Neurosurgery Mission Takes On New Dimensions

Written by Mary McCann Sanchez

Mission takes on new dimensions when Solidarity Bridge and our partners in Bolivia undertake the task of planning a course. As we departed for Bolivia this past Saturday, our group of dedicated neurosurgery professionals carried tools to lead a course on Spinal Surgery in Cochabamba from March 28th through 31st. This format of training, a multi-day course which draws attendees from around the country and neighboring regions, is a growing part of our Program for the Development of Neurosurgery. It allows us to expand our reach to doctors and their patients outside of a single mission location. When the course concludes, four neurosurgeons, an ENT and a representative from the medical industry will also mentor surgeries with colleagues in the cities of Sucre and Santa Cruz.

What does it take to plan such a course? Collaboration and hard work are key words. In early January, Medical Director of Solidarity Bridge's neurosurgery team, Dr. Richard Moser, and I carried out extensive planning and outreach to the Bolivian Neurosurgery community. Both US and Bolivian course faculty prepared lectures, planned hands-on workstations and carefully selected cases for surgery. These surgeries will be simulcast to course participants -- neurosurgeons, residents and other interested professionals. The course has attracted participants from Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

At Solidarity Bridge, we consider that the opportunity to share learning and teaching is a real gift, and importantly, expands the scope of neurosurgical skills. We seek sustainable solutions to the very real problem of under served populations in Bolivia and at home. 

We are excited as we begin this journey!

Mary McCann Sanchez is the Senior Director of Programs at Solidarity Bridge. She is leading a two-week neurosurgery mission trip to multiple cities in Bolivia. Learn more about the trip through each of the team's blogs.