is crowded with thirty to forty people every morning needing medical help.

The second clinic we visited was of special interest to me. In the heart of the old city of La Vega is an old, historic fortress complete with double sets of iron gates and battlement walls. On the back of the fortress lot is where the ancient prison is located. In fact, on the walls of the fortress prison are the remaining hooks where the prisoners were suspended when they became incorrigible or unruly.

Now, however, the old fortress has been given over to the fire department of La Vega. No budget money is allocated to the department, so of necessity it operates as a volunteer effort. Housed also within the facility is the bombero (fire brigade) paramedic clinic. In addition to all the fire calls, ambulance runs, and automobile accidents that the paramedic firemen handle, over five thousand people from the neighborhoods come to the fire station for medical assistance.

I shuddered as I thought of my fire-chief son, Jay, and all his buddies having to put up with the unbelievably atrocious conditions of the bombero fortress. The old, beat-up fire trucks are now parked in the old prison building. Two big trucks are totally inoperable. Two small “scat” trucks, used for quick dispatch on smaller fires or accidents, were sort of homemade, with plastic tanks strapped down in the back of two pickup trucks. The bunker gear the firemen are expected to wear to fight fires are ragtag uniforms from heaven only knows where. The clinic consists of two rooms containing almost nothing. The only flash of hope within the walls of the fortress is the thirty-one-year-old son of Cesar and Josephina Abreu, who has personally taken on the fire and paramedic project with a passion. He saved his own money and traveled to Texas A&M University to learn more about firefighting. He has qualified as a paramedic and is cramming in additional courses from the medical school. In many ways, he reminds me of my son Jay. I suggested to Cesar Jr. the possibility of getting acquainted with Jay, and he jumped at the chance. Perhaps something can be done to get them together in the future. What might happen if there was a Project C.U.R.E. for fire brigades? 
 
Ambulance and Fire Gear sent to the Bomberos Brigade 
Next Week: Dominican Republic Health Care

© Dr. James W. Jackson   
Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House
  
Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."

As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. 

To contact Dr. Jackson, or to book him for an interview or speaking engagement: press@winstoncrown.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

JOURNAL HIGHLIGHTS: The Roads I Have Traveld ... Excerpt # 2 from September 1998

Founder, Project C.U.R.E.
Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (cont.): The people of La Vega, Dominican Republic, are a very noble and proud lot. And at the top of their “Proud of” list is the fact that they reside in the beautiful valley Christopher Columbus discovered in 1492. Back in Mrs. Zinks’s second-grade class, I had memorized the ditty “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” But in the interim it has taken years of meandering around the earth, which has indeed been proven to be round in shape, to finally observe for myself where Columbus landed. Almost from the minute I arrived in Santiago, my hosts began talking about their heritage and how privileged they are to live in the finest city in America.

Being somewhat of a history buff myself, I responded by asking lots of questions about Columbus, Spain, and early life in the original and real America. So following our visit to the geriatric center, Cesar Abreu and Dr. Miguel asked if I would like to visit the original city Columbus founded. How could I refuse?

While riding down the road, I received a post-graduate degree in Spanish American history. The large island of Hispaniola wasn’t always divided in two, with Haiti possessing about one-third and the Dominican Republic possessing the other two-thirds. First the Arawak and Taino natives had free run of the entire paradise. In 1492, Columbus landed somewhat confused. He believed he had discovered a new trade route to India. Seeing later that he had, in fact, landed on an island, his navigators pretty much convinced him that he had landed in what we know now as Japan.

Columbus left the island to deliver his report to the queen of Spain. His charge had been to discover gold and find a way to mine it and return it to Spain. His report included the fact that he had located gold and that his Indians would be able to mine the treasure. So he was given permission to return again in 1496. While in Spain, though, he spoke of his new Americana as being the most beautiful spot in the whole world.

On his second trip to the island, Columbus brought horses, implements, and eventually one thousand Spaniards and started building the town of Santo Domingo. Spain had dreams that from that stronghold they would be able to set out and conquer all of the Americas.

Cesar showed me the original site of the city and remaining structures. I was able to photograph the brick fortress, with round vaults or turrets designed for defense. I learned that the ships coming from Spain often carried Spanish-made bricks in the ship’s hold to be used as ballast for the voyage. Once at their destination, they used the bricks to construct the main buildings.

 Eventually an earthquake leveled the entire city, which had grown to a population of twenty thousand. The Spanish inhabitants felt that the earthquake had been directly sent by God because of the cruel way the Spaniards had been treating the Indians by working them in the mines. So they moved the city, totally abandoning the old structures and building once again farther out into the flat valley. 

