Nhi Dong 2 (ND2) or Children’s Hospital 2, formerly the site of Hopital Grall before 1975, in the heart of Saigon, had just opened its pediatric oncology program. Impact Health Vietnam was invited to help this young and emerging ND2 team with the diagnosis and treatment of many childhood hematologic malignancies and with their hematology and pathology lab procedures. The IHVN mission team this year included 2 hematopathologists, 1 pediatric oncologist with expertise in bone marrow transplant and 2 pediatric oncology nurses from the University of Minnesota Hospital. The medical team and its supporting staff and interpreters were led by Yen Nguyen, IHVN president and mission director.

Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital’s (BTH) two locations in Saigon’s districts 1 and 5 is an established medical institution serving both adult and pediatric patients. It is a semi private hospital, with its own operating budget and independent from the financial support of the Ministry of Health. IHVN doctors and nurses were invited to help with patient care, to improve diagnostic skills for its staff pathologists and to assess and evaluate the overall laboratory process.

Lectures on a variety of topics covering the diagnosis and treatment of leukemias and lymphomas were presented at both hospitals. Our IHVN doctors demonstrated bone marrow biopsy techniques to the staff doctors at ND2 and BTH. Cases consultations with IHVN Dr. Troy Lund/pediatric oncologist at ND2 hospital, as well as with both Dr. Vanessa Dayton and Dr. Chi Nguyen at BTH hospital were scheduled daily during our 2 mission weeks. Our two pediatric oncology nurses, Sarah Stanoch and Emily Schmalz, together with our two interpreters, worked with their counterparts at both ND2 and BTH, visiting patients at bedside and sharing their knowledge and experience with the local nurses.

IHVN pathologists spent a lot of time working with the hematologists at both hospitals ‘diagnostic labs, observing and giving recommendations, and suggesting protocols for many procedures. Important lab equipment, chemical reagents, useful immunostains, international lab standards were not readily available, and poor techniques from biopsies to tissue processing in the lab have contributed to the difficulties many local pathologists have experienced with their diagnoses.

On April 12, 2014, IHVN doctors were invited to give lectures at the Lymphomas Diagnosis Seminar at the University of Medicine & Pharmacy (UMP) in Saigon district 5. This CME seminar was co-organized by the UMP Pathology Department and the Pathologists Association of HCMC. Dr. Vanessa Dayton’s topics of interest include WHO 2008 review, lymph node pathology and diagnosis of Leukemia Lymphoma/lymphoproliferative disorders of small B lymphocytes. Dr. Chi Nguyen covered Flow Cytometry and Immunohistochemistry. Dr. Troy Lund presented Management of Pediatric Large B cell lymphoma. In the audience of this first CME seminar were UMP pathologists, BTH and ND2 pathologists as well as pathologists from other Saigon and Hanoi metropolitan area hospitals.


Members Position
Yen Nguyen Mission Director/Interpreter
Vanessa Dayton MD Hematopathologist
Troy Lund. Pediatric Oncologist/Hematologist
Chi Nguyen MD Hematopathologist
Sarah Stanoch RN Pediatric Oncology Nurse
Emily Schmalz RN Pediatric Oncology Nurse
Loanie Huynh Mission Coordinator/Interpreter
Kathy Dang  interpreter
Isaac Dayton Media/Technical Specialist
Vu Tien Kinh Music Therapist/English Tutor