Lehigh Valley surgeons, Drs. Peter Rovito and Geoffrey Hallock are headed to Honduras on Sept. 21 to provide needed surgeries to those who have no access to medical care.
Rovito, a general surgeon in Allentown, and Hallock, a Center Valley plastic surgeon, will participate in a week-long humanitarian mission organized by the World Surgical Foundation, a charitable health care organization based in Camp Hill.
This will be Rovito’s sixth mission to Honduras and his 14th with the WSF. He began going on missions in 2008.
Rovito and Hallock will work in two hospitals in Honduras, Leonardo Martinez Memorial Hospital, and Catarino Rivas Memorial Hospital, performing 30 to 40 major surgeries on both adults and children, including gallbladder, , hernia, and colo-rectal.
Rovito says the trips have been a “life-changing” experience for him.
“Helping the patients, some of whom actually paddled over from a neighboring island in a canoe, reminds me of why I’ve become a surgeon in the first place,” said Rovito. “These people have literally no access to care, no emergency room they can go to and be guaranteed to see a doctor.”
Providing care in a third-world country stretches a physician in a way that makes them a better doctor, he said.”You can’t rely on a CAT scan or other technology we take for granted,” he said. “You have to use your hands and your brain to diagnose their problems.”
“It’s exhausting,” he said, “but extremely gratifying. You never know what you’ll face on a mission, which makes it exciting. But what I always look forward to the most is the chance to help people who really, really need that help.”=