Additionally, because of their assumed guilt regarding their treatment of the Indians, the Spaniards went back to the queen and convinced her that they should begin importing black workers from West Africa to do the work in the mines and sugarcane fields and on the cattle farms. Thus, the introduction of black slaves into the Americas.

By 1801, the black slaves revolted and established Haiti as the first independent country in Latin America. But the graft, corruption, and heavy-handed cruelty of the black Haitians drove the Dominicans to declare independence in 1844. Today there is still a high degree of strained relations and mistrust between the Haitians and the Dominicans. Spain occasionally stepped back into the history of the Dominican Republic, and after the US Marines occupied the island from 1918 to 1924, a constitutional democratic government was established in the Dominican Republic.

It really sounds funny to hear the Dominicans talk about a constitutional democracy, since from 1930 to 1961, a virtual dictator, Rafael LeĆ³nidas Trujillo, ruled the Dominican Republic. But the people’s hatred for the dictator grew during this time, and he was assassinated in 1961. Then, once again, in 1965 the US Marines stepped in and restored a degree of civility to the region until the democratic system could again have a fighting chance.

While visiting the Santo Cerro location high up on a mountain overlooking the original city developed by Columbus, we were able to sit in on Mass at a beautiful and picturesque Catholic church. Just outside the church was a small memorial garden with a tree growing, which is supposed to be a direct descendant of the tree Christopher Columbus planted there. Inside the church was a metal grate that covered a “sacred hole,” also dating back to Columbus’s time. 

I was told a story about how Columbus and his men retreated to the mountain for safety and to defend against the Indians, who were determined to kill all the intruding Spaniards. As the Indians were fighting their way uphill and were just about to close in on Columbus and his friends, Columbus had some of his men dig a hole. He constructed a crude cross and dropped the cross base into the hole. As the lower end of the cross dropped with a thud into the hole, Columbus gazed upon his thousand men about to be killed by over ten thousand Indian warriors.

Immediately, a blinding light flashed, and the Virgin Mary herself appeared and delivered the Spaniards from certain death. Traditionally the grated hole inside the church is exactly the same hole into which Columbus placed the cross. When confronted with the seeming unfairness of the whole episode to the Indian natives, the pat answer was that obviously the Virgin Mother was decidedly on the side of the Spaniards because they had come to bring the gospel of Christ and the Catholic church to the island. The subjects of old- and new-world domination seem to take somewhat of a secondary or clandestine position during such lofty discussions.

Next Week: Bombero (fire brigade) 

© Dr. James W. Jackson   
Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House
  
www.jameswjackson.com   

Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."

As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. 

To contact Dr. Jackson, or to book him for an interview or speaking engagement: press@winstoncrown.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

JOURNAL HIGHLIGHTS: The Roads I Have Traveled... Excerpt #1 from September 1998

Founder, Project C.U.R.E.
Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Requests for Project C.U.R.E. to come and bring medical assistance arrive at our office from a wild variety of intentions as well as locations. As I write this journal entry, we are presently shipping donated medical goods to sixty-four different countries. We often ship to several different regions and multiple hospitals within each country. Many times we begin our work in a country as a request from some church or missions group. At other times, the government of the country makes the initial contact. Still other times, a friend or a family member of an indigenous doctor might report to us a need and request our help.

Our involvement in the Dominican Republic has had a different little twist. A couple of years ago, I was invited to speak about our Project C.U.R.E. work at a Rotary Club meeting in Littleton, Colorado. Subsequent to that, Dr. Doug Jackson, the president and CEO of Project C.U.R.E., had been invited to join the prestigious downtown Denver Rotary Club, the seventh largest such club in the world. Word began getting out about Project C.U.R.E.’s international work through Rotary members.

A couple of years prior, a small boy from the Dominican Republic named Raul had been brought to Denver for specialized surgery. The arrangements had all been made through the Rotary Club. The entire surgery was donated, but during the operation complications set in, and the doctors admitted the boy would die if he did not have a kidney and liver transplant. Warren Zeller, another Rotarian in Littleton, heard about the situation. Right at the time Raul’s operation was taking place, Warren Zeller’s grandson was tragically killed in an accident. The Zeller family donated the needed organs for the transplant, and Raul lived. He later returned to La Vega, Dominican Republic, where he now lives as a happy and active boy. Warren Zeller stayed in touch with Raul and told the La Vega Rotary about Project C.U.R.E. Warren was in attendance at the club meeting at which I spoke in Littleton.

About eight months ago, I received an official Request for Assistance form from the La Vega, Dominican Republic.

