By Shermakaye Bass
Greetings and gracias to our many supporters and volunteers in 2015. As the new year takes off, we’d like to continue expressing our heartfelt thanks to the individuals and groups whose dedication has been essential to the success of Fara Foundation’s mission.
Last year, as our foundation celebrated the fifth anniversary of Clinica Fara in Matagalpa, we helped more patients than ever before (by quite a margin!), reaching. By mid-year, we had seen our 10,000th patient. In addition to that, participation in our visiting medical brigades program was at an all time high.
Among the regular contributors was the Venkatesh group, now in its fourth year of collaboration with Fara Foundation. Drs Karukurichi Venkatesh and Debra Venkatesh hail from Phoenix, Arizona, where he is a gastrointestinal surgeon and she is a pediatric audiologist. Their missions to Nicaragua focus in those fields.
During their last trip, August 8-14, 2015, Dr. Karukurichi performed endoscopies and colonoscopies on patients who were back-logged for treatment in the Matagalpa hospital, using our clinic as a base. He attended more than 120 patients during his weeklong residence.
Approximately the same number of patients were treated by his wife, Dr. Debra Venkatesh. Dr. Debra conducted exams and provided treatment at our clinic each day, working with Hogar Escuela school for the deaf in Dario, and her outreach included patients from the Pipitos chapters of Matagalpa City, San Ramon, La Dalia, Esquipulas, San Isidro, and Sebaco, as well as patients referred from the local hospital.
We would like to thank all parties involved with the Venkatesh brigade, including Dr. K. Venkatesh’s nurses and assistants, Courtney Dennis and Tana Kolton, who have come every year. Dr. Debra Venkatesh was assisted by medical school student Gladys Diaz Garcia, as well as our visiting friend from Spain, Mariu Santos.
Each year when the Venkateshes travel to Matagalpa, they bring critical medical equipment and supplies to the region. For all that they have done and continue to do for us, we extend a hearty thank you!