In February 2011, David Griffin, MD, an associate medical director with HealthPartners Medical Group, his wife, and a handful of pediatric residents and nurses returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua— a country where almost one-third of children are malnourished and less than one-third of people who are sick are able to get proper treatment due to the lack of health services available.
This was Dr. Griffin’s third trip to the country where he primarily treats children who desperately need basic medical attention. Together, his group treated more than 100 patients a day with ailments including malnutrition, skin diseases, parasites due to unsafe drinking water and sickness due to poor hygiene. Dr. Griffin, who is a pediatrician at HealthPartners Woodbury Clinic, saw many children with disabilities, some of whom he has seen on previous trips to Nicaragua.
“What impacted me the most was the love that I saw between the parents and their children,” says Dr. Griffin. “Many parents carry their children on their backs for miles to get help from a doctor because their children were unable to walk themselves. The devotion these parents have for their children is so compelling.”
The group spent a week in Jalapa, Nicaragua and in neighboring villages. “I get so much more from this trip then I can ever give,” says Dr. Griffin. “I feel so fortunate to be able to make a difference and help these families who need basic medical care.”
If you are interested in learning more about this mission trip and what to get involved please visit MEDICO, the organization that made Dr. Griffin’s trip possible.