Almost eight years ago, a few years after the end of civil war, Eleanor Gilmore began a mission that is helping work wonders in El Salvador. She is Sister Eleanor, a member of the order of the sisters of St Joseph of Peace, affiliated with PeaceHealth, a multi-facility Northwest health care system.
Photo by Marty West-White Cindy Hellerstedt, an LPN and mission volunteer and Kathy Garcia, the manager of the El Salvador Health Mission.
About 25 people from the United States make the trip each time joined by another twenty volunteers in El Salvador. The entourage includes general medical physicians, pediatricians, gynecologists, optometrists, nurses, and pharmacists along with a team of interpreters, photojournalists, and other support personnel.
Between 2,000 and 2500 people are seen at each week-long clinic. Kathy Garcia says they see a lot of people with eye problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders, and stress related problems. Some people have wounds from the civil war that ended almost twelve years ago.
Kate Vikstrom Clinic activities in El Salvador include eye exams.
The next mission to El Salvador will be in early February. Emergency Room Doctor Karl Richey and Radiology Technician Rita Fahey will make the trip from KGH. Ketchikan General Hospital is the Alaska branch of PeaceHealth which also has hospitals, clinics and regional laboratories in Washington and Oregon.