our programs

Both medical and non-medical volunteers are a crucial part of our team. They are involved at every step of the way and perform a wide variety of tasks. The participation of both medical and non-medical volunteers at the Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation is what makes it possible for us to reach our goals. The programs we are able to operate with generous contribution and volunteer effort include Direct Service Care, Educational Conferences & Workshops, and Community Development.



 
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Direct Service Care

 

 
 

every year WE WORK TIRELESSLY FOR FIVE DAYS TO PROVIDE THE ABSOLUTE BEST TREATMENT IN HAND SURGERY & THERAPY

 
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how we care for our patients


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Screening & evaluation

150-200 children are evaluated by our volunteer surgeons and therapists to determine their best treatment plan. On average 55 to 65 children will receive surgery.

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therapy & observation

Children that are not required to have surgery are either scheduled for therapy sessions or asked to return the subsequent year for follow-up and observation.

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monitoring progress

Due to our unique infrastructure and focus in the Guatemala community, we are able to monitor children year after year to insure they receive the best possible consistent care.

 
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covering the cost

Surgical patients are provided with both in and outpatient care with costs covered 100% by GHHF. Patients are given a clean bed to sleep in and three meals a day during their stay.

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individualized follow-up

Once a patient is discharged, families receive detailed instructions explaining how to schedule local follow-up care as well as customized therapy home care instructions.

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annual evaluations

GHHF encourages each patient to return the next year to allow for our volunteer surgeons to reevaluate their progress and determine if any additional surgery or therapy is needed.

 
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physician updates

Throughout the year, volunteer surgeons receive follow-up reports from the physicians in Guatemala who oversee our patients.

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seeking help abroad

If a patient needs additional tests or care that we cannot provide in Guatemala, the process to bring the child to the United States is initiated.

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ensuring accuracy

We facilitate the transportation of biopsies from Guatemala to the US in order to provide the patient with the most accurate test results.

 

Educational Conferences & Workshops

 

 
 

GHHF hosts a full day bilingual educational symposium and a week of hands-on workshops to bring American and Guatemalan hand professionals and students together under one roof.

 
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Connecting Collaborators

In collaboration with the Guatemala Hand Surgery Association, the American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS), American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), Touching Hands Project (THP), and the newly formed Guatemala Hand Therapy Society, GHHF coordinates a one-day bilingual symposium for Guatemalan surgeons, therapists, and students.


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workshops & lectures

Our lectures and workshops cover a variety of topics from flexor tendon repairs to nerve injuries as well as our most popular orthotic hands-on workshops. Speakers include both American and Guatemala professionals. We are proud to highlight MD’s who are the best in their fields, such as renowned hand surgeon Scott Kozin (former AAHS President, Shriners Hospital for Children) Rebecca Neiduski, dean of the School of Health Sciences at Elon University, and distinguished physician Steven Shelov (Associate Chief of Staff at Cohen Children’s Medical Center and former Chairman of Pediatrics at Maimonides Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center).


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Expert Training Opportunities

GHHF volunteer therapists continue to provide five days of hands-on training through various site visits and workshops. Locations include both public and private facilities and local universities. Along the way, volunteers donate costly plastic material used to fabricate customized patient orthotics.

 

Community Development

 

 
 

OUR GOAL IS TO SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES THAT STRIVE TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND EDUCATION THROUGH THE PRINCIPLES OF PARTICIPATORY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 
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why we help

GHHF’s newest initiative was developed in response to Guatemala’s malnutrition, lack of prenatal care, inadequate education and poor living conditions. These major concerns for the fast-growing population of Guatemala are often the causes of the birth defects and injuries seen in our rural patients.

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how we help

In an effort to provide preventative care to the people of Guatemala, GHHF has partnered with the village of Chichoy Alto, in the region of Patzun, Chimaltenango, to improve sanitation, health, education, and the overall quality of life for the 900+ community members.


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our goal

GHHF’s goal is to support sustainable development initiatives to improve health and education through the principles of participatory community development. This means community members of Chichoy Alto are required to collaborate and provide a portion of the labor necessary to implement these improvements.

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the bigger picture

While we remain dedicated to providing hand surgery, therapy and education in Guatemala, we can’t ignore the source of why so many children have serious hand conditions and injuries. By caring for one town at a time, we can build and monitor progress.