Orthopedic Screenings and Medical Education in El Salvador
Furthering Shriners Children’s mission of providing high-quality pediatric specialty care and continuing medical education, a team from Shriners Children’s, led by Micheal Wattenbarger, M.D., chief of staff at Shriners Children’s Greenville, traveled to El Salvador June 23-25, 2022, to conduct orthopedic screenings for up to 30 children at Hospital de los Niños Benjamin Bloom. This was Dr. Wattenbarger’s third visit to El Salvador.
The outreach clinic was part of a Formal Cooperative Agreement with the El Salvador Ministry of Health signed in 2021.
“Prior to the pandemic, Shriners Children’s leadership approved collaborating with El Salvador’s Ministry of Health to establish a spine program to care for children in need of scoliosis care,” said Dr. Wattenbarger. “I was excited to return to continue this collaboration that will ultimately change lives.”
Dr. Wattenbarger will return to El Salvador in the fall to perform surgeries and train local medical professionals. Children needing additional medical care will travel later this year to one of the Shriners Children’s locations in the U.S. Medical professionals from Hospital de los Niños Benjamin Bloom Hospital will also travel to observe Shriners Children’s teams to learn more about treatment options.
Shriners Children’s is committed to training medical professionals in El Salvador and elsewhere in support of their efforts to provide complex surgeries and additional care to children locally.
In addition to the clinic, Dr. Wattenbarger presented a lecture about complex spine conditions and treatments in the auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ offices for hundreds of medical students, residents, fellows and local physicians studying and working within El Salvador’s public health sector.
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