Mission: Our mission is to provide impoverished rural Guatemalans with sustainable access to medical and surgical care. Guatemala the most underserved country in Latin America for health and surgical care. The typical rural Guatemalan has no experience with major medical care, has never left their cultural/language area, and frequently has no access to transportation. Furthermore, the expenses associated with surgery far exceed their ability to pay. It is our experience that almost all rural Guatemalans need assistance in order to take advantage of international volunteer surgical teams. Partner for Surgery works to overcome discrimination that prohibits access to surgery; to educate and empower rural Guatemalans to initiate and advocate for vital health care services on their own behalf; to empower rural Guatemalans with good health, in order to promote equitable economic growth and emergence from a life of bare subsistence; to achieve maximum leverage through collaboration with Guatemalan and international NGOs.
Programs: Our programs include community outreach, youth empowerment through rural radio programs, screening and treatment for cervical dysplasia conditions, medical triage missions in rural communities, health education, and access to surgical care. To those ends, we organize triage missions and recruit surgical teams from North America. During each week-long triage event, volunteers evaluate approximately 600 individuals, and identify approximately 150 surgical candidates, who are then scheduled for future surgical missions. Individuals who do not require surgery receive medical attention, if appropriate. Once a surgical candidate is identified, we connect them with a surgical team over the next 1 to 4 months. We arrange transportation; escort patients to and from the hospital site; provide personal attention, translation assistance and financial support; and serve as patient advocates. We also provide housing and food for the patient and an accompanying family member. Each patient is required to pay a portion of the costs, according to their resources. Regardless of how small the amount, this approach engenders dignity, empowerment and responsibility. We also provide surgical teams with all the in-country support they need including a fully equipped surgical center with 24/7 medical support staff.PfS holds a deep conviction that knowledge is the key to making informed decisions about one's health. In that spirit, we devote significant resources to providing education to reduce the causes that give rise to the disproportionate need for surgery.
I was a nurse in the December 2011 surgical screening trip. It was an excellent trip; well organized in every way. I was so impressed with how well the staff had set up each clinic and the many logistics that they needed to keep in mind. It was a rewarding experience in all ways. th epeople, the mission, the manner in which we were treated and taken care of, the other volunteers and more.
This review is from Barbara Donne, who prefers not to share her email and asked me to post this review for her:
"Partner for Surgery is celebrating its 10th year of serving impoverished Guatemalan families. Dedicated volunteers visit the country and provide medical care to all ages: children with cleft palates, mothers needing nutritional and prenatal care, and elderly who need cataract surgery. These volunteers accomplish miracles, and when the frightened, sick new patients see the results, they no longer avoid treatment. Many of the poor fear that going to visit a doctor means death. Partner for Surgery is committed to keeping them alive and well! Every volunteer hour and every dollar will help this volunteer organization save lives".
I have followed Partner for Surgery for a few years now and have volunteered for the last two years approximately. This organization is made primarily of volunteers so when you donate to PfS very little of your donation goes to cover overhead costs. In other words, most of your donation will go directly to the people who need it the most: empoverished Guatemalans who live in rural areas where access to health care is very difficult.