Medical Teams Abroad
HTC Arizona sends surgical teams overseas to provide onsite surgeries and medical care in developing countries. Supplies and equipment are donated by US-based hospitals and and pharmaceutical companies. These trips spread goodwill to host countries and are deeply meaningful to those who participate. In a short, but intensive trip, the lives of many children are changed for the better.
In February HTC Arizona accomplished another successful mission. A team of 17 dedicated professionals traveled to the beautiful city of Cuenca in Ecuador.
For several months prior to the trip itself team members worked hard collecting, preparing and packing all the medical supplies needed for the mission. Anesthesia medications were generously donated by the pharmacies of Phoenix Children's Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital. All other supplies were provided by several hospitals throughout the Phoenix area where team members are employed.
Upon arriving in Cuenca the team received a warm welcome by members from the Lion's Club of Cuenca who supported the mission, as well as members of the military. The team was then split to work in two separate hospitals, one group specializing in pediatric urology and the other in ENT.
On the first day patients were examined to see if a surgical procedure would be needed. While the doctors were screening and selecting surgical candidates, other members of the team went to prepare the operating rooms and the recovery rooms. Then for the next 5 days both teams worked long and hard to help as many children as they could fit into their tight schedules. By the end of the work week 45 patients had been operated on, receiving a total of 70 surgical procedures. All the children did well and they recovered without any complications.
At the end of the week the result of the team's efforts was celebrated at a beautiful restaurant to which the mayor of Cuenca was also invited, to present Healing the Children with a gratuity award for their services to the children of Cuenca. Of course Healing the Children recognizes that our missions could not be successful without the excellent professional skills of each team member, their loyalty to our organization and because of the collaborated efforts of a very supporting host county. Healing the Children wants to thank and recognize the team members of Mission 2013 for their extraordinary services to help make this mission another success story.
Dr. Don Headley, surgeon
Dr. Zach Zuniga, surgeon
Dr Gwen Grimsby, surgeon
Dr. Peter Bankoff, anesthesiologist
Dr. Rodrigo Llobet, anesthesiologist
Dr. Emili Parke, anesthesiologist
Candy Fradette, RN
Jackie Beals, RN
Katie Beals, RN
Beverly Stone, RN
Jen Casiaro, RN
Marie Lund, RN
Lizbeth Mendez, Scrub Tech
Mary Bankoff, assistant
Diane Scharpf, assistant
Bob Ricketts, translator and HTC assistant administrator.
University of Arizona Medical Center brings expertise to Ethiopia Medical mission for children in Ecuador a success
TUCSON - A team of UMC heart surgeons and nurses is showing just how big their hearts are with a volunteer mission to Ethiopia.
The team, led by pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Michael Teodori, leaves today for the capital, Addis Abada, for a two-week mission. They expect to perform cardiac surgery on 10-15 children, and to teach medical students there.
This is Dr. Teodori's fourth surgical mission to the east African nation, volunteering through the Gift of Life and Healing the Children organizations.
Joining Dr. Teidori are two pediatric ICU nurses from UMC, pediatric cardiologist Dr. Brent Barber, trauma surgeon Dr. Bellal Joseph, and Dr. Gohalem Felema, an Ethiopian native completing her anesthesia residency at the UA.
The team will be based in a small heart hospital in Addis Abada.
"It's not fancy, just concrete floors, but clean," Dr. Teodori says.
After months of careful planning and preparations, HTC Arizona sent a 12 member medical team to Cali, Colombia, consisting of 2 surgeons, 2 anesthesiologists, 5 nurses, 2 aids/translators and an HTC administrator. They worked in cooperation with HTC’s International Partner Margarita Lenis from Casa de Colombia. The team provided pediatric urology and general surgery to indigent patients who had been waiting for available treatment, some for as long as 3 years. Most of the cases required basic procedures, but there were several that needed more complicated surgery. Over the course of the work week the team developed a unique bond with the local staff at Club Noel Hospital. The children were precious, their parents ever so grateful to the delight and encouragement of the team. By the end of what seemed like a very long work week, a total of 146 children were screened. Out of those 98 children were operated on. Also, on the last day in Cali, 3 team members provided a teaching lecture: one on urology, one on anesthesia and one on end of life care. Because of the collaborated efforts of all involved and the flexibility of the team, the week was a success.
Our sincere thanks go to all the team members for their expertise, their time and their devotion to children: Philip Gleason, MD; Enrique Grisoni, MD; Mark Mathews, MD; Jason Carns, MD; Jackie Beals, RN; Bethany Larsen, RN; Kristin Mathews, RN; Lucy Rooker, Scrub Tech; Tina Nestor, Scrub Tech; Gary Griggs, Translator/Aid, Bob Ricketts, Translator/Aid ; Johanna Ricketts, HTC Administrator and to all who donated supplies for the mission.
In February 2010, HTC Arizona sent its 2nd pediatric ophthalmology/ENT medical mission to Azogues, Ecuador. The team consisted of 12 volunteer members, plus an HTC administrator. They worked long and hard every day. On the first day, a total of 162 children were screened. Out of these, 58 patients were selected to receive surgeries for either eye related problems, or for ear, nose and throat related issues that were addressed over the next 41/2 days (doing 78 procedures in all). There was excellent cooperation from the host hospital in Azogues, as well as assistance from the Kiwanis of that city.
January 2009: Samir returns to his home in the Andes of Ecuador after successful eye surgery and brain tumor removal in Arizona:
Little 9 year old Samir was given a new chance in life thanks to the skill and kindness of doctors Brendan Cassidy and Harold Rekate, and the generosity of St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was treated. Read more in our website about his story and many others like him whose lives are being changed by the kindness and generosity of so many people in Arizona.