A group of Marshfield Clinic Health System providers recently traveled to El Salvador, located in Central America, to provide medical care for Salvadorians through Castillo del Ray, a global mission organization. The group traveled to remote villages throughout the country and set up clinics in local churches.
They treated a variety of illnesses including cough and cold, headaches, parasitic infections, spinal stenosis and type II diabetes, and saw patients ages three months to 93 years.
Dr. David Heegeman, emergency medicine physician at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield, headed the United States team, alongside Dr. Boris Magana, who provides regular care at his clinic in El Salvador.
“It’s important and meaningful work,” Dr. Heegeman said. “I have found it gets me out of my comfort zone and into other people’s lives with less of a focus on myself. God has blessed so many over the years through this trip, both in El Salvador and our own team members.”
The team of five providers, four of whom currently treat patients within Marshfield Clinic Health System, were able to care for 518 patients in four days. Amy Dean-Wojcik, a physician assistant in Neurosurgery, was one of the team members.
“It was amazing how welcoming the Salvadorian people are,” she said. “Everyone was appreciative of the care they received even if it was just vitamins and a hug. Our work there was so important and I look forward to returning.”
Several nurses and pre-medical students also were part of the medical team and participated by obtaining vital signs and distributing medications.
“It is a great opportunity to serve those in an area with great need. I consider it a privilege,” said Ini Udoh, emergency department physician at Marshfield Medical Center-Ladysmith.
The mission team from Wisconsin consisted of 32 members who were involved with medical care, as well as construction, mechanics and interactions with students at local schools.