Welcome to Chuquisaca
Written by Jodi Grahl
Our busy fall mission season continues! Today, October 19, four missioners begin their journey to the south-central Bolivian city of Sucre, in the department of Chuquisaca. Our mission site is the recently inaugurated Chuquisaca Oncology Institute (known as ICO for its initials in Spanish). ICO is one of just two public cancer hospitals in all of Bolivia, and this visit aims to support and build community with the Bolivian medical community there.
Our US mission team includes Dr. Janet Tomezsko, urogynecologist specializing in pelvic reconstruction; Dr. Gay Garrett, breast and general surgeon; R.N. Gabriela Serratos, and Jodi Grahl, director of the Solidarity Bridge Gynecologic Surgery Program. They will be joined in Sucre by a robust contingent of Puente de Solidaridad staff from Cochabamba: Patricia Vargas, executive director; Marizol Mamani, social worker; Marcela Canedo, development and public relations coordinator; and José Choque, medical supplies coordinator.
Although the host hospital specializes in cancer treatment, a large number of the women who seek care there have other or additional surgical needs that they are unable to access elsewhere. This mission team aims to help the ICO staff review and address those needs, providing advanced gynecologic care to women in great need.
ICO was developed from the ground up by a dynamic team of committed young doctors and other medical professionals, led by gynecologic oncologist Dr. Maribel Mármol. We are honored by the invitation to support Dr. Mármol and her team as they strive to expand access to quality healthcare for Bolivians throughout the southern region of the country. You are also invited to follow along here on our blog!