Marriott Alumni Magazine

Ballard Center 2015-16 Annual Report

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Team Cambodia Team Members: Pierce W. Bennett, Rob Brown, Stetler Eppley, Ryan Moffet, Kindall Palmer, Erica Palmer, Brandon Summers Why did you choose Cambodia? Pierce: "We realized that in Cambodia there really are newborns that need our assistance. For the price of a smartphone we could provide a life saving device for them. Although we conservatively estimate preventing at least 3,500 newborn deaths a year with this ventilator, it could potentially prevent up to 75 percent of the reported 6,662 newborn deaths each year in Cambodia. Additionally, 12,600 babies in Cambodia die each year after reaching one month of age. However, if these infants could be treated with the ventilator as newborns, we anticipate being able to prevent many of these deaths." How did the experience of visiting the country help you for the competition? Pierce: "It was nothing like what we expected. When we arrived the financial minister greeted us and took us around the country for two weeks to tour different hospitals. We realized that if a child was sick and from a poor family, it would die. They didn't have a chance at life. That was heartbreaking for us and especially for me to go and see that. It helped me to find the motivation to see this as a prominent project for us to work on as a team where we could come together as one and try to save the lives of people who typically wouldn't have the time or opportunity to live." What is your team's winning strategy? Pierce: "Our long-term plan would be to aggressively fundraise among local companies and pursue partnerships with NGOs and government organizations invested in the newborn health of developing countries, and couple this with our funding from the Y-Prize program to place respirators in as many Cambodian hospitals and health centers as we can. Our goal is to place them in these venues free of charge. We would engineer the product to get the manufacturing costs as low as possible and include a component that would need to be replaced regularly, such as a single-use oral tracheal tube, that we would supply to hospitals at a low cost. This would ensure that the business model is sustainable. We would couple this with awareness campaigns in the country to encourage more women to give birth in medical centers, especially those who are at risk for preterm labor and birth complications. These efforts will ensure that those who do have complications would be aware of and have easy access to the NeoLife respirator. Further down the road, we want to help create jobs in Cambodia to help boost the Cambodian economy. We have already discussed the concept of creating an international hospital partnership, which would ensure certain Cambodian hospitals become sister hospitals to the Utah Valley Hospital. This would allow for sustainable and long-lasting training, improved educational materials, and exchange programs." Photo © Pierce Bennett 19 Dr. Steven Minton (second from right) from the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and Pierce W. Bennett (back left), a political science and international relations student, visit Cambodian doctors interested in learning about the respirator potential to save infant lives.

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