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

partner for surgery

Improving Health. Empowering Communities.

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In This Issue
The Outreach Continues
Disability Impoverishes a Family
Strengthening a Nation
Changing a Life
Welcome to the Board

The Arts for Healing,
a Partner for Surgery fundraiser

A stunning night of art, literature, music and charity.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
7:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Home of
Richard and Mary Kelly
Great Falls, VA
Visit us on the Web at:
Partner For Surgery
Google Donations
Upcoming Medical Triage Missions
March 22-April 2, 2011
Central Alta Verapaz
May 8-14, 2011
July/August, 2011
(Schedule Pending)
Polochic Alta Verapaz
October 9-15, 2011
December 4-10, 2011
Northern Alta Verapaz
Volunteer Opportunities available to lead surgical teams
More Info at:
Operation Giving Back
Partner For Surgery
Board of Directors
James Ahlgren, MD
Carylann Assante
Edward Butler
George Evans, DD
Joseph Giordano, MD
Robert Hahne
Marybeth Haneline
Frank Peterson
Todd Peterson
Patricia Van Scoyoc
H.E. Francisco Villagrán de León
Mark Weischedel
Director of US Operations
Brian Carome

The Outreach Continues: December - February 2011

Expanding the reach of the nutrition program, training nurses in cervical cancer prevention, providing medical attention on medical missions, delivering life changing surgery - the work begun ten years ago by Partner for Surgery continues.

6 Teams Perform 168 Surgeries
Medical Team Visits 4 Rural Communities
594 Patients Receive Medical Attention
127 Referrals for Surgery



Disability Impoverishes a Family

William Xo Pop was born with a severe cleft lip and palate, making it impossible to nurse. The severity of his condition made it very unlikely that he would survive beyond infancy. When William was born, the family was shunned and neighbors encouraged his parents to kill him. Instead, they went to great lengths to help their child. To pay for hospital stays and expensive medications  the family sold their only asset, the family land, for a little less than $2,000. Now without home or land to raise corn and beans, they had no choice but to move William and their five other children into a lean-to behind a home owned by another family member.

Then they heard about Partner for Surgery and brought William to a medical mission where he was immediately placed in our Nutrition Project. He gained sufficient weight to have operations for both cleft lip and palate and, because of adequate nutrition, is currently a healthy little boy. However, the family is still landless and living in the lean-to, without income to provide sufficient food for their children.

A sad situation and the reason Partner for Surgery has started a new project to connect with children like William at birth. Now, midwives will alert Partner for Surgery to babies born with severe clefts within hours and it will be possible to enroll them into our Nutrition Program within days.  Our goal is that no one will have to sell land or give up there livelihood to help their child.

Strengthening a Nation: Cervical Cancer Prevention  

In February, Partner for Surgery had an extremely successful Cervical Cancer Prevention training session. 1,052 women were screened for conditions leading to cervical cancer, 58 were treated, and 9 nurses trained. A special thanks to Doctor Humera Mohammed of the University of Illinois at Chicago for her extraordinary leadership during this effort.

Since 2008, PfS has partnered with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health to organize training in cervical cancer prevention. The nurses bring this life-saving skill back to their health centers. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of premature death for women in Guatemala.

Changing a Life

Partner for Surgery does not perform cosmetic surgery unless it severely impacts a life. Lucia Pop was born with a facial affliction that caused her to be shunned by her community. Now 16, Lucia traveled over eight hours across rough terrain to get to the surgical center in San Juan Sacatepequez. She made the trip alone, unable to speak Spanish. When Lucia arrived, a surgical team from Holy Cross Hospital, led by Dr. Philip Iorianni, delivered the surgical care that Lucia needed to have a normal life.

Welcome to the Board

Francisco Villagrán de León Honorable Guatemalan Ambassador
to the United States

Francisco Villagrán de León has over 25 years of diplomatic service. Being a native Guatemalan he has a deep love of the people and understands their plight. He has served as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Ambassador to the United Nations, the Organization of American States, Canada, Germany and Norway. Francisco has a deep understanding of the Guatemalan government and the issues it faces as well as the needs of the Guatemalan people. Francisco will foster the Guatemalans in their need for establishing self-sustaining quality health care services.

Edward (Ed) Butler
Former Peace Corps Director
in Guatemala

Ed Butler has over 40 years of experience in international development supporting USAID and the U.S. Peace Corps. Ed has worked with several regional and local governments around the world to improve nutrition, health, and disaster relief. Ed has Masters degrees in International Public Policy and in Social Work and a proven track record for helping those in need. His experience with international health organizations, grant processes, project management, and international relations will greatly improve the work being accomplished in Guatemala with Partner for Surgery.