A Woman of Faith: Patty Baiza

Friday, February 14, 2014

Whether Dr. Patty Baiza finds herself standing on a podium with the Guatemala’s Vice Minister of Health talking about Cervical Cancer prevention, or before a group of eager students in a remote village in northwestern Guatemala about how to identify the cells that will kill, or whether she is gently kneeling before a woman to tell her that she has cervical cancer and that Faith In Practice will help her, one thing never changes. Patty’s passionate, fierce, and faithful commitment to serve the women of Guatemala. We are honored to call her one of our own.

Advocate. Patty is constantly spreading the word to her fellow women in Guatemala about the danger of cervical cancer and how we all must work together to do the same. Patty stood beside the Vice Minister at a press conference for World Cancer Day, February 4, and said, “We cannot focus on cancer only this one day, but we must work each day, collaboratively and continually, to prevent and detect in its earliest stages this terrible disease.” Patty spoke as representative of the National Consortium Against Cervical Cancer, a Ministry of Health initiative of which Faith In Practice is a member.

Teacher. With conviction and competence, Patty teaches physicians, nurses and health promoters across Guatemala to identify and treat pre-cancerous cervical cells. She encourages them and empowers them to serve their communities not only competently, but with compassion. She is truly a leader and gifted teacher, guiding her students not only in the techniques, but in nuances of culture and care.

Woman of Faith. When Patty speaks to a woman who has cervical cancer or pre-cancerous cervical cells, she speaks to her not only as a physician, but as fellow human being, as a woman of deep and abiding faith. Patty does not seek to treat or heal the disease, she seeks to journey with the woman toward healing and wholeness. It is her deep faith in God that motivates her and strengthens her in this work. And, she does this work with great advocacy on behalf of every individual woman she walks beside, just as she advocates on behalf of every woman, just as she did as she stood on the podium on World Cancer Day on February 4.

Patty Baiza, strong, committed and compassionate. The women of Guatemala and all of us at Faith In Practice are blessed by her faithful service. Help us continue this life saving work. Please support this work through a donation to Women’s Health Initiative.