|First Surgical Training Mission in New Pediatric Heart Center Nov 30- Dec 8, 2013
Our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua will welcome its first surgical mission in November. From November 30 to December 8, Surgeons of Hope is sponsoring a mission from the Children’s Hospital of Colorado (Denver) led by our President, Eduardo da Cruz, MD. SOH is excited about this milestone in the opening of the new Pediatric Heart Center.
The children are in great need of surgical help and this new, modern medical teaching facility will address this continuing need, while persisting in medical training, hospital equipment procurement and supply needs. The larger than usual Denver mission team will also include experts in equipment maintenance and repair, hospital inventory systems, and heart disease prevention.
Signifying the continuation of collaborative support from both the American and European teams, the second mission, early in 2014, will be led by noted pediatric heart surgeons, Dr. Daniel DeWolfe, and his mission team from CDE Belgium (La Chaine de l'Espoir--Belgique).
Ceremony Opens New Pediatric Heart Center in July, 2013
Following a press conference, a well-attended program, and speeches highlighting the importance of this step ahead in pediatric cardiac care in Nicaragua, a dance troupe of local children charmed the audience with their presence and talent. Health Minister Sonia Castro marked the occasion with greetings from her ministry and moved on for the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the project. A grand tour of the facility gave visitors a glimpse into the completely modern facility offering two operating rooms, eight ICU bed stations, and the very sophisticated equipment that a modern hospital needs. Congratulations to all.
|First Operation Completed
The first operation to be conducted at our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua occurred yesterday when a two-year-old child was operated upon by the local team, headed by pediatric cardiac surgeon, Allan Tellas, MD. All went well. Dr. Tellas is extremely pleased with the new Center and its capabilities. Touring the facility for a final look on Thursday, July 18, Dr. Gerardo Mejia said that he felt a profound sense of pride when he saw the beauty and the cleanliness of the new, modern facility. Completing his surgery on Monday, Dr. Tellez said that the Center is "one small step for humanity, but a large one for Nicaragua."
|Filming the current mission in Nicaragua is videographer Kai Orion of Los Angeles, California. Together with Kristina Klebe, also of Los Angeles, the film duo captured the highlights of the mission week at La Mascota Children's Hospital. This photo was taken soon after the little patient completed her open heart surgery. She is being looked after by one of the team's nurses and her mother. Photo credit: Philippe Lerch, SoH Regional Director, Nicaragua.
|An international team headed by Dominique Metras, MD, of Marseille, France, has gathered from hospitals in France, Colombia, and Palestine to provide 10 children with life-saving, life-altering surgery. While we had hoped to open the new Pediatric Heart Center in time for this mission, necessary delays for systems checking and further equipment installation have meant that the current mission team is being accommodated at La Mascota Children's Hospital, adjacent to the new Center.
The surgeries are going well and on schedule.
We have been privileged to benefit from your undeniable support that has been so vital to achieving our goals in Nicaragua.
We have come a long way since inception of our program and outcomes have been extraordinary.Hundreds of little patients have been healed by international teams, but most importantly, we are now pleased to inform you that the local team is already successfully operating on some of the most common cardiac defects.
The year 2013 is one of exciting achievements but also of more challenges.The Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua, a regional state-of-the-art facility dedicated to children with cardiac diseases, will open its doors during the first quarter.We are currently working diligently to obtain the sophisticated equipment needed to make this center operational.We are also investing in developing a self-sustainable model for the acquisition of permanent stocks of equipment and disposables, and we continue to support future program leaders to train in Latin American reference centers.International surgical and medical missions will be pursued every two to three months.This year will also see the development of a low maintenance and yet efficient telemedicine network and we will implement the first peripheral clinic dedicated to the identification, triage and follow-up of patients with cardiac diseases, with a particular emphasis in prevention.As ever, we need your support to achieve the ultimate objective: the consolidation of a strong and autonomic regional center for pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery.
Eduardo M. da Cruz, MD
Head, Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Program
Head, Pediatric Cardiology
Inpatient Services Director
Children’s Hospital Colorado
University of Colorado, Denver, School of Medicine
Aurora, CO80045 – USA
Phone:720-777-4055 or 720-777-6992
|Philippe Lerch, SoH's Nicaragua Regional Program Director returned this month from one of many supervisory trips to Nicaragua, reporting that the construction phase of the new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua is all but completed, with the final interior painting being done this month. Now the work escalates in earnest to equip and supply the new facility in time for its projected opening in the spring of 2013.
SoH President, Eduardo da Cruz, MD, traveled to Managua, Nicaragua in May, along with other SoH Board members, to form La Fundacion de Cirujanos de la Esperanza de Nicaragua, dedicated to enhancing pediatric cardiac care in Nicaragua. Looking on is Engineer Salvador Montalvan, the new Foundation's Secretary, and a long-time friend of Surgeons of Hope.
The new SoH Foundation will expand collaboration with surrounding areas as it joins in the work to oversee construciton of a new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua. The groundbreaking for the new construction is scheduled in August.
|Annual Board Meeting Elects New Directors June 28, 2011
Three new members of the Board of Directors were elected at the SoH annual board meeting in June.
