Sarah Goodwin

Kathi Ovnic
Holly Korschun
May 7, 1999


Among the team that left Atlanta May 1 for a Flying Doctors of America medical mercy mission to help Kosovo refugees is Dorian Hayes, M.D., assistant professor of radiology at the Emory University School of Medicine and staff radiologist at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Dr. Hayes and 10 other volunteers on the Flying Doctors team is serving from May 1-9 in refugee camps near Tirana, Albania, offering medical help to Kosovo refugees. The team expects to treat about 400 to 700 refugees a day.

"I will make myself available wherever I can best be used," Dr. Hayes says. "On previous missions, I have done pediatrics, which I have loved, but this trip is more a rescue effort and not like a pre-planned mission... So I will try not to have expectations, to stay in the moment, and try to keep my mind open, stay flexible...We really don't know what unique opportunities will arise where we can serve...So I hope to be a helpful team player and fill whatever needs come up."

Dr. Hayes has volunteered for three previous medical mission trips to Mexico and India, working with Mother Teresa and the Sisters of Charity on the Flying Doctors' Indian trip. "That experience changed my life and my way of looking at the practice of medicine," she says. "I identify strongly with these refugees from Kosovo... They are you and me. I want to care for them however I am able, both as a medical doctor and as a fellow human being reaching out."

Dr. Hayes completed a bachelor's of arts in psychology in 1973, a medical degree in 1978 and an internship and residency in diagnostic radiology in 1982 ­ all from Emory University. She served as director of radiology at AMI Griffin-Spalding from 1982-89, and since 1990 has been assistant professor of radiology at Emory's medical school and a staff radiologist at the Atlanta VAMC.

The Flying Doctors of America is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta and founded by Allan Gathercoal. Its purpose is to bring together physicians, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, other health professionals and nonmedical support volunteers for medical relief missions throughout the world.

Dr. Hayes lives in Stone Mountain.


(Editor's Note: Dr. Hayes will bring back photographs from Albania.)

(Background information provided by FDoA)


Flying Doctors of America (FDoA) brings together physicians, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, other health professionals and nonmedical support volunteers. They care for people who almost never receive professional medical care.


Allan Gathercoal founded FDoA in 1990 with $700, a wing and a prayer. Allan realized that a large number of medical professionals desired to use their talents and skills in mercy missions to needy people, but had little time or inclination to organize such efforts. FDoA was created to organize and manage affordable and tax-deductible short-term medical missions.

Over the past 10 years, FDoA has flown more than 100 missions and provided free medical care to more than 85,000 men, women and children.


Allan Gathercoal has organized and participated in every one of FdoA's missions. This year, he will lead missions to Mongolia, Peru and Fiji.

Allan was born in England. His father was an U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. After serving in the Army during the Vietnam war, he was released with an honorable discharge and went on to college. He now holds five degrees, including graduate degrees in psychology and theology. Currently, he is pursuing a doctorate at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta.


This year, Flying Doctors of America will be building its first children's village in the Andes Mountains of Peru. This village will be home to 200 children who now live on the streets. There will be opportunities for volunteers (over the age of 18) to become "patron/members" to go to Peru and teach English and computers in the village school.


Kosovo Refugee Medical Mercy Mission

WHO? A team of a 10 Georgia doctors, nurses and organizers and one Arizona doctor under the aegis of the Flying Doctors of America (FDoA). (A list of team members follows.)

WHAT? 8-day medical mercy mission

WHY? Bring medical relief to the Kosovo refugees

WHERE? Refugee camps near Tirana, Albania

WHEN? May 1-May 9

HOW? Allan Gathercoal, founder and president of FDoA, gathered most of the team from his list of previous mission participants. All are familiar with working under such rugged conditions that they will find in Albania.

Due to the precarious nature of this mission (poor general communication and overall chaos), the team needed to be counted on to work well together, be extremely flexible, and be able to act independently if necessary. Experience in the field is necessary.

Estimates are that the team will treat 400 to 700 refugees a day.

REASON FOR GOING While each team member has his or her own distinct reason for going, all relate to Allan Gathercoal's reason: "No matter how successful, famous and important you become there is nothing on earth that matters more that who you help.

In Mother Teresa's words: 'Our giving is the only expression of the love we have for God. In giving, in caring, and in acting we pour our love on someone, and thus express our love to God'."

This is a response mission. The time allotted to planning and coordination is brief. Generally, FDoA missions are carefully planned out many months in advance. This one is being made out of the compassion toward those who are in such great suffering. This trip is happening because of the overwhelming sense of the Kosovo Relief Mission Team that they just had to do something to help.

SUPPORT: Each team member is paying his or her own airfare plus a $500 donation. Support is needed for team members and for supplies, including: medicine, camping gear and other necessities.

Flying Doctors of America

4015 Holcomb Bridge Road

Suite 350

Atlanta, GA 30092

TEAM MEMBERS of Kosovo Relief Mission

Dr. Steven Auda (surgeon - vascular) -- Dr. Auda has been in practice in the Atlanta area since 1979; his office, Fayetteville Surgical Clinic and Breast Center, is in Fayetteville.

Mark Bussey (attorney) -- support volunteer/team leader

Dr. Goodman B. Espy (ob/gyn) -- Dr. Espy (G.B.), a native of Alabama, received a mechanical engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. G.B. moved into the medical field by gaining his degree from Tulane Medical School, then specialized in obstetrics/gynecology.

Dr. Allan Gathercoal, team leader of Kosovo Relief Mission -- founder and president of Flying Doctors of Atlanta

Dr. Dorian Hayes (general medicine) -- diagnostic radiologist, assistant professor of radiology at Emory University School of Medicine and staff radiologist at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Decatur.

Dr. Violet Juodakis (family practice) ­ The only nonGeorgian on the team, Dr. Juodakis lives and practices medicine in Tucson, Az. She joins the team in Atlanta and will depart with them for Albania on May 1.

Sharon King, RPN, nurse practitioner (emergency medicine/internal medicine) ­ She has bachelor's of science in nursing from University of Washington and master's in Family Nurse Practitioner from Georgia State University.

Dr. Gee Merritt (DDS) -- Dr. Merritt received his undergraduate degree from Furman University, his DDS from the University of Tennessee and completed an internship at the University of Chicago.

Mike Pardi, support volunteer/team leader -- Leaves May 1

Dr. Rene Tapia (general med) -- Dr. Tapia has practiced in Decatur for the last 25 years. Before that, he served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

Sandra Zehnder, RPN, nurse practitioner (pediatrics) -- Sandra has 30 years of experience of working with children including 15 years at the Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center. She has worked with Mercy Mobile Health Care providing health care to the homeless and medically underserved of Atlanta.


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