Moon Township, PA, (October 25, 2012)
- For the past six years, a team of Heritage Valley Health System physicians and other clinicians have completed medical mission trips to Honduras. During the most recent trip in Ojojona, the group provided care for its 10,000th patient.
The group of mostly Heritage Valley clinicians arranges and performs quality health care for the very poor of Honduras, usually for people residing in rural communities located in the mountains of Honduras. The medical missions usually take place during 1st week in September and are one week in duration. A variety of general health care services are delivered during the mission trips; however specialized care in the fields of pediatrics, dental medicine, ophthalmology, gynecology, and cardiology is also offered. Since the beginning, the group has been led Robert Madder, D.O., an Internal Medicine physician with Heritage Valley Medical Group.
“The people of Honduras have a special place in my heart. When I first went there in 2006, I knew that I was meant to dedicate part of my life to this mission,” said Dr. Madder. “I’ve met so many wonderful people and worked with many selfless individuals.”
The majority of health care providers – physicians, nurses and dentists – providing services on the mission trips have been from Beaver County; however, some caregivers from Canada, Honduras and Miami have joined the mission trips. The group has worked with benefactors in Honduras to improve the life of its residents.
“We partner with local Honduras benefactors who are dedicated to improving life in their county,” added Dr. Madder. “Richard Vinelli is a local benefactor who has not only greatly helped our missions, but continues to help Honduras in countless other ways like soliciting and securing funding for the town of Ojojona to help install sewage systems and bring water to the entire town.”
Funding assistance for the medical missions has been provided through donations from individuals in Beaver County and from the physicians and health care providers who have offered their services to the missions. Additional assistance has been provided by Heritage Valley Health System and Brother’s Brother Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit who assists with the distribution and provision of donated medical resources to developing countries. To date, 240 hospital beds, 13 exam tables, and $70,000 worth of medication have been shipped to Honduras as part of this coordination.
Dr. Madder is particularly proud of special medical cases, which have helped some patients with life-threatening issues. The group has identified a number of cancer patients that were referred for surgery. Additionally, they have identified young children with congenital heart disease and have referred them for surgical intervention.
“There is one particular case that was life-changing for both the patient and my family,” Dr. Madder added. “We were able to bring a 38-year-old Honduran man with a serious spinal cord tumor to southwestern Pennsylvania for surgical intervention. The outcome was positive and he was able to spend time in Beaver County and experience life in our world.”
The following personnel participated in this year’s mission trip: Dr. Cynthia Fiorini, Carey Gagnon, PA, Jay Hartle, CRNP, Michael Hartle, Paramedic, Dr. Ken House, Jennifer Jesko, RN, Dr. John Michel, Cathy Reese, RN, Dr. Gail Shumway, Dr. Yuri Stippa, Dr. James Tatum and Dr. Richard Whittington.
To make a gift to support the mission trip to Honduras, please make the contribution to: Brother’s Brother Foundation-Honduras, 1200 Galveston Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. You may also contact Brother’s Brother Foundation at 412-321-3160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2012 Honduras Medical Mission group in Ojojona, Honduras.