Philippines Surgical Medical Mission Includes UA Anesthesiology Team

University Relations - Communications
July 25, 2014

The Bohol Medical Mission team performed hysterectomies, mastectomies, thyroidectomies and other surgeries at the Borjas Family Hospital in Tagbilaran, located in the Philippines. The team works with the Gift of Life, a local organization that conducts initial social and health screening of patients.

A team of six surgeons and five anesthesiologists from the University of Arizona completed more than 116 major surgical procedures over an eight-day period in area of the Philippines recovering from an earthquake and typhoon.

More than 16 million people were affected by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in November. Though aid is shifting from emergency response to recovery, technical and material resources are still needed to support health care services in areas where the typhoon caused $16 million in damages to 571 health care clinics.

Dr. Anthony R. Lucas, chief of thoracic anesthesia and director of the post anesthesia care unit at the UA College of Medicine's Department of Anesthesiology, traveled to the island of Bohol as part of a medical mission team assembled to provide specialty care to those in need. Lucas has previously mentored medical residents during medical mission trips to Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in the South Pacific. Both current and former resident-physicians, including Dr. Benjamin D. Garol, chief physician-resident for the 2013-14 class, have participated as part of their training.  

"My experiences in Bohol have been, in one word, amazing," Lucas said.

"From the moment we step off the plane we are embraced by warm and friendly locals and as we see our patients the appreciation and humility is evident," Lucas said. "The operations performed by our caring staff bring wonderful results especially given the lack of equipment and less than ideal operating conditions. It is no doubt the quality and caliber of the wonderful surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians and volunteers that make our mission successful. It is a blessing to have these opportunities and we look forward to many more."

Contact: Nicole Paredes, program coordinator in the Department of Anesthesiology, 520-626-9700,


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