Our Programs:

Volunteer Specialists Program

The Foundation’s Volunteer Specialist Program provides teams of highly skilled medical specialists who offer their services at no charge to work in remote and disadvantaged communities in Australia and the South Pacific.

Working closely with the Northern Territory Department of Health, Specialist Outreach Program (SONT) since 2008, the Foundation continues to address Specialist services of need in regional and remote communities.

In 2015 the Volunteer Specialist program expanded to include volunteer visits to our South Pacific neighbour, the Solomon Islands.

The Pacific Health Program, as it is known, is aimed at contributing to community health improvement and building the capacity and capability of local health professionals in the Solomon Islands by sharing Foundation Members’ knowledge and skills.

Foundation visiting teams are based at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in the capital, Honiara, where they work with local staff to deliver medical education and services. The focus on medical education aims to add to the long term sustainability of the program and provide opportunities to Solomons doctors they might not otherwise be able to access.

The Foundation continues to build on its relationship with the Solomon Islands High Commission, Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and the Executive at the National Referral Hospital, Honiara to develop a program in direct alignment with the needs of the Solomon Islands community.

The Foundation coordinates the considerable logistics for each trip, such as freight and customs issues in both Australia and the Solomons, and also sources consumables to ensure NRH supplies are not depleted.

The Volunteers

The Member specialists of the John James Foundation and nursing staff from the Calvary John James Hospital are the primary sources of volunteers for the Program (although there may be limited opportunities for other Australian registered health professionals).

The John James Foundation organises the logistics of these trips and covers many of the direct costs of participation, including:

  • Arranging and paying for all volunteer travel, accommodation and incidentals;
  • Insurance cover for personal accident, loss of personal effects and public liability

The Foundation also facilitates credentialing and Working with Children Clearances. All volunteers are subject to a police check.

Given the high proportion of Indigenous patients who are treated, a short cultural introduction program is provided to all volunteers. Respect for Indigenous people and their culture is extremely important for the successful delivery of these services.

The most highly needed specialties are: Paediatrics, ENT, Dental, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Anaesthetics, Medical Oncology and Orthopaedics.  It is from these specialties that the Foundation primarily draws on volunteers.

The Foundation encourages enquiries about getting involved in the VSP program (click here to contact us).