Crouse Hospital orthopedic surgeon Richard DiStefano, MD, recently returned from Lima, Peru after having spent a week providing surgical services in one of the city’s largest hospitals. Dr. DiStefano, a partner in Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists, was part of a medical expedition invited by spinal implant company Innovasis, in partnership with Eagle Condor Humanitarian, to perform spinal-related surgeries for Peruvian patients at no cost.
The team, including Dr.DiStefano (pictured with glasses scrubbing in on the left), brought with them specific surgical expertise and knowledge often unavailable in Peru and other under-developed countries.
The American surgeons worked at Loayza Hospital alongside a Peruvian medical team. “Healthcare in Peru is very different than what we’re accustomed to here in the U.S.,” says Dr. DiStefano, who notes that there were two nurses for every 20 patients. “With limited resources available to these patients, if you don’t have the money to pay for a procedure, you don’t get it.”
He adds that the Lima hospital was clean, staff members were competent and the patients very appreciative of the care provided by the American team. “Seeing healthcare in an underdeveloped country like Peru, even in a city with a population of nine million people, makes you really appreciate the system of care we have in the U.S.”
Eagle Condor Humanitarian is a Utah non-profit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.