Inova trips to the Philippines yield positive results
Here in the United States, we can take access to quality healthcare for granted. In that spirit, Inova medical staff recently completed two mission trips to the Philippines, where healthcare for low-income residents is often inadequate.
In 2018 and early 2019, the two teams of Inova specialists set up medical clinics with local doctors and performed dozens of surgeries. “Since I’m from Lipa, Philippines, I thought organizing a medical mission trip and providing vital medical care would be a great way to help people,” says Gerry Alcantara, CRNA at Inova, who spearheaded both missions.
Prior to the trip in 2018, he contacted the mayor and hospital administration in Lipa, who graciously accepted his request to stage the mission there. “We paid for our own airfare, and asked friends and family to donate other funds for things like accommodations, food and personal supplies,” Alcantara explains.
For the most recent trip, eight team members from across Inova Fair Oaks (IFOH) and Inova Loudoun (ILH) hospitals participated, with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and surgical techs among those represented. IFOH and ILH also donated medical supplies and equipment for the mission.
More trips are planned, possibly as early as 2021. “The support of the staff members, both from Inova and those in the Philippines, was incredible,” says Chelsea Verdin, RN, of this year’s trip. “Everyone worked together to help make people’s lives better. It was truly inspirational.”