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Carlos and members of his care team from Vanderbilt, Anna Brummel, R.N., center, and Caroline Hale, give the thumbs up sign following his procedure at the new Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala. (Photo by Karin League)

Shalom Foundation, VU establish Guatemala clinic

BY: CHRISTINA ECHEGARAY

4/28/2011 - Surgeons, nurses and staff at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt helped open a long-awaited and much-needed surgical facility during a recent mission trip to Guatemala.

Personnel from Children's Hospital have been traveling to the poverty-stricken nation twice a year since 2006, and have performed free surgeries on nearly 300 impoverished children.

Children in Guatemala City have among the worst growth rates in the world due to widespread malnutrition and lack of quality medical care. About 14.3 million people live in Guatemala, and nearly half the population is under age 18. Also, a majority of the population lives in abject poverty.

Children's Hospital's surgeons and nurses help to provide care to children who might not have access to health care in their country. The group celebrated the opening of the center on their trip.

“This clinic helps achieve our international care commitment and fulfills our mission to serve needy children in third world countries,” said John W. Brock III, M.D., surgeon-in-chief of Children's Hospital. “With this center, we are able to provide a continuity of great care for the children of Guatemala.”

On hand at the opening of the clinic were, from left, Vanderbilts Ira Landsman, M.D., Shalom Foundation Medical Director Ken Moore, M.D., and Vanderbilts John Brock III, M.D. (Photo by Caroline Hale)

On hand at the opening of the clinic were, from left, Vanderbilts Ira Landsman, M.D., Shalom Foundation Medical Director Ken Moore, M.D., and Vanderbilts John Brock III, M.D. (Photo by Caroline Hale)

The new facility, the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center, has been four years in the making and was a vision of the Shalom Foundation, a Franklin-based non-profit humanitarian aid organization. Children's Hospital has offered support to the foundation over the years to help give children access to quality medical and surgical care.

The center will serve as the base for all future surgeries during mission trips. A team of 14-17 staff attends each trip. Previously, surgeons relied on area hospitals to do various surgeries, including general surgery and urology and plastic surgeries.

Several years of renovations were required to transform the center's 12,000-square-foot structure into a space equipped for medical and surgical care. It has three operating rooms and beds for pre-operation, intensive care and recovery.

“The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center provides a safe and well-equipped space for our faculty and staff to bring their skills to the bedside of Guatemalan children,” said Caroline Hale, project coordinator for the International Services Program for Children's Hospital. “Regardless of the setting, our nurses and doctors still provide the same high-quality care and develop powerful relations with the Guatemalan families.”

Other staff on the most recent trip included: Stacy Tanaka, M.D., assistant professor of Urologic Surgery; Ira Landsman, M.D., associate professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics; Chris Karsanac, M.D., assistant professor of Anesthesiology; Kathryn Carlson, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics; Veronica Nylander, C.R.N.A., anesthetist; Loris Graves, R.N., interim manager of OR; Karin League, R.N., M.S.N., manager, holding room, PACU, radiology recovery; Carolyn Maness, R.N., manager; Cindy Sisco, Scrub Tech; Anna Brummel, R.N., PACU nurse; Cathryn Rolfe, director, International Clinical & Administrative Initiatives.

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