Next Week: An education in Dominican Republic

© Dr. James W. Jackson   
Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House
  
www.jameswjackson.com 
 
Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."

As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. 

To contact Dr. Jackson, or to book him for an interview or speaking engagement: press@winstoncrown.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

INTRODUCING: THE ROADS I HAVE TRAVELED, A JOURNEY TO DELIVER HEALTH AND HOPE

Founder, Project C.U.R.E.
Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist


Project C.U.R.E. actually started before 1987. But, since that was the year they sent their first ocean-going cargo containers into Brazil, that is the year they use as their official starting date. Project C.U.R.E. quickly began maturing into a viable and recognized humanitarian organization, shipping multi-millions of dollars’ worth of donated medical supplies and pieces of equipment each year to needy developing countries around the world.

Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment) was created to “identify, solicit, collect, sort, and distribute medical supplies and services according to the imperative needs of the world.” Project C.U.R.E. operated on the economic premise that a developing country could not build a successful economy on sick people. The idea was if you help the people get healthy, you will also achieve a healthier economy. It gave opportunity for everyone involved to end up better off.

Project C.U.R.E. had to prove itself that it could be trusted to receive and handle highly risk-laden commodities. The medical donors knew that if Project C.U.R.E. were to mess up in the receiving and distributing of their medical goods, the community would not just hold Project C.U.R.E. responsible, but would reach through and past Project C.U.R.E. to any deeper pockets available. That would involve risk to the medical institution or manufacturer that had made the donation. In the past it had apparently been easier and less risky for the medical industry to simply bury their overstock and second generation items in either warehouses or local landfills.

Early on, a policy was implemented by Project C.U.R.E. that no medical goods would be distributed to any place in the world unless some representative from Project C.U.R.E. had first gone there to personally perform an extensive needs assessment report on that particular hospital or clinic. That was part of the due diligence and accountability that was accepted by them to maintain the integrity of the endeavor.

In the beginning, that seemed like a simple task. But as Project C.U.R.E. began to grow, word got out that they were donating millions of dollars in medical equipment each year to recipients around the world. If the organization helped one hospital in South America or Africa, ten more institutions would hear about the donation. The requests for assistance multiplied exponentially.

Gradually, the medical community and industry began to feel confident working with Project C.U.R.E. In fact, many of the organizations were discovering that it was just good business to include a partnership with Project C.U.R.E. into their corporate strategy. It was good public relations to be identified with supporting an effective international humanitarian endeavor.

Other corporations were finding that it made a lot of sense, financially, to be generous with Project C.U.R.E. by emptying their warehouses of overstocked goods and last week’s “great sellers.” Each week brought new and improved items that had come on line because of a company’s aggressive and successful research and development departments. Project C.U.R.E. could take those donated life-saving items, distribute them, and also work with the donors on receiving any accounting advantages available.

Dr. James W. Jackson, founder of Project C.U.R.E., began carefully documenting everything in his official Travel Journals regarding the philosophy, design, implementation, and distribution of the operation of Project C.U.R.E. The Journals are based on his personal travels to more than 150 countries around the world. Reading the narrative journals and viewing the volumes of photos will allow a person to travel with Dr. Jackson to thousands of locations worldwide and be a part of the growth and effectiveness of Project C.U.R.E.

Dr. Jackson claims that, “Specifically, I felt it necessary (1) to validate the need around the world for donating medical supplies to developing countries, (2) to validate the fact that there were ample sources of overstock medical supplies and pieces of medical equipment sufficient to sustain a humanitarian donation business, and (3) to document all the episodes and miracles of such an endeavor.” The individual Travel Journals have become one-of-a-kind research articles covering important facts about thousands of international venues and institutions. Such information had never before been compiled.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has applauded Dr. Jackson and told him that no one has accomplished what he has achieved in compiling such information. Even the ministers of health of the countries have not gone where you have gone and compiled the information. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State awarded Dr. Jackson with the coveted Florence Nightingale Award for his outstanding service.

Winston–Crown Publishing House is proud to announce an agreement with Dr. Jackson to publish his entire collection of travel journals under the title The Roads I Have Traveled: A Journey to deliver Health and Hope.

While the collection is being processed for publication, brief excerpts from the journals will be featured each week here on Dr. Jackson’s blog site. That will give his readers a glimpse into the exciting material, and introduce them to the vast array of content through snippets and examples of people, places, events, and miracles chronicled in the journals.

Get your inspirational passports and visas in order so that you can be a part of the exciting adventure of delivering health and hope around the world.
Bon Voyage.

Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House

 
 
Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."

As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. 

To contact Dr. Jackson, or to book him for an interview or speaking engagement: press@winstoncrown.com