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Shriners Children’s Texas Returns to Panama for Burns Outreach Clinic

panama group with imperial potentate

Surgeon Ramon Zapata, Outreach Coordinator Diane Pacheco, Director of Ambulatory Services Maria Angie Ozaeta, Hospital Administrator Mary Glendening, Imperial Potentate Kenny Craven, Abou Saad Potentate Anibal George, Angel Martinez and Shriners Children’s Board of Trustees Member Ricky Arrocha pause for a photo in Panama prior to the outreach clinic at Abou Saad Shrine Center.


Several children in Panama will be able to receive the reconstructive burn care they need after a team from Shriners Children’s Texas visited and screened patients at a burns outreach clinic in March. The Shriners outreach clinic took place at Abou Saad Shrine Center in Panama City on March 10, after a long pause from the COVID-19 pandemic. Director of Ambulatory Services Maria Angie Ozaeta said the hospital’s partnership with Abou Saad Shrine in Panama was key to making the clinic happen. The Shriners within the country reach out to existing patients to let them know the clinic will take place. They also each out to children with burn injuries they know will benefit.

“The clinic setup was really great,” Ozaeta said. “It was well attended and the kids and parents were really happy to see us.” The local hospital in Panama City also provided two doctors and three nurses to help with the outreach effort, which gave them the opportunity to learn, hands-on, about treating patients with burn care needs.

To commemorate the start of Shriners Children’s outreach, First Lady of Panama Yazmin Colon de Cortizo and Shriners Imperial Potentate Kenny Craven were present. Other Shriners team members who attended included Ramon Zapata, M.D., Outreach Coordinator Diane Pacheco, Hospital Administrator Mary Glendening, Abou Saad Potentate Anibal George and Shriners Children’s Board of Trustees member Ricky Arrocha. Dr. Zapata gave a presentation to local physicians and Shriners on surgical interventions in the treatment of burn scars.

Because of the combined efforts between the Texas team, Abou Saad Shriners and local medical professionals, 64 children were seen at the clinic and 46 surgeries were scheduled to take place in Texas. The Panama clinic is scheduled to take place once a year to meet the needs of children in the country.

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