Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, has received a “Partner in Hope Award” from a nonprofit organization that uses corporate surplus materials to fight poverty, hunger and disease.
Twin Cities-based Hope For The City conferred the honor Oct. 2 at its Seventh Annual Fall Gala, citing Dease’s support of efforts to open community-based medical clinics in Uganda to provide basic health care to citizens.
Hope For The City also supports the Hope Medical Clinic initiative in Uganda. Two clinics are open in the Kampala suburbs of Ndejje and Kasubi, and two more are expected to open in the next year. The long-term goal is to open 400 clinics across the country. St. Thomas alumnus Charles Lugemwa of Kampala also is involved in the effort.
Nurse practitioners run the clinics, which cost $25,000 to open and are designed to be self-sustaining. Nurses are able to diagnose and treat common diseases such as malaria, upper-respiratory illnesses, diarrhea and anemia.
In honoring Dease, Hope For The City also praised his efforts to enroll Ugandan students at St. Thomas. More than 35 Ugandan students attended the Hope For The City event and sang a song, “A Little Bit of Love,” to draw attention to the fight against AIDS.
Hope For The City collects overstock products from retailers, wholesalers, foot distributors and medical companies and donates the goods to 80 non-profit agencies in the Twin Cities. Resources also are shared with clinics, orphanages and schools in 25 countries.