Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Amy Foley Helps With Medical Mission Trip to El Salvador

Dr. Amy Foley, full-time member of the Rockhurst PT faculty, spent fall break in October setting an outstanding example of "magis" and "cura personalis" by participating in a medical mission trip to San Salvador, El Salvador.

Amy is a member of Visitation Catholic Church in Kansas City, Missouri and traveled with a group from the parish to their sister parish Maria Madre de los Pobres in El Salvador.

The interior of Maria Madre de los Pobres church.

Outside one of the buildings belonging to Visitation's sister parish.
The medical clinic can be seen in the background up the hill.

The trip was organized by SHARE El Salvador (Salvadoran Humanitarian Aid, Research and Education Foundation - SHARE).

In 1986 SHARE founded its Sister Parishes program as a way to promote solidarity between churches in the United States and churches and communities in El Salvador. Parishes from across the country are members of the program and participate in grass roots partnerships throughout the year.

The group from Visitation Church meets
with people who work in the local clinic and
representatives of SHARE El Salvador.

The Visitation delegation had 12 people (3 MDs, 3 PTs and 6 RNs) and travelled to El Salvador on October 5-13, 2012 for “Health Week”. Visitation has participated in the sister parish program and sent groups to El Salvador for the past 15 year.

Amy made her first trip with the group in 2009. Prior to her involvement, physical therapists were not included as a part of the delegation. They are now an integral part of the team. The team saw clients at the clinic near the church and also travelled out from the clinic for home visits in the surrounding region. SHARE provided each healthcare provider with his/her own individual translator to facilitate effective communication and increase the efficiency of the visits.

The delegation made home visits for people who could not travel.
Home visit day was rainy but productive.

Amy Foley consults with a villager
who is recovering from a fall.

Amy says that she feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel with the Visitation group three of the last four years.

She stated that, "I feel the presence of physical therapists and our philosophy of care has changed the focus of delivery during this health week. This year I witnessed in the people I visited an increased sense of personal responsibility for their own health." She said that she observed an increased follow through with exercises, awareness of positive lifestyle changes and a willingness to prevent problems by following the suggestions that physical therapists provided on previous trips.

Heading back to the airport
after a productive week.

Thanks to SHARE and to all the people from Visitation Church
who made the week a success!
(Dr. Foley is second from the right in the front row.)

Amy looks forward to traveling with the group on future trips. Her great example should inspire all of us to look for ways to lift people up in every way possible.