Written by: Ann Rhomberg, Executive Director
Every Christmas we are invited to celebrate God’s incarnate love. And the work of Solidarity Bridge is an expression of just that. Through us, God’s healing hands are made incarnate for those we serve, and through them God’s loving presence transforms us. This is a marvelous reason to celebrate Emmanuel: God-with-us! I invite you to join me in looking back at this year filled with numerous incarnate expressions of mercy, love, healing, and empowerment.
In February, our General Surgery Program was strengthened through the work of two US mission teams who brought training and materials to Bolivian professionals in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. This teaching dynamic was replicated on four other occasions when some of these Bolivian professionals went on to train their fellow surgeons working in more remote areas using our mobile laparoscopic surgery unit.
In March, the first pediatric open heart surgery program at a public hospital in Bolivia was launched. Through a joint venture with the Santa Cruz Government, Puente de Solidaridad, and Solidarity Bridge, these life-saving surgeries are now more readily available to low income families. We are particularly thankful for surgical materials donated by Medtronic and funds donated by Isaac and Renee Goff that made this project possible.
In April, we came together for our annual Fiesta! Re-live this tremendous celebration through this photo journal. Not only are pictures worth a thousand words but they say a lot about how we celebrate together and gird ourselves to further our mission.
In July, our 3-year Strategic Plan, ‘Project Adelante,’ was born! Thanks to the generous contributions of professional facilitators, we identified 16 initiatives that will move us to greater strength as we continue to formalize our infrastructure and plan for the succession of our Founding Director, Juan Lorenzo Hinojosa, who will transition off of our staff and board in May of 2016.
In September, our Multi-Specialty Team traveled to Univalle Hospital in Cochabamba. Our team of 23 missioners across 5 medical specialties donated their time, talent and treasure such that over 621 patients were seen in clinics and 40 more received surgeries. Additionally, on that trip alone, Solidarity Bridge donated over $1M in medical supplies and equipment that resourced our various programs.
In October, Solidarity Bridge and its partners led the first-ever Neurosurgery Boot Camp outside the U.S. Residents and surgeons from five South American countries assessed real-life cases, shared best practices and theory, and conducted hands-on learning with the support of industry champions. Read more about other work of our Neurosurgery Program.
All of these happenings invite personal transformation: It is in giving that we receive. Thank you for strengthening our bridge of solidarity.
Your support is making all of this possible!