American Doctor Takes Up 5 Years Assignment At St. Timothy Hospital In Robertsport

Dr. James Eric Appel, MD and Bone Specialist posed with the Country Representative and beneficiaries of the Cross Cultural Care (C3) scholarship program

Monrovia – American Medical Doctor and Bone Specialist Dr. James Eric Appel has arrived in Liberia to take up assignment at the St. Timothy Government Hospital in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mounty County.

Dr. Appel, who came along with his family, is expected to work as a volunteer of Cross Cultural Care (C3), a United States-based nonprofit organization.

At a luncheon in his honor over the weekend in Monrovia, Dr. Appel said after 15 years of working in the Republic of Chad, he was glad to come to Liberia with his family including wife and children to continue their service to humanity.

Dr. Appel is a family physician who has spent the last 15 years working, often as the only physician at various hospitals in the Republic of Chad where he met his wife Sarah Gray, a Danish volunteer nurse. They have three surviving children. 

While in Chad, he was specialized in bone fracture repair with the use of specialized modern equipment. 

Although he is a general medical practitioner, Dr. Appel said he has taken keen interest in bone fracture repairs because in Africa, fractures that should be easily healed sometimes lead patients deformed or handicapped because of lack of proper treatment. 

“What specifically interest me here in Liberia is the fact that fractures have not had adequate medication and treatment of cases, leading to malformation, and making people handicapped,” he said.

“It is very enthralling for me to take a person who was not walking to make them to walk again. And I feel that God has given me the opportunity to learn surgeries in very advanced techniques to be able to help those who are handicapped through fractures or operations to walk again.”

His love for Liberia and desire to work in Liberia, according to him, grew when he came to Liberia in 2014, during the height of the Ebola pandemic to work as a volunteer at the SDA Cooper Hospital in Monrovia. 

On a trip to Robertstport, he recalled how he felt in love with the beautiful landscape and dreamt of one day coming to render basic health services in Liberia. 

Also speaking, the Country Representative of C3, Harris T. Karneh thanked Dr. Appel and family for the desire to work in the country.

Mr. Karneh pledged C3’s fullest support and cooperation to Dr. Appel in creating conducive environment to work.

He revealed C3 will shortly install a giant solar system that will provide electricity to power critical areas of the hospital including its laboratory, the Emergency and Outpatient rooms, patients’ wards and other offices.

He called on residents of Grand Cape Mount to render their fullest support and cooperation to Dr. Appel and family to make them feel at home.

C3 is a US based international nonprofit organization that pairs western health care providers with medical staff of developing countries to assist with medical training and healthcare capacity building.

According to Karneh, C3’s Founder, Dr. Robert C. Montana, an American Emergency Physician, while serving as a volunteer in Liberia was inspired on a visit to the 40-bed St. Timothy Government Hospital in Robertsport. 

During the visit, Dr. Montana found no dedicated physician, only one mid-level provider was available to serve a population of 130,000.

Since 2011, C3, under an agreement with the Ministry of Health has been sending medical volunteers including doctors, nurses and mid-level professionals to train and build the capacity of staff at the hospital.

In a bid to provide more sustainable assistance to the ailing health system, Karneh added C3 launched the Grand Cape Mount County Healthcare Scholarship program for locals who are interested in healthcare education.