COHI's first clinical team arrived in Lesvos, Greece in early January and included two professional midwives, a registered nurse, and a social psychologist all with extensive experience in international humanitarian relief work. We subsequently sent clinical volunteers to meet the needs of mothers, young women, and infants in Lesvos and northern Greece. We operated our Care-A-Van Acute Response Service (CARS) Program in northern Greece, also known as the MamaMobile, together with Team Kitrinos Health Care, a local nonprofit organization through August 2016.
Treating anywhere from 60–150 patients per day, this initiative made a major impact on the thousands of refugees that remained bottlenecked along Greece's northern border. Especially in light of the constantly evolving political climate, the program's ability to move on at a moment's notice allowed COHI to focus on multiple regions under duress at once.
COHI provided clinical and administrative volunteers to help guide the program forward from the field. These volunteers specialized in maternal and female reproductive health and help supported the growing population of disenfranchised women and children in the area. Not only did these people have access to high-level care and treatment, they also had a space where they could feel safe and unthreatened.
The CARS program worked closely with other organizations on the ground, both large and small, to provide a wide spectrum of care within a complete schedule of coverage.