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Creighton-Led Team to Make Hernia Repairs in Dominican Republic

Creighton-Led Team to Make Hernia Repairs in Dominican Republic

A medical team led by Omaha surgeon Charles Filipi of Creighton Medical Associates will make its seventh annual trip to the Dominican Republic, where the group plans to repair more than 100 hernias over a five-day period.

The team of 50-60 people – about half of them from the Omaha metro area – includes physicians, nurses, medical students, technicians and others. They will conduct the hernia clinic at a surgical center, located at the Institute for Latin American Concern Center in Santiago, from Monday, Nov. 2, through Friday, Nov. 6. Using three operating rooms, doctors will perform hour-long surgeries beginning around 6 a.m. and ending around 5 p.m. each day.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished,” said Pat Manion, a retired surgical intensive care nurse who manages personnel and supplies. “The work that we do is really top notch. In all of the years we have been doing this, I am not aware of any serious complications.”

Manion is married to James Manion, M.D., an anesthesiologist with Creighton Medical Associates and holder of the Sheila and James J. Shea Family Endowed Chair in Anesthesiology at Creighton University School of Medicine. The Manions, Filipi, and Filipi’s wife, Frances, a retired nurse, are among those who have made the trip for all seven years.

Other local physicians involved in this year’s hernia clinic are Robert Cusick of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and Robert Fitzgibbons of Creighton Medical Associates. Mei Li Kwong and Thuydung Trinh, fourth-year medical students at Creighton University, and Katherine Keefe, a fourth-year medical student at University of Nebraska, are also among the participants.

Participants pay for the trip with their own money or contributions. Donated medical supplies are collected throughout the year.

The effort is one of about 25 Creighton and non-Creighton service trips coordinated annually through University Ministry’s Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) Office at Creighton University. The largest and oldest service trip by far is Creighton’s Summer Program, during which approximately 125 health care providers and students live in the Dominican Republic for a month while they provide basic health care services and live with local families. To learn more about Creighton’s ILAC program, visit www.creighton.edu/ilac.