We are excited to say that Iowa MOST in 2020 includes a cataract mission! The need for cataract surgery here is clear. Several years ago Huehuetenango
Rotary Club member Dr. Solorzano and Juan Francisco Fernandez, Executive Director of Casa Colibri brought the suggestion to team leader Deb Dunkhase.
The Rotary Wheel
The success of the Iowa MOST team has been built on the relationships, partnerships and friendships that have been developed since the first mission 15 years ago. Originally focused solely on cleft palate surgery, the team has expanded to meet the needs of the community. Expanded capacity has been created through such a strong support system in Huehuetenango making additional work possible. Tonsillectomies, dental hygiene outreach in the area, and working with the local orphanage are some of the add-ons that have helped grow the way we make a difference here.
A Canadian Rotary ophthalmology team did screenings ahead of the this year’s Iowa MOST mission. Our dear friends at Casa de Colibri also held screenings further up in the highlands Dr. Julio Herrera and his hospital hosted the work at Salus 2, shutting down the clinic except for emergencies to make room for this much needed work.
The Iowa MOST team arrived in Huehuetenango on January 19 and by the time the cataract mission wrapped up on January 24, they had performed 59 surgeries! The cataracts team members are: Dr. Steve Fox, Dr. Rianna Dolland, Dr. Brian Nichols, Sandy Kessler, Jan. Slaymaker, Breanna Wacker, Rae Jean Hollopeter, and Liz Koury. Iowa MOST team leader Deb Dunkhase, logistics leader Juan Francisco Fernandez, and outreach coordinator Cassye Dunkhase were there to keep everything running smoothly. These long days were well worth it—the team was able to take care of every single person who was able to come to the clinic.
Stories of those who were given the gift of sight are coming soon; until then, thank you to all those who came together to help make a difference.