Programs

Programs

Faith In Practice offers several volunteer programs to address a range of medical needs in Guatemala. Find out what each program does below. 

Village Medical Clinic Program

Our village clinics are conducted in the areas of greatest need in the farthest reaches of Guatemala. Prior to the beginning of our season, Guatemalan volunteers travel to each village to meet with our local Guatemalan volunteer leadership, viewing the school or church where our temporary clinic will be housed.  We also discuss with leaders the support they will provide during the clinic. These dedicated Guatemalan volunteers organize the clinics long before our team arrives.

 

During each season, our medical teams travel to these rural villages and conduct medical clinics. Upon arrival, our medical teams are typically met by hundreds of patients each day. Many patients travel for hours and stand in line for many hours more. They quietly and patiently wait to see one of our physicians.

 

Our physicians treat open wounds, infections, dental pain, parasites, and other serious health conditions. During the village clinic, our volunteers work side by side with the local volunteer leadership.  In addition to providing for a patient’s basic medical care needs, the medical teams identify surgical candidates to be referred to the Obras hospital in Antigua and Hilario Galindo Hospital in Retalhuleu.  In 2017, we will send nine medical clinic teams with an average of 45 individuals serving beside a corresponding 40-45 Guatemalan volunteers.

 

Surgical candidates receive detailed information regarding the specific date and location where their surgeries will be performed.  This also includes details regarding how they, and a family member, will be transported from their village to Antigua, where one of our surgical teams will perform the surgery in the months to come.  Our local Guatemalan partners accompany the patients to the designated hospital to receive their surgery on their scheduled date. 

Surgical Program

Our surgical teams treat the patients referred by our medical teams. The surgeries are performed at one of our two core partnering hospitals. The first and primary location for our surgeries is Las Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro Hospital and Orphanage in Antigua, Guatemala. In 2006, Faith In Practice completed the expansion and renovation of the operating rooms at Santo Hermano Pedro. This hospital now has five state-of-the-art operating rooms. We also have a partnership with Hospital Hilario Galindo in Retalhuleu where surgeries are performed and where we are currently undergoing a significant expansion and renovation. In each of these hospitals, Faith In Practice has invested, and is investing, significant funds to remodel and equip the facilities to ensure a safe environment for both our surgical teams and for our patients.

 
Our surgical teams represent the following specialties:  ENT, Gynecology, General, Orthopedic, Plastics, and Urology. Our surgeons perform surgeries ranging from simple tumor removals to extensive scoliosis repair and total hip and knee replacements. In 2017, Faith In Practice will send 25 volunteer surgical teams to Guatemala, averaging 40 individuals per team.

Casa de Fe

Our Casa de Fe is a 100-bed patient guest house located in Antigua, Guatemala.  Since 2003, our patients and their families have found clean beds, received hot meals, and recovered in the safety and comfort of the Casa. The Casa is a haven for our surgical patients, who rarely have enough money to travel or buy food during their trip to the hospital.  Before Casa de Fe, patients slept on the streets prior to surgery and walked or rode home in the back of pick-up trucks after their procedures.  We also provide food and housing for our patients who receive surgeries at our other partnering hospitals throughout Guatemala. During the 2016 season, Casa de Fe provided more than 24,000 bed nights to patients and guests.

 

Casa de Fe houses a chapel which is used as additional resting space to mothers and their children when the Casa is overflowing with patients. Their resting in the chapel is very fitting, for this is truly a ministry that strives to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ to heal the sick. It is always touching to be approached by surgical patients asking how they can help at the Casa or where they can volunteer. They ask, many times, shortly after returning from the hospital.  Our patients’ gratitude always humbles us.

 

Make a life-changing gift to Casa de Fe through the dedication of a Tile in honor or in memory of a special person.

Dental Program

This program includes dental surgeries for the incapacitated residents that live at the Obras, pain relief and tooth extraction in the villages, and a Preventative and Restorative Program both at the Obras and Hilario Galindo.  In addition, Faith In Practice has built and equipped two dental clinics in Sarstun and San Agustin, used by local dentists who serve the poor.  In addition, all medical clinic teams include a dental team.

Hearing Program

This program dispenses solar-powered hearing aids through our ENT physicians and audiologists who serve on village medical teams.  For those with hearing loss in the villages, a traditional hearing aid is cost-prohibitive, as are the replacement batteries for those aids.  For these, a solar-powered hearing aid gives the gift of hearing for years.  We also have audiologists treat patients at the Obras clinic in conjunction with our ENT surgeons.  In partnership with the Obras, we expanded this program with a new audiology clinic and sound proof booth, allowing us to better serve our patients both in the villages and at the Obras.

Women's Health Program

This program currently consists of two core programs:

 

Cervical Cancer Screening and Teaching.  This program is designed to teach local Guatemalan practitioners to recognize and treat pre-cancerous cervical cells.  Women are needlessly dying in Guatemala due to cervical cancer.  It is the number one killer of women in that country. For every one woman who dies in the United States of cervical cancer, eight die in Guatemala. This program is empowering Guatemalans and saving women’s lives.  Since its inception, more than 100,000 women have been screened. Countless more are being screened by those who have received training through this program. We also screen and treat women during the medical clinic missions.  Faith In Practice serves as an advisor to the Ministry of Health’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Program as well.  We will conduct a minimum of three courses this current year.

 

Traditional Birth Attendant Program.  This program is designed to teach local “comadronas” who attend home births, which is the majority of births in Guatemala, how to identify and prevent birth emergencies that place the lives of the mother and child at risk as well as prevent birth injury.  This program has been developed and launched by Certified Nurse Midwife Felicity Thompson.  Faith In Practice will conduct a minimum of three courses this current year.

Orthopedics and Prosthetics Program

This program provides braces, prostheses, and wheelchairs for our patients in Guatemala, young and old. In the cases where our surgical teams need to amputate limbs, Faith In Practice provides these patients with prostheses to return them to wholeness as much as possible. Faith In Practice also provides customized and refurbished wheelchairs for disabled children and adults. Through this program, Faith In Practice provides these basic, yet desperately needed, items that transform the lives of those who suffer from various conditions.