Cadwell is proud to donate a Cascade PRO IONM system to World Pediatric Program for use during pediatric scoliosis surgery at Ruth Paz Hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
World Pediatric Project (WPP) provides diagnostic and surgical care to children around the world in communities lacking advanced medical facilities and providers. In a typical year, more than 2,000 children benefit directly from WPP missions, and the most critical patients are brought to the USA for advanced medical care.
“WPP partnered with Ruth Paz Hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to provide the only surgical program in the entire country for children with spinal deformity,” explained Alicia Manteiga, the St. Louis-based International Teams Director for WPP. “All of this is possible because Dr. Tomas Minueza – the only pediatric spinal surgeon in Honduras – participates in the brigades, identifies patients, and provides follow-up care as needed.”
Developed by Dr. Jim Sanders of UNC Chapel Hill, this program has involved Dr. Liz Hubbard of Duke; Dr. Tony Scaduto and Dr. Rachel Thompson of UCLA; Dr. Howard Place, Dr. Aki Puryear, and Dr. Pooria Salari of St. Louis University Hospital and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. The surgical teams complete three trips in a typical year.
“The lack of locally available neuromonitoring has been a barrier to providing both complex spine and complex neurosurgery,” said Manteiga. “To meet this need, WPP volunteer Lauren Feltz suggested asking Cadwell Industries for the donation of old IONM equipment or disposables.” Manteiga had never heard of Cadwell, but Feltz has used Cadwell equipment for years in her IONM consultancy company IntraOp Solutions, LLC.
The power of persuasion
In 2019, Feltz met Jonathan Green BA R.EPT. CNIM in an operating room. Green joined Cadwell as an Installer and Application Specialist shortly thereafter, and when Feltz looked for connections at Cadwell, she found Green.
“Her request was pretty moving,” Green said. “She mentioned wanting to take a team to Honduras for scoliosis care. For most kids, that’s a death sentence.” Green is no stranger to medical mission work, particularly in Honduras. Among his many talents, Green is a pastor and a former liaison for Hearts for Honduras, a construction and medical missionary program. Green took the request to colleagues at Cadwell.
Feltz didn’t stop there. She also reached out to her local Cadwell Sales Rep, Bill DeMedio, and pitched her ask again. He also brought the story to his colleagues. The ask was for used IONM equipment, and if not, then disposables that could be used during surgeries.
Cadwell said “no”
Both medical mission work and education are core values to Cadwell’s mission of “helping you help others.” The Cadwell team said “no” to the request for an old IONM system. Instead, Cadwell donated a brand-new Cascade PRO IONM system and disposables to WPP for pediatric spinal deformity surgeries at Ruth Paz Hospital.
“A donation of this magnitude from an equipment provider is unprecedented for WPP,” said Manteiga.
“The speed at which Cadwell answered the call was amazing,” Green said. “Once they knew the need, the need was filled. I’m very grateful that I work for an organization as giving as Cadwell. It’s a blessing to give people in Honduras the chance to have the same level of healthcare as we do here.”
“It takes a lot of dedication from clinicians to provide this level of care through an organization like WPP,” said DeMedio. “I am glad that we were able to get equipment into the hands of people that can help these children through their surgical procedures.”
Feltz is excited to help train the Honduran physicians with Trusted Neuro through a virtual program. “It’s always fun to get back into education and training, especially in countries that need it,” Feltz said. “We are training them to help with their own patients.”
Even in a year when closed borders resulted in cancelled missions, WPP has continued to serve the children it cares for by acquiring equipment donations, facilitating virtual diagnostic consultations, providing virtual training for the indigenous physicians, nurses, and healthcare workers, and forecasting for teams when borders reopen and it is safe to travel.
“We aim to travel with a medical mission once per year through our company, but since travel has been difficult during the pandemic, we aim to help these amazing foundations any way we can,” Feltz said. “Helping Ruth Paz Hospital create a permanent neuromonitoring team helps create a safer surgical environment for the entire country of Honduras, and we are excited to be able to collaborate with the WPP to assist with this mission.”
We will follow WPP’s scoliosis missions in Honduras, and look forward to sharing their story with you.
To learn more about WPP, visit worldpediatricproject.org
Photos of previous WPP medical missions in Honduras are courtesy of World Pediatric Program and are published with consent of patients and providers.