The 2015 trip marked the eleventh year of the organization’s campaign to help treat children in El Salvador who suffer from neurological and congenital deformities. The annual trips were started by Dr. Joseph Giovinco to help treat the children and teach doctors and care givers in the local area how to provide quality treatment in the future.
“It was another successful, inspiring trip, we were so pleased to take part in it,” said Dr. Gregory Alvarez of Ankle and Foot Centers of Georgia. “These are patients who do not have the ability to pay for the type of care they need, and we are able to come in and treat them. Additionally, the local physicians don’t have the type of training they need to recognize and treat these specific deformities, so they have the opportunity to learn from our staff and help treat other patients in the future. It’s always a remarkable experience.”
The trip took place from July 24 to August 1, with treatments being performed at San Francisco de Gotera hospital. Attendees this year were Dr. Joseph Giovinco, Dr. Nicholas Giovinco and Dr. Greg Alvarez. The doctors evaluated approximately 100 children with a number of different deformities, began serial casting for 20 to 25 infants with various degrees of club foot deformities and performed about 30 surgeries, all while providing training to physical therapists to continue the necessary procedures which allow patients to make a full recovery.
The mission trip campaign is sponsored by the International Institute for Foot and Ankle Surgery, a 503-c nonprofit organization committed to helping patients and communities improve the lives of their children. The doctors’ work was also the subject of a local news report, which can be viewed on YouTube.
“This campaign was so fulfilling for everyone involved,” said Dr. Joseph D. Giovinco. “The staff at the hospital was incredibly gracious and eager to help. Patients and their parents were so thankful for the care they received. We even had former patients stop by to visit and share there appreciation, for what we had done for them in past years. It was quite moving, and so affirming to see the impact our work has made within the community.”