Moreano World Medical Mission: Ecuador


The 17th edition of Dr. Edwin Moreano’s World Medical Mission (MWMM) has successfully commenced in Quito, Ecuador.

Dr. Moreano, a plastic surgeon from Bayville, Long Island, New York, is the founder and director of this well-established medical mission that has been in operation since 1999. This week, he has led a team of volunteers to his native Ecuador to perform surgery, transport bags of supplies and teach new techniques.

His mission has strong ties this year to Long Island, New York, as more than a third of his team of 33 consists of residents, including myself. Joining us as well is a team of nurses from Huntington Hospital.

Our team is the proud recipient of a grant from the Henry Schein Cares – Helping Health Happen outreach initiative, which provides for critical medical/surgical supplies and equipment such as stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, sterile dressings, dental hygiene packs, surgical gloves and antibiotics. The MWMM team, and most importantly the patients, are greatly benefitting from Henry Schein’s support.

The supplies are being put to immediate use at Enrique Garces Hospital during cleft lip, eye, ear and throat surgeries on mainly babies and young children. Many of the beautiful small patients travel up to 10 hours by bus with their families to take advantage of the free, expert services of the mission.

A special volunteer, Erika Alexandria Montes, is also helping us this week. She is the mother of a mission patient from 10 years ago who had cleft lip and palette repair which changed her appearance and life. The mom was so appreciative that when she heard the mission was coming to Quito, she took a week off to volunteer!

Some of the most interesting cases, so far, include a prosthetic ear implant on a young girl. The surgery was performed by plastic surgeons Dr. Moreano and Dr. Ted Eisenberg of Philadelphia. Dr. Eisenberg and his wife Joyce, who is also volunteering this week, donated three of the prosthetic ears for the children of Ecuador.

Another interesting surgery was a bilateral cleft lip repair on a 5 month-old little girl named Michelle. It was performed by Drs. Moreano and Eisenberg.

Multiple ear and throat procedures have been performed by Dr. Dick Hoistad of Seattle and Dr. Sandra Skovlund of Minneapolis, respectively. They are veterans of almost every one of Dr. Moreano’s missions and they bring an expertise in their surgical specialties along with compassionate care for the patients in Ecuador that is second to none.

We have been joined this year by Dr. Greg Gordon, an ophthalmologist who has performed multiple cataract surgeries, Dr. Kip Bodi, a urological surgeon who has assisted with whatever type surgery he has been asked to assist on, and Dr. Maria Herrera, a dentist who is conducting dental clinics in schools around Quito during the week.

The anesthesia team consists of Paul Herger, Nurse Anesthetist, Dr. Marion Rowe, Dr. Joseph DeSouza and Dr. Roy Berenholtz. Their ability to adapt to some challenging equipment issues in the public hospital here is admirable.