By Marcela Alejandra González Alvarez
Steve Moore has been visiting Guatemala since 1998 and from the very beginning he noticed that the country lacks medical care and services for people living in poverty, especially children. Therefore, he founded the Moore Center with the Christian Shalom Foundation for Children in 2011 and started organizing off-charge medical missions to provide elective surgical care for children who need it.
From then on, these missions occur regularly at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center.
The Moore Center provides world-class surgical care to underprivileged children between the ages of 0 to 17 years who need medical intervention in the following surgical specializations: general, ophthalmology, cleft lip and palate, hand and arm, orthopedics, otorhinolaryngology, urology, dental and plastics. The corresponding costs, which include the presurgical evaluation, surgery, medications and follow-up appointments, are completely covered by personal donations and corporate and institutional contributions so patients and their families don’t have to pay for anything.
Now, the Moore Center has performed over 100 missions and over 7,500 surgeries with the help of renowned medical pediatric specialists, nurses and volunteers, both local and foreign. They all have transformed the lives of many children and families by providing them services that otherwise they wouldn’t have due to the lack of access to surgical care resources in the country. Every single member of the medical, administrative and volunteering staff at the Moore Center contributes equally to help many children improve their life´s quality and have hope in their future.
The life-changing experience provided by the center is based on five primary stages that are leaded by different members of the Moore staff. First, the registration process which includes basic patient information such as name, address, diagnose or description of the problem, name of the person in charge and phone number for the administrative members to contact them. Second, the first presurgical evaluation, in which a local surgeon provides a first opinion on whether or not the patient needs the surgical procedure requested; this stage occurs before the medical mission in order to organize patients correctly. The third one takes place on the first day of the medical mission and it’s considered a second presurgical evaluation. This evaluation is performed by a foreign surgeon who after evaluating the patient informs the family if the surgical procedure is necessary and all the details of what should be done. It is important to note that all communication is done with the help of bilingual volunteers who translate for patients, surgeons and the local team. Fourth, the actual surgery, which is scheduled during the mission and it is performed by the foreign medical staff that includes both surgeons and nurses. The fifth and final stage is the post operatory care, which includes patient lodging (if they´re from outside Guatemala City), medications and follow-up appointments that are leaded by the local surgeons and nurses in charge of the case up to when cases are discharged.
As you can easily tell by now, all help is needed and certainly very well received at the Moore Center, whether it is cash or in kind through donations, serving time as a volunteer or showing the mission on social media, the center gives to you more than you can give to them. Providing the life-changing experience of giving a life-changing opportunity to someone in need. If it is your desire to check out some of the life-changing stories of the Moore Center former patients, please feel free to click the following link.