They are: Emile A. Bacha, MD, Head of Cardiac Surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City; James Jaggers, MD, Head of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at The Children's Hospital of Denver; and Christian Pizarro, MD, Head, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Nemours Cardiac Center, A. I. Dupont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE. At the same meeting, Eduardo da Cruz, MD, agreed to serve as President of Surgeons of Hope Foundation.
Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua Officially Open
On July 23, the Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua opened officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a tour of the new teaching hospital, located adjacent to La Mascota Children's Hospital in Managua. Representing Surgeons of Hope were Foundation President Eduardo da Cruz, MD, and Philippe Lerch, Regional Director for SoH in Nicaragua.
Trucks are Arriving at Pediatric Heart Center
The new ICU at the Pediatric Heart Center now has 6 beds in place, along with two new tiny beds for infants. 16 beds arrived in the first container to be unpacked. Philippe Lerch, the SoH Regional Director in Nicaragua reported that three bed wheels were damaged in the shipping, and that some of the beds had problems with their electrical elements, but that the local repair crew was already at work on the problems. He says that the materials "are in good hands" and that the team is good. The new Smart Board has been delivered to the meeting room at the new Center.
Equipment and Supplies Delivered
Two containers jam-packed with modern equipment and surgical supplies have arrived safely in Managua and are ready for delivery to the new Heart Center. Both containers were shipped by Project CURE. One was filled at their Denver warehouse facilities, and the other was filled by Afaya on the east coast. Once through customs, the container contents will be moved into the new Center, ready for the June surgical mission team's use. On board is the new Smart board to be installed in the conference/training room at the new Center.
June Mission Announced
A 10-member international surgical team from France, Colombia, and Palestine are planning to travel to Nicaragua in late June to inaugurate the new Pediatric Heart Center. The Center is being readied with new equipment which has now arrived at the docks in Managua and will soon be installed. Philippe Lerch, SoH Regional Director for Nicaragua, is on-site to oversee the work and to ready the supplies for the team.
A Fabulous Evening of Fun and Helping Kids Who Need Help
90 guests accepted Surgeons of Hope's invitation to help us to provide access to heart health in Latin America's poorest countries. Thanks to the generosity of our guests vying for an array of prizes at our auction and enjoying a fabulous meal prepared by celebrity chefs at Le Bernardin restaurant in New York, our foundation more than met our financial goal for the evening. By all accounts, we were successful, but the great winners will be the children who will have access to cardiac care in Central America as a matter of course at their new Pediatric Heart Center.
SoH Welcomes a New Board Member
The Board of Directors voted unanimously to seat a new member on the board. Douglas Krehbiel, CFA, is a finance professional, bringing 20 years of experience in investing in emerging markets, particularly in Latin America. He resides in New York City, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Welcome to our newest board member!
Mt. Sinai Team Returns to NYC
Following a busy week of surgery and teaching at La Mascota Children's Hospital in Managua, a volunteer team of medical professionals from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City returned home, voicing enthusiasm for the work they had accomplished in one short week. The team of 17 was accompanied by two representatives of Gift of Life (New Jersey) who went along as observers and echoed the praise for the team in a job well done.
News About Little Camilla
SoH Regional Director for our Nicaragua program has returned from a week in Nicaragua with the French surgical team headed by Dominique Metras, MD. While there, he traveled to the remote community where little Camilla lives with her family. He wanted to see how she was doing and he can report that she is completely energetic and well, enjoying the exuberant life of a child. Her mother expressed her thanks to SoH, and even wants to volunteer herself to be part of a support organization when our new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua opens in 2013.
Edwards Lifesciences Valve Reaches Nicaragua in Time
While the French team was at La Mascota, it became clear that one of the little patients needed a new heart valve to survive, so a call to Edwards Lifesciences by the surgeon determined what was needed, but the valve had to reach the OR the next day. It so happened that Edwards was sending a video crew to film the mission the next day, so the valve and extra items could be tucked into the luggage and rushed to the OR. The operation was a success, thanks to quick action by Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine, California, in sync with our surgical team.
Construction Schedule Update
Renovations to the Operating Rooms at La Mascota Children's Hospital, begun in October, were complete on schedule. In July, an 11-member volunteer mission team from Children's Hospital of Colorado (Aurors, CO), traveled to La Mascota to operate on 10 children and continue the highly successful professional development training program for the local medical team. Tremendous strides have been made.
Construction of the new Pediatric Heart Center of Nicaragua, our crowning achievement, began in December, 2011 and will be finished in early 2013. Now our work begins to provide the modern hospital equipment needed to furnish and supply the new Center. When completed, the new Center will be able to operate on 300 children per year.Combined Federal Campaign for 2012 to begin in October
SoH is pleased to be participating once again in Federal Campaign(CFC), the largest and most successful workplace philanthropic fundraiser in the world. This year we have joined a Federation of charities for the CFC campaign, Child Aid International. We will be actively participating in the CFC campaign within New York City, also. We look forward to spreading the word about SoH and our projects at federal agency fairs.