Operation New Life began in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2003 with surgical missions to Honduras offering plastic and maxillofacial surgery. The mission has expanded to include burn, general, orthopedic and gynecological surgery in partnership with Hospitals Escuela and San Felipe, the nation’s teaching hospitals.
Teams have come from Little Rock, Jonesboro, and Rogers, Arkansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Mobile, Alabama; and Des Moines, Iowa. Several team leaders were also members of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, so when opportunities to sustain and expand the outreach arose, the Operation New Life Board approached Global Health Outreach, the short-term medical missions arm of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, to discuss teaming possibilities.
Exploratory discussions and visits to Hospital Escuela have revealed numerous opportunities to expand Operation New Life efforts, both with additional surgical specialty teams and additional medical personnel that are members of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. Hospital Escuela and Hospital San Felipe are very interested in hosting teams to work in ophthalmology (adult and pediatric), pediatric orthopedics, otorhinolaryngology, and dermatology, in addition to the current general, orthopedic, burn, plastics, and gynecologic surgery. Honduran government and Escuela leaders have expressed a desire to explore dental partnerships working in the country’s only dental school as well.
Global Health Outreach looks forward to deepening this partnership that has clearly been superintended by our Lord, and building on the lessons that will be learned to explore opportunities for similar capacity-building surgical partnerships in other countries.