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News | Jan. 27, 2014

Joint Task Force-Bravo provides surgical care in Honduras

By U.S. Army Sgt. Courtney Kreft Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element

Joint Task Force- Bravo's Mobile Surgical Team (MST) completed five surgeries at Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa, Honduras during a Medical Readiness Training Exercise (MEDRETE), January 21-23.

"As a general surgeon, it has been a privilege to work with Honduran surgeons and their surgery residents," said U.S. Army Major Kevin Flanigan, M.D., the general surgeon for the mission. "We had an opportunity to use American surgical products that greatly facilitated in caring for the Honduran patients, and this provided me the opportunity to show my Honduran surgical colleague how to use this equipment. It was a great learning experience for me also, as the Honduran surgeons are very adept at their profession."

The five surgeries conducted by the MST included treating a patient with multiple gunshot wounds, three appendix removals, one which also had a bowel obstruction and another that had an abscess, and a hernia repair. JTF-Bravo's training readiness helps to support Honduran medical capabilities and build on the U.S.-Honduras relationship.

"These missions have been very rewarding. The Honduran people are so appreciative of the care and procedures we provide, and it makes me proud to be part of Joint Task Force Bravo, MEDEL, and the MST," said U.S. Army Major Charles Cooper, the nurse anesthetist for the mission.

Joint Task Force-Bravo's MST performs weekly surgeries in Comayagua and works a on regular basis to support U.S. Southern Command's humanitarian and disaster relief programs in order to strengthen civil-military cooperation between the United States and nations in the region in coordination with the Offices of Security Cooperation and partner nation Department of Health officials in all seven Central American countries.