Elmhurst Hospital staff on mission in Guyana

During a recent trip to Guyana, doctors and nurses from Elmhurst Hospital Center performed free surgeries to improve local residents’ quality of life.
“The purpose of this mission is to provide patients in need of surgical assistance with just that,” said Dr. Ann Woo, from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, one of four medical providers from Elmhurst who traveled with the group to South America.
Woo co-founded the trip - entitled the Northeast Mission of Hope - in 2003, and the Mission first traveled to the Philippines and later the Dominican Republic.
Each year, the Mission brings together physicians from New York City hospitals to provide free medical procedures in other countries. A total of 26 doctors and nurses went to the bauxite town of Linden, Guyana this year, paying for their own personal accommodations, and the team completed 40 surgeries to help with cases like hernia repairs, hysterectomies, sterilization procedures, circumcisions, prostate surgeries, cholecystectomies, and thyroidectomies. Along with Woo, Elmhurst Obstetrics Registered Nurse Indrowti Singh and Certified Registered Nurses Chhanda Beckford and Althea Bertrand also took part in the mission.
This year was the first that Singh, who is originally from Guyana, traveled with the group.
“Growing up in Guyana there were limited opportunities available. At the age of 17, I visited Georgetown Hospital and saw the nurses working with their patients, and there and then, I decided that I wanted to become a nurse so I could help people. I became interested when I learned about the mission from Dr. Woo. The mission is all about giving back to the community and I am honored to be a part of it,” Singh said.
Singh also plans to travel with the group next year.
“I aim to continue on the mission trips because I love helping people. It is very rewarding to see the gratification on a patient’s face and knowing that I have contributed in some way towards improving their quality of life,” she said.
The Northeast Mission will next visit the Dominican Republic in October 2007.

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