NEWS | Feb. 26, 2014

Joint Task Force-Bravo provides surgical care in Honduras

By U.S. Army Sgt. Jennifer Shick Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element

Joint Task Force-Bravo's Mobile Surgical Team (MST) partnered with the surgical staff at Puerto Cortes Area Hospital in the Puerto Cortes region of Honduras to complete 12 surgeries and consult on 5 additional cases over three days during a Medical Readiness Training Exercise (MEDRETE), February 17-22.

"I am extremely proud to serve the people of Honduras and to provide surgery to those who may not be able to otherwise afford it," said U.S Army Capt. Diane Klescewski, the operating room nurse officer in charge. "I am also proud of the soldiers who I work with on the MST who never stop exceeding my expectations."

The MST completed 12 surgeries to include hernia repairs and gallbladder removals, one of which was performed as the patient's gallbladder had ruptured. These surgeries, which are often very expensive for Honduran nationals, were provided free of charge. The work of the MST helped support Honduran medical capabilities while continuing to strengthen the relationship between JTF-Bravo and its partner nation.

In addition to the work the MST performed, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Paul Richards, MEDEL's biomedical technician, who was with the mission to assist in maintaining MST equipment during surgery, helped the Puerto Cortes Area Hospital staff with some of their malfunctioning equipment.

"From what I have encountered, the Hondurans have very little in terms of equipment to help patients, so when it breaks down it really affects patient care." said Richards. "There was a need and I was happy to be able to provide support."

Joint Task Force-Bravo's MST performs weekly surgeries in Comayagua and works on a 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. This is done in coordination with the Offices of Security Cooperation and partner nation Department of Health officials in all seven Central American countries.