Rwanda International Mission Project
Follow a blog about the Rwanda International Mission Trip supported by Summit Medical Center Health Foundation.
In 2011, Dr. Peter Janes, Vail-Summit Orthopaedics surgeon, approached the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation with a request to fund travel expenses for four nurses who would be part of a mission trip to Rwanda in August 2011. The board approved the request and set up the Rwanda Mission Fund. The first medical mission trip supported by the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation was a success as Dr. Janes and his team performed much needed orthopaedic surgeries at the Mugonero Hospital near Lake Kivu in Rwanda.
In July 2012 Dr. Janes and his team returned to Mugonero Hospital to teach and perform orthopaedic surgeries. Dr. Janes developed a training program in cooperation with the School of Medicine in Rwanda to teach serial casting procedures to treat clubfoot following birth. The clubfoot workshops took place at the Rilima Hospital which is approximately 20 miles from Kigali. Doctors in the U.S. routinely treat clubfoot with casting and Dr. Janes is very familiar with how this early procedure can correct clubfoot without having to deal with all the surgical risks involved once the children get older. Clubfoot is such a common problem in Rwanda that Dr. Janes is committed to this project to address a critical area of need. The Summit Medical Center Health Foundation supported the team again in 2012 by assisting with the travel expenses for one trauma nurse and two nurse anesthetists.
Catholic Health Initiatives dedicated a $57,000 grant for the educational workshops, supplies and transportation, food and lodging for the Rwandan health professionals to attend. Generous donors from the community have also contributed to the Rwanda Mission Fund since it was founded.
In 2012 Deb Edwards, Foundation President and Chief Development Officer joined the team along with Tony and Annie Harris, owners of Harris Construction.
Deb led the fundraising effort to buy construction materials to build a “gazebo” for family members and hospital patients. A family member must accompany the patient to the Mugonero hospital and provide care and meals for their sick family member. The “gazebo” provides much needed shelter and respite for the caregivers and the patients, a place to be outside and protected from the sun and rain. Tony Harris helped to direct the construction of the “gazebo” on-site in Rwanda.
This young boy who has lived with a severe clubfoot condition since birth was successfully operated on by Dr. Emmanuel Nsengyimava at the children’s orthopaedic hospital in Rilima, Rwanda. Happlily he is now wearing shoes, standing tall and walking proudly.
Dr. Janes checks on a surgery at Mugonero Hospital.