November 3, 2006

Children’s Hospital team readies for Guatemala trip

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Patch Adams talks to students following his recent lecture.
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Children’s Hospital team readies for Guatemala trip

Seventeen surgeons, doctors and staff members from the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt will travel to Guatemala Nov. 5-11 to perform a variety of ear, nose and throat surgeries on pediatric patients.

Medical personnel from the group will perform and assist with up to a dozen procedures on children at the San Sebastian Hospital in Guatemala City. Surgeries will include cleft lip and cleft palate repairs, speech surgeries and removing head and neck masses.

“We're really excited to go,” said Shelagh Cofer, M.D., assistant professor of Otolaryngology. “There is a lot of need, particularly the cleft surgeries. We'll also do any head and neck surgeries that need to be done.”

Cofer, a surgeon, has gone on several medical missions in the past, as has Steve Goudy, M.D., another Children's Hospital surgeon who is traveling with group.

This is the second official trip to Guatemala by members of Children's Hospital. Last year, a 14-member group performed 37 urological surgeries and procedures on young patients at San Sebastian Hospital.

Children's Hospital is partnering with The Shalom Foundation, a Middle Tennessee-based non-profit that provides health services and helps coordinate international medical missions and trips. The Pediatric Foundation in Guatemala performed pre-screenings for potential patients.

Steve Moore, president of The Shalom Foundation, and two other representatives of the organization, will travel with the group from Children's Hospital.