KEYC - Providing Medical Care To Central America

Providing Medical Care To Central America

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MANKATO, Minn. -

Several area medical professionals traveled 2700 miles to help provide care to residents in remote parts of Guatemala.

Mankato Clinic CPN and President of Minnesota Doctors for People Susan Peller said, "It's a beautiful culture, a beautiful people and it's just nice to open your eyes a little bit."

Mankato Clinic Certified Nurse Practitioner Susan Peller and Mayo Clinic Health System Registered Nurse Barb Traxler have spent decades serving patients in Southern Minnesota, but at the end of March and into early April, they traveled to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, providing medical care to about 200 people.

Mayo Clinic Health System Registered Nurse Barb Traxler said, "It's time to take all the opportunities and privileges I've had to work here to a community that's maybe not as privileged as we are here."

They were part of a team of nine medical professionals including staff from MCHS–Mankato, Mankato Clinic and Rivers Edge in St. Peter.

The trip was planned by Minnesota Doctors for People, which Peller co–founded in 2006.

Peller said, "It was developed from a desire to give back to other people. We recognized that there was a large medical community here in Mankato."

So far, it's provided care to more than 10,000 people in remote parts of Guatemala and Mexico through 25 trips since 2007.

Peller said, "Try to meet their needs as best we can."

They partner with the local organization Friends of San Lucas, helping them get out to remote locations and making contact with villages.

It's a trip providing those involved a greater appreciation of what they do at home.

Peller said, "My husband will say it brings him back to why he got into medicine originally because it's really just all about serving the patient right in front of you."

Even though Peller has been on many of the trips, this was the first Traxler and after just a few weeks back, she's looking forward to doing it again.

Traxler said, "At first I was pretty tired cause it was all such a new experience and I thought well, maybe in two years I could do it. Then a week passed, and I thought maybe next year and then just this past weekend, I'd go tomorrow again."

Traxler says she hopes to go with her daughter when she finishes medical school. 

Minnesota Doctors For People has a trip planned this October.

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--KEYC News 12