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Medical brigade examined more than 276 patients and performed 62 surgical procedures

Note to editors: High quality professional photos of the team in action and those they served are available. A complete blog post from each day in Honduras is available at Photo thumbnails can be accessed here:

May 8, 2008, Brooklyn, New York…In support of the New York Honduran Committee, 12 Lutheran HealthCare (LHC) volunteers traveled to Tela, Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, to provide free health care. The medical team examined more than 276 patients and performed 62 surgical procedures.

The medical brigade performed health evaluations, hearing and speech screenings, and major and minor surgeries for children and adults. In addition, they provided 13 people with hearing devices. "The medical mission is always geared first for children, however each year we see many adults that are in need as well," says Mohan Kilaru, M.D., trauma surgeon at Lutheran Medical Center. "It's our goal to help as many people as possible return to more normal, active lives, with the ability to work and contribute to their families."

The LHC medical mission volunteers included team leader Mohan Kilaru, M.D., trauma surgeon; Ramez Habib, M.D., otolaryngologist; Ahmad Nawaz, M.D., plastic surgeon; Melissa Inniss, Au.D.; Sue Farrell, P.A.; Mary Heaney, R.N.; Victoria Stoyanovsky, P.A.; Annabelle Zaratzian, M.D., anesthesiologist; Donald Gibbs, surgery scrub technician; Harold Burke, Sasha Kurumety, Neal Gorman and Michael Paras, volunteer photographer.

In addition to paying their own expenses and using vacation time, the Lutheran volunteers raised $12,000 to purchase medical supplies and gifts for children. Generously sponsoring the trip this year were the Lutheran HealthCare Medical and Dental Staff; Thomas R. Lyon, M.D.; and the entire staff at Lutheran who pitched in.

The New York Honduran Committee began with a small group of Telan immigrants dedicated to their community. Since 1999, they have completed more than 12 medical missions with staff from Lutheran HealthCare bringing hope and a chance for a new future to thousands of families. In a country where most people can't afford basic health care, the chance for free surgeries and exams can be a life-saving opportunity.

As Brooklyn's premier health care network, Lutheran HealthCare (LHC) is a comprehensive medical and social support system committed to providing services for the whole person -- physically, emotionally and spiritually. The LHC system of community health providers includes Lutheran Medical Center, the Lutheran Family Health Centers, Lutheran Augustana Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, Community Care Organization, Inc, Health Plus, senior housing programs and more. Learn about LHC and its 125-year-old commitment to serving Brooklyn neighborhoods by visiting

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