Medical Mission Ecuador, led by Dr. Vasconez from the University of Kentucky, has provided medical and surgical services to Ambato, Ecuador for many years. For the past 5 years, the University of Kentucky Department of Pediatrics has lead pediatric teams to Ecuador with faculty, residents, and students.
As a result of these medical service trips, strong partnerships and relationships have been formed in Quito and Santo Domingo. UK has a formal relationship with the PUCE Medical School in Quito for the exchange of faculty and students. In the fall of 2012, two professors at UK spoke at a conference at PUCE, and three presented at an international conference in Santo Domingo. Kentucky also has had a long supportive relationship with the Center for Nutritional Recuperation in Santo Domingo. Pediatricians in Lexington have supported this center for several years with funding support. This center, which is operated by FASCA, a Catholic social service agency, is a major partner with us in this new initiative. The Kiwanis Clubs of Santo Domingo and Lexington, Kentucky also are active partners.
Through a series of community meetings in Santo Domingo, their community leaders identified the shantytown of Carlos Ruiz Burneo as a community of extreme poverty and limited access to medical care. This community of 20,000 has tremendous health needs as discussed above. Our strong history provides a solid foundation on which to build a new and exciting partnership.
Shoulder to Shoulder Ecuador is based in Kentucky and works in partnership with Hombro a Hombro Ecuador in Santo Domingo Ecuador to work together to improve the health and lives of these special children and their families.
April of 2007 marked the opening of Centro Medico Hombro a Hombro in Carlos Ruiz Burneo with the grand opening May 17, 2007. The health center staff includes a physician, nurse, receptionist, coordinator, and a part time dentist. We are reaching out to provide immunizations and school and community based prevention projects.
Partners include the University of Kentucky, Christ the King Cathedral, UK IFMSA, UK Timmy Foundation, Josephson Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Lexington, and community volunteers. In Ecuador, the Kiwanis Club of Santo Domingo and FASCA are partners.