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Guatemala Service Trip
Coming May 2020
On October 12, 2019 a community of physical therapy professionals in Houston volunteered with Houston Parks and Recreation in the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park, which is a beautiful place to walk and meditate adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. We removed invasive species from the garden to preserve our native plants, and continue to provide trails and gardens that encourage a healthier, more active Houston.
In May 2019, the DPT class of 2020 from Texas Woman's University in Houston traveled to three towns in Guatemala (Zacapa, Gualan, Teculutan) to provide pro-bono physical therapy services and health education. They partnered with Hearts in Motion at their clinics, created pop-up clinic in villages and provided assistance at the HIM nutritional center. This amazing and sustainable program, staffed with full-time physical therapists, serves over 4000 patients annually - many who would otherwise not have access to healthcare. This large number could not be met without the help from our volunteers. Donations to this project funded transportation, living expenses, and medical insurance for our volunteers; additional funds were used to purchase physical therapy equipment, clinic supplies, toys, etc for the clinics in Guatemala. Visit heartsinmotion.org for more information.
PT GAP had the opportunity to sponsor a small but meaningful project for PT Day of Service on October 13, 2018! The garden at Quiten Mease hospital in the Houston Medical Center now has life again. Thanks to our volunteers - Rachel MacNeil, Scott Vines, and Alyssa Chaves
In May 2017, the DPT Class of 2018 from Texas Woman’s University in Houston traveled to Casa De Fe, an orphanage located in Shell, Ecuador, to provide pro-bono physical therapy services. Casa de Fe houses up to 80 children at a time, many of whom have special needs and/or medical conditions like Down's Syndrome, malnutrition, cancer, cerebral palsy, psychomotor delay, microcephaly, and other congenital anomalies. Other homes in Ecuador refuse these children due to expense of their care or simply their inability to provide the specialized care that these children require. Therefore, Casa de Fe has been the only hope for these children. The DPT Class of 2018 assisted the staff there in performing physical therapy evaluations and providing treatment for these children. Donations to this project helped cover the cost of transportation, living expenses, and medical insurance for our members. Funds were also used to purchase necessary equipment, supplies, toys, etc. for the children at Casa de Fe. Visit lacasadefe.org to learn more about this organization.
Hurricane Harvey Relief Aug.-Oct. 2017
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, PT GAP volunteers teamed up to muck out 10 homes in neighborhoods across the city including Meyerland, Acres Homes, Independence Heights, and Bellaire. Over 40 PT, PTA's, students, family, and friends showed up to educate home owners about how to mitigate the health risk posed by exposure to flood waters. They also provided the man power and care necessary to clean out flood affected homes. Volunteers did everything from ripping out walls to delicately packing away family heirlooms. Our supporters donated over $2,000 to purchase respirators to protect home owners, clean up crews, and students who were displaced by the flooding.
Peru has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and yet over 30% of its population live below the national poverty line. Because of this, there is a great demand for medical attention in these underserved populations. In May 2016, the DPT Class of 2017 from Texas Woman's University in Houston traveled to Cusco, Peru to provide pro bono physical therapy services to approximately 250 elderly men and women at the Centro Gerontologico de la Recoleta in Cusco. By partnering with the international volunteer organization, Maximo Nivel, we were able to provide hands-on patient care to this group of individuals. We instructed the men and women in therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular re-education, gait training, and provided wound care for those in need. Additionally, donations from our generous sponsors allowed us to reconstruct old, and purchase new, equipment for the residents so that they could become more mobile. This service trip was a