Our presenter for today's meeting was Ted Hooley, President and CEO of Senitizo, a 501(c)(3) non-profit striving to improve the lives of people living in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) by providing health services and strengthening the health care system.  C.A.R. is among the poorest countries in the world, with 5.6 million people spread out over a country the size of France and Belgium combined.  Much of that population is concentrated in the cities where some healthcare is available, but the sparse population in the rural areas makes large scale healthcare delivery an economic impossibility.  There are only 250 doctors and less than 1,000 nurses for the entire population and almost all of them are in the big cities.  In C.A.R.13% of kids die before their 5th birthday and one of every one hundred births results in the death of the mother. Ted Hooley and Senitizo (which means "health of the people" in the local language) are trying to turn that around by promoting a local model for basic health care delivery which makes more efficient use of limited human and financial resources.  Senitizo operates a clinic which is two hours from the capital city of Bangui.  People travel to the clinic from up to 40 miles away, mostly on foot, for medical treatment.  The cost for a visit is just one dollar, which includes examination by a doctor and any medications needed.  
Our club participated in Stillwater Rotary's recent Global Matching Grant which provided medical equipment and an ambulance to transport emergency cases.  Donations are the lifeblood of Senitizo, and those donations go a long way.  Just fifty dollars provides medications to treat children suffering from life threatening diseases.  Five hundred dollars provides complete pre and post-natal care for 10 pregnant women.  Ted said that 99% of donations go directly to patient care.
For more information, go to www.senitizo.org or email Ted at ted@senitizo,org
President Charlie Longbella and Ted are shown below.
Cindy Carlson introduced her guest, former St Louis Park Rotarian Jay Rasmussen.  Jay attended the Gold Plate Dinner and may be interested in club membership.
Club Treasurer John Ordway announced that our Gold Plate Dinner fundraiser will net between twenty four and twenty five thousand dollars, a new fundraising record.  Many thanks to Mary Stewart, Cindy Carlson and the entire planning team for their efforts; to Dave Hoel and Jeff Benson for emceeing the Raffle and Live Auction and to everyone who played a part, large or small in making the event a success....Well Done!
Everyone is requested to attend next weeks meeting as we roll out the organizational structure and duties for Jason Miller's year as Club President.