AmeriCares Partners with Harvard Doctors to Overhaul Orthopedic Surgery in Kosovo

NEW CANAAN, Conn., April 18, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- AmeriCares, the international disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, has announced it will send an eight-person medical team to expand and develop orthopedic surgery practices in Kosovo.

AmeriCares will donate state-of-the-art surgical equipment for the Orthopedic Surgery Department at Pristina Hospital, provide comprehensive training and perform actual surgeries, all within a step-by-step lecture setting. The entire training and lecture series will run five days, from April 23 to April 27. The Minister of Health is having all orthopedic surgeons in Kosovo travel to Pristina to participate.

AmeriCares' medical team will be headed by Dr. David Lhowe, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard University's Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Lohwe will be accompanied by Dr. Joseph Skowron, fellow colleagues from Mass. General and AmeriCares employees Stephen Skakel and Andrew Heyduk.

In an effort to create more efficient hospitals, AmeriCares' medical team will focus on using up-to-date techniques with state-of-the-art equipment for the most prevalent orthopedic surgical cases in Kosovo. Currently, the recovery period for typical orthopedic surgery is three weeks. With these new advancements, this time could be cut to two or three days.

Members of the AmeriCares medical team will be available for interviews while in Kosovo and upon return. For further information on scheduling an interview, please contact Elizabeth Griffin at (203) 972-5572.

AmeriCares is the nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs and supports long-term healthcare programs-for people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion. Since its inception in 1982, AmeriCares has delivered more than $2.9 billion in aid to 137 nations worldwide. Please help us to continue our relief efforts by sending your cash donations to AmeriCares, 161 Cherry Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 or by calling AmeriCares at (800) 486-HELP or logging onto

CONTACT: AmeriCares, New Canaan
         Elizabeth Griffin
         (800) 486-HELP