International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine


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2004 Rehabilitation Medical Mission to Honduras






2004 Rehabilitation Medical Mission to Honduras


Approximately 50 physicians and assistants including Physiatrists, Physical Therapists and rehabilitation professionals volunteered to go to Honduras this year to educate and heal. More than 2600 patients were treated during the two-week period.

In the true spirit of the ISPRM, “Operation Golden Goniometer” initiative, an enthusiastic group  of approximately 50 rehabilitation professionals including Physiatrists, Physical Therapists and nurses volunteered to go to Honduras this year to educate and heal. The group shared international education and knowledge and provided pro-bono rehabilitation care to imembers of the Honduran community. (More than 2600 patients were treated during the two-week period) 

A fundamental part of the mission was centered on  prolotherapy, an alternative therapy, that Hippocrates first performed. This novel therapeutic musculoskeltal tool is very successful in treating chronic pain including ligament laxity and tendonitis.   

Several of the physicians participating in the mission are AAPM&R members:  

Dr Liza Maniquis-Smigel lives and practices in Hilo, Hawaii, fellowship trained in Performing Arts and Musculoskeletal Medicine.  She is in solo practice and has been performing prolotherapy with 85% success rate.  This is her second year with the mission.

Dr Gordon Ko is Canadian born physiatrist, successfully combines western and eastern approach in complicated patients care. He has a special interest in Botox and neurotherapy, acupuncture and prolotherapy.  

Dr. Elena Polukhin had been practicing in Russia, Israel, Canada and now in the USA. She has extensive training in Sports Medicine and had been working for the International Olympic Committee taking care of top level athletes. Elena practices integrative medicine combining traditional methods with prolotherapy. 

The Hackett Hemwall Foundation dedicates their time and humanitarian services to people in Honduras, who cannot afford medical care. Other objectives of the foundation are to provide medical doctors an opportunity to further their training and education on prolotherapy and vein sclerotherapy as well as further research concerning the effectiveness of these medical procedures. 

Dr. Jeff Patterson, the medical director of the foundation, along with his partner, Mary Doherty, RN, have dedicated long hours to organize these missions. Dr. Carl Osborn and Dr. John Paul Ouellette are the medical educators at the two sites, La Ceiba and Tela, who makes these trips the most educational and amazing for experienced and neophyte physicians in the field of prolotherapy and vein sclerotherapy.  The excitement and enthusiasm in learning is insatiable and unparalleled and no other educational conference can compare to the education and experience obtained from this humanitarian trip.  Then the camaraderie and newfound friendships that occur in theses missions are most pleasurable and most participants vow to return year after year. Margaret Beckman, a long time resident in La Ceiba, is our host in Honduras, who opens her home to all of us and makes the meals for the whole group, making it easy and comfortable and stress free.  The experience has been compared to   club med( prolomed)!   



Maria and Tito, two Honduran kids who helped to enhance our rehabilitation mission in Honduras by offering the doctors a crash course in Medical—Spanish