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Local Doctors Provide Care on Annual Medical Mission in Guatemala

Farmington Hills, Mich. (April 2, 2010)---A team of 104 physicians and volunteers from local hospitals provided needed medical care to thousands of men, women and children in rural Guatemala during an annual medical mission from March 5 through 19. 
 
The mission included groups from Botsford Hospital, POH Regional Medical Center, Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. The effort was led by Botsford Hospital President and CEO, Paul LaCasse, D.O.; Botsford Hospital Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, David Walters, D.O.; Botsford Hospital residents, Eric Greenberg, D.O., and Lauren Wasson Mazzurco, D.O.; Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Associate Dean, Gary Willyerd, D.O.; POH Regional Medical Center emergency medicine attending, Steven Hemby, D.O., and Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center emergency medicine attending, William Halacoglu, D.O. 
 
The trip was made possible by DOCARE International, a non-profit organization founded by an osteopathic physician in 1961. DOCARE aims to bring needed health care to people in remote areas of countries in the Western Hemisphere who would not otherwise be able to receive such medical attention. 
 
During the trip, the doctors and volunteers established their base clinic in Tecpan, Guatemala and each day traveled to surrounding villages to set up medical camps. The group treated approximately 3,600 patients in a two-week timeframe. 
 
Dr. Greenberg, a Botsford Hospital resident who has participated in the mission for the past three years, says, “The people were so grateful for the help. If there was anything frustrating about the trip it was that there were some patients with conditions we couldn’t treat with the supplies we brought, but there were others with joint problems, for example, that we could bring immediate relief to with a simple injection. That’s how you make a difference, helping those you can.” 
 
The team cared for families including children of all ages, pregnant women, middle-aged men and women, and the elderly. They treated patients with skin diseases, fungal infections, gallstones, urinary tract infections, gastroenteritis, measles, whooping cough, chickenpox, malnutrition, congenital deformities, sun rashes, psoriasis, eczema, ear, nose and throat infections, allergies, asthma and parasites. 
 
Dr. Greenberg, says, “I continue to go back each year because it is such a rewarding experience to help individuals without any access to health care. We have a chance to help many people and learn from each other.” 
 
Each year, the group raises funds to cover transportation, housing costs and fees associated with purchasing medications used to treat Guatemalan patients. Donors include other physicians, nurses and members of the community. Planning is underway for another medical mission in 2011. 
 
 
Photo captions
Guatemala1: Tony Lutz and Julie Levin, Botsford Hospital resident 
Guatemala2: Kristi Gill, Botsford Hospital resident

Botsford Hospital is a multi-specialty 330 bed hospital and verified trauma center located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The campus also houses an imaging center and a comprehensive care cancer center. Botsford Hospital is also home to an extensive medical education program and is part of Michigan State University's statewide campus system. Botsford Hospital each year cares for approximately 16,000 inpatients and more than 60,000 emergency and trauma patients with a team of 2,500 employees, 300 volunteers and more than 600 physicians. A not-for-profit hospital, Botsford provided almost $10.5 million in community benefit during its 2011 fiscal year.

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