This year, the Mount Sinai Global Women’s Health team visited Botswana, Africa and the Dominican Republic. I had the privilege of being invited to my first Global Women’s Health mission in the Dominican Republic. The trip was extremely rewarding and successful. The team, led by the Director of Global Women’s Health, Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, assisted over 600 women in desperate need of care.
Dr. Erin Gertz, a fellow within the Department of Global Health, was the first to arrive in Santiago. She traveled to 13 rural communities and screened 533 patients. Our team arrived shortly after where we collaborated with local healthcare providers at Ilac Hospital. Here, the Mount Sinai team continued to screen women for gynecological and urinary conditions such as pelvic masses, urinary incontinence and Stage IV uterine prolapse. The surgeries were not only vital for these women’s physical health, but for their emotional health as well. It was wonderful to see the smiles on the women’s faces after having life-altering healthcare provided to them.
Mount Sinai Global Women’s Health team is not only passionate about performing life-altering surgeries, but also educating the healthcare providers of the underdeveloped areas we serve. Although education does not provide the instant gratification that we commonly see with our surgeries, it is strongly aligned with our primary goal of sustainable healthcare. During our October mission in the Dominican Republic, Mount Sinai collaborated with local physicians to educate and train numerous medical residents and students. Our surgeons and anesthesiologists prepared lectures and offered opportunities to observe surgeries. In addition, I trained numerous medical residents on a GYN transvaginal simulator, kindly donated by MedaPhor. It was a great opportunity for students to learn how to identify pathology and perfect their skills on a transvaginal ultrasound transducer.
It is our hope for future visits that we obtain an ultrasound machine to properly screen patients. Ultrasound has been proven to significantly reduce fetal and maternal mortality rates, as well as identify pelvic masses pre-surgery. We strive to deliver this technology to the women we treat, as well as train local physicians on how to use the technology.
To support our future missions, please call Mount Sinai Development and speak with Gretchen McGarry at 212-659-8500.
Kim Abruzese, RDMS, Senior Sonographer, Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Mount Sinai