What is a Missioner?
What is a Missioner?
Solidarity Bridge missioners are highly specialized medical practitioners in the United States who join their Bolivian professional peers as respected collaborators in our common endeavor to bring surgery and medical care to the underserved. Missioners work alongside their Bolivian counterparts in relationships of solidarity and mutuality to:
While our mission teams seek to resource Bolivian medical communities and deliver complex medical treatment to those in need, these significant efforts are just one part of our mission. At a deeper level, our mission teams and Bolivian colleagues strive to live out the conviction that, as one human family, we are one - somos uno.
Throughout the mission experience, Solidarity Bridge offers opportunities to attend to the presence of the Sacred and nurture God’s invitation to inner transformation. We welcome people of all faiths and people of no faith orientation. We do not proselytize but celebrate our faith by witness and example, and all missioners are invited to participate in ways that reflect their own path and convictions. Rooted in the social teachings of the Catholic Church, Solidarity Bridge is a mission of the laity of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.
Mission teams may include surgeons, anesthesiologists, surgical technicians, nurses, clinicians, interpreters, chaplains, photographers and helpers. Spanish fluency is not required. Are you ready to join us?
A culturally rich country, Bolivia has one of the highest poverty rates in the hemisphere, with direct consequences on health of the population. With an annual per capita income of less than US $6,500, healthcare resources are scarce. Nevertheless, the country has made great strides in recent years to expand services particularly in primary care. But surgery to treat even common operable conditions remains inaccessible for the vast majority of the population. Solidarity Bridge and our partner organization Puente de Solidaridad focus on building and reinforcing local capacity to help fill that need.
Each year, six or seven medical teams travel to Bolivia for five to ten day mission trips. The trips are the backbone of our training and equipping work and are associated with our four year-round surgical programs (General Surgery, Gynecologic Surgery, Heart Surgery, and Neurosurgery). Additionally, our annual Multi-Specialty Mission Team (MSMT) provides clinical services in a variety of specialties as well as general and gynecologic surgeries. Our primary goal is to advance and equip Bolivian medical communities so that, long after our mission teams have returned home, our Latin American colleagues can better serve their patients and communities.
In a spirit of mutuality, our medical teams work side-by-side with our Bolivian partners, learning from each other and forming strong bonds of friendship. After a full day of surgical or clinical work, many missioners spend their evenings leading educational seminars for the local medical community.
The medical work of Solidarity Bridge and Puente de Solidaridad delivers much-needed and life-changing medical assistance - often providing a patient and family their only chance for a productive life or even survival. But we believe mission is about much more than just what we do. Mission is about being as much as doing, and learning as much as teaching. Mission is about openness to transformation in our lives, communities, and indeed our world. As such, our medical mission trips also prioritize valued opportunities to immerse in the local culture, learn about the national health system, and reflect on the impact of the mission on our own lives today and our ongoing call to the mission of solidarity.
Summer General Surgery Trip
August 12 - 19
Multi-Specialty Medical Mission Trip
September 29 - October 8
Gynecological Surgery Trip
October 21 - 28
Fall Neurosurgery Trip
November 11 - 19
General Surgery - Oncological Surgical Trip
March 9 - 18, 2018
As an organization rooted in solidarity, relationships developed on mission are key to our work. We are proud that many of our missioners return year-afer-year. Mission teams may include surgeons, anesthesiologists, surgical technicians, nurses, clinicians, interpreters, chaplains, photographers and helpers, some of our milestone missioners are profiled below.