Providing Improverished Guatemalans With Sustainable Access to Medical & Surgical Care.

partner for surgery

Improving Health. Empowering Communities.

PfS Logo
In This Issue
December Mission
Realizing the Dream
Ending on a Happy Note
Friday,April 23
7:15 PM pre-reception 
8:00PM-9:30 PM  
Church of the Redeemer
1545 Chain Bridge Rd. McLean, VA 22101
(703) 356-3346

Benefit Opera
Visit us on the Web at:
Partner For Surgery
Donations are always welcome.
Google Donations
Upcoming Medical Triage Missions
May 16 - 21
June 20-26
Ixcan and Northern Alta Verapaz
August 22-28
Polochic Valley
Alta Verapaz
October 10-16
December 5 - 11
Northern Alta Verapaz
Openings Still
Available for Surgical Teams to Clinica Barbara in
More Info at:
Giving Back

Joseph Giordano, MD, FACS
Phone: 202-741-3225

Making a Difference:  December - February, 2010

Dr. Joe Giordano's Surgical Team Experience at Clinica Barbara:

"On December 5, 2009, sixteen members of the George Washington University Medical Center Staff went to Guatemala to work at Clinica Barbara, the surgical center dedicated to serving Partner for Surgery (PfS) patients.  This team included three anesthesiologists, four surgeons, and nine nurses and surgical technicians.  Levels of enthusiasm and expectations of the members were extraordinary.  During the week, the team evaluated 60 patients and did 56 procedures on 48 of those patients.  Results were spectacular!

Most of the group had not been on a mission like this and did not know what to expect.  The worst fears were that the clinic was going to be inadequately equipped, the project not well organized, and the sanitation level substandard.  They were very pleasantly surprised by the fact that this was a well-equipped surgical suite.  As one of the anesthesiologists said, "This is a real operating room."  In addition, the place was spotlessly clean, probably better than what we are used to at most hospital settings and extraordinarily well organized.  On Sunday, the first day in the clinic, we evaluated 60 patients, all of whom had charts ready-made with diagnoses and basic lab tests.  The group found the patients and staff to be warm and courteous.  The patients and their families were very grateful for the help we gave them and the clinic staff was totally competent, very pleasant, and easy to deal with.

In the debriefing we had on our last day, one idea that kept popping up was that the 16 members of the team wanted to make sure that all 16 would be together on the next trip to Guatemala in 2010.  In no way did they want anybody else to substitute because it was such a collegial group and they wanted to relive it all next year.   Because there are other people at GW who want to go, we are just going to have to have two trips from November 6th to November 20th!

We are indebted to Frank Peterson and the whole staff of Partner for Surgery along with everybody associated with the trip.  It was an extraordinary experience which will have a continuing impact on all the members.  Also, when we returned to George Washington and told everyone about our trip, the level of enthusiasm and the talk within the institution staff was extraordinary.  This is clearly a signature event and we do hope that it is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Partner for Surgery in Guatemala and George Washington University Medical Center."

Realizing the Dream

In November of 2008 PfS inaugurated Clinica Barbara with a Canadian team, Project HANDS. In 2009, PfS brought four teams - including Dr. Giordono's George Washington University Medical Center team.  In January of this year, PfS began collaboration with Dr. Byron Henry, wife Stacy, and their organization, Free to Smile.  Seven teams are already scheduled for 2010.  We are realizing the dream.

Over 1500 given Medical Care and 500 access to Surgery

Surgical teams are able to serve Guatemala's most impoverished because of Partner for Surgery's medical triage missions where doctors and staff visit the rural areas and identify surgical candidates.  Special thanks to December's group led by Dr. Neil Shealy, Dr. Felicia McDonald and nurse practitioner Sharon Shealy. And special thanks to February's Project HANDS' team led by Dr. George Maryniak and wife Barbara. 

During the December Medical Mission, three children with cleft lips were added to the new PfS nutrition project.  Jonathan Tee Pop was one of those children, weighing six pounds at one month old.    Because he is unable to breast feed, he was given a special nursing bottle and a can of baby formula.  Local manager Mayra Chen will visit the family every two weeks to see how Jonathan is doing and give more formula to the family.   Parents Carlos Enrique and Natalia Ac brought Jonathan to the Medical Mission after a patient told them about our organization.  They have four other children and are subsistence farmers.     By giving families knowledge  that deformities can be corrected, babies like Jonathan will be cared for until they reach the weight where surgery is possible.  Without this hope, many have been simply allowed to die.

February's Medical Missionwas the first time PfS worked in San Miguel Chicaj, accessible to the home of 72 year old Juana Morente.  She arrived with husband Macario Cauec, after leaving home at 5:00 am, walking two hours and riding a truck for another hour.  Juana and Macario have had seven children, three now deceased.  Juana has had a prolapsed uterus for the last 37 years,since the birth of her last child.  She is on the schedule for the Project HANDS' surgical team on March 12th at Clinica Barbara.

Ending on a Happy Note

Redeemer Lutheran Church has been making "Goodie Bags" for children to receive during their surgical experience.  Days can be long while waiting for surgery and then undergoing post operative care until it is safe to go home.  Shown here is little Franklin Pop Cuc, age 5, after the burn surgery he underwent in September.   Inside his bag are a stuffed animal, toiletries, crayons, and a coloring book.  Thank you, Redeemer! And thanks to you who have given us support.  Please ask others to consider a gift by check or online at so our work can continue to make a difference in this needy corner of the world. 


Frank Peterson
Partner for Surgery