May 6, 2019

After a Decade, the work continues on: Largest team yet returns to Mongolia in 2019

For nearly three weeks this past May, a team of volunteer surgeons, medical doctors, fellows, residents, medical students, nurses, and administrators traveled to Mongolia for the annual Virtue Foundation Surgical and Teaching Mission. With renewed energy after 10 years of successful work in Mongolia, Virtue Foundation entered the start of a new decade of partnership with several institutions in Mongolia in hopes to continue to support health systems throughout the country.

The 2019 Virtue Foundation team was the largest group in the Foundation’s history: 52 volunteers traveled to Mongolia representing several advanced surgical and medical specialties. These specialties included: ophthalmology, ENT, anesthesiology and intensive care, hepatobiliary surgery, microvascular surgery, pathology, oncology, radiology, head and neck surgery, and neurosurgery. The Mission took place from early to late May, across 5 different hospital sites in Ulaanbaatar and Khovd Provinces. In addition, a team of Virtue Foundation and local ophthalmologists from First Central Hospital also traveled to the eastern province of Sükhbaatar to perform a needs assessment for project expansion into the region. Whilst there, the team screened and operated patients as well.

The overall impact of this year’s Mission was vast: in total, the Virtue Foundation team in partnership with local staff was able to serve over 700 patients, of which approximately 250 received advanced surgical procedures. In addition to this clinical work, the teaching and training that occurs between the Virtue Foundation volunteers and local staff cannot be understated: a focus on sustainable skills and knowledge transfer is a pillar of each Virtue Foundation Mission.

Virtue Foundation looks forward to returning to Mongolia in 2020 and continuing to expand the size and scope of this multifaceted initiative!

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