Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The WHOLE Team - A thank you to our partner supporters!

Iowa MOST appreciates the support of its team members, but there are other players whose patronage also makes the mission a success.  A large debt of gratitude goes to:

Contributing District 6000 Rotary clubs, for annual financial donations that help to sustain this district project;

Hospital Salus and its employees, for the use of the hospital and for the efforts of its kind and supportive volunteer staff;

DHL Global Forwarding, for donating the shipment of supplies to Guatemala;

Rapids Reproductions, Inc. (Technigraphics), for creating and donating team member names tags and certificates;

Hills Bank, for underwriting the cost of team lanyards and gifts of key chains for our Guatemalan partners.

Iowa MOST relies on the strong assistance received from these generous entities.  They, too, are members of the Iowa MOST team who help to bring smiles to many faces of Guatemala.  Thank you, thank you, mil gracias!  You make this important work happen. 


Families go to great lengths to access care through the Iowa MOST mission in the western highlands of Guatemala. Diego, the 13 year old uncle, carefully carried his one year old nephew in for his procedure. The baby's mother who speaks a Mayan dialect came too with her younger child. Because Diego understands Spanish he was the recipient of all surgical information and discharge instructions. Nurse Katie Guckert explains medications and precautions to Diego, 
which he then shared with the baby's mother. They rode the bus for hours and worked out this system so the baby could receive the care. These families changed our lives!
 — inHuehuetenango, Guatemala.

Submitted by Jacque Andrew

Committed leaders

The experience of Iowa MOST (Miles of Smiles Team) is one that CHANGES LIVES
not only for those served but also for those who help! This labor of love
would not exist without the leadership of Gary Pacha, chair of the Iowa MOST
mission. We all owe deep gratitude to Gary for the untold hours/days/years
he has devoted to making this possible. Through his efforts the relationship
with Dr. Oscar Marroquin (at right) has been built to allow Iowa MOST to
operate in the Salus hospital each year. Karin Franklin keeps all the
volunteers on track with surgery schedules, patient records and so much
more. What a truly awesome experience to see the surgeons,
anesthesiologists, pediatricians, dentists, medical students, nurses,
bio-medical engineer, geneticist and volunteers work together to change the
lives of these young patients! Thanks to all for your commitment to Iowa
 Submitted by Jacque Andrew

Monday, February 17, 2014

Father-Son Team

Medical director of Iowa MOST, Dr. John Canady and son Frank Canady, a senior at Grinnell College who will begin medical school at the University of Iowa in the fall, had the opportunity to experience Iowa MOST together for the first time in 2014.  Dr. Canady, an ear, nose and throat--plastic surgery specialist, has been involved in cleft palate and lip repair missions since 1991 in locations around the world.  Frank was able observe in the OR and participate in other aspects of the mission as a non-medical volunteer.

Submitted by Jacque Andrew

District Leaders at Work on Mission

The Iowa MOST mission is a project of Rotary District 6000.  On the 2014 trip, District Governor Jacque Andrew and District Governor-Elect John Ockenfels and Deb Ockenfels participated.  DG Jacque served as photo-journalist to document and share the team's efforts via Facebook and the blog site.  DGE John lead the organization of supplies and equipment, assisted with equipment repair and other tasks while Deb was an Operating room nurse.

Submitted by Jacque Andrew

Somos un Equipo

Somos un equipo--we ARE a team!    It is tradition of the mission on the last day to have a farewell gathering of the Iowa MOST team and as many of the hospital staff who can attend.

This is an opportunity to express gratitude for the exemplary team effort; a monetary gift is presented along with certificates and mementos to each hospital staff member.

During the mission close bonds of friendship and respect are developed between Iowa MOST and hospital staff.  This farewell is filled with hugs, smiles a and some tears.  The experience is an unforgettable one!

Submitted by Jacque Andrew