Glendale Adventist Donates $100,000 in Equipment to Paraguay Hospitals
With smiles of sincere appreciation, two South American representatives watched as workers ripped cables from the floor, pulled wires from the ceiling and hauled large equipment out of the catheterization lab at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. Once completely disassembled, the cath lab equipment will be shipped to Asuncion, Paraguay as a donation from GAMC to the Adventist hospitals and clinics in the country.
“We are deeply grateful for this gift from Glendale Adventist,” said Jorge de la Rosa, general manager of the Sanatorio Adventista. “It’s been many years since we’ve received a donation like this and much of our equipment is getting old. People come to Adventist hospitals because of our compassionate, quality service. But now we can give them another reason to come because we have the best equipment.”
GAMC’s recent donation comes at a critical point for these hospitals, which are in desperate need of new equipment. When first established by the efforts of missionaries from Loma Linda, the hospitals were the top-of-the-line for medical care in Paraguay. But now, several decades later, their prominence has slipped.
“We’ve always relied heavily on donations from outside sources,” said Professor Favio Neugerbauer, administrator of the Sanatorio Adventista de Hohenau. “Over the years, it has become harder for us to grow and expand. This donation from Glendale Adventist will put us back on the top of health care in our country.”
This gift comes after the completion of the West Tower at GAMC, a patient care tower fully equipped with the latest technology, including brand new cath labs. With new equipment now installed, GAMC hoped to make sure the older equipment, still fully functional and valued at $100,000, was used to help those in need.
With help from two GAMC physicians, they found a worthy cause in the two Adventist hospitals of Paraguay, Asuncion Adventist Sanitarium and Hohenau Adventist Sanitarium. Both currently have no CT scanner, no cath lab and an x-ray machine over 30 years old. Administrators of the hospitals believe the addition of a cath lab will represent hope not only for these two Adventist hospitals, but also for the country itself.
“This will be the first cath lab in the city, and will help serve about one million people,” said Rob Marchuk, associate vice president at GAMC. “Despite our challenges with health care in the US, there are countries that are a lot less fortunate. Equipment that has served its useful life in the US still has significant value in countries where they struggle to offer basic services to their community.”
De la Rosa added that, “Many people study abroad to become doctors, but do not return home to Paraguay to practice medicine. In addition to enhancing our ability to help more patients, we hope this cath lab will bring doctors back into Paraguay and will draw in those doctors already practicing here.”
So, with hopefulness and gratitude the two hospitals in Paraguay prepare for the arrival of their first cath lab.
“Part of our mission is to share God's love with the community,” said Marchuk. “We believe that this extends to our greater Adventist family worldwide. We’re glad to help a sister hospital in another country fulfill a similar mission to our own.”
The cath lab is slated to open in the Paraguay hospitals in spring of 2008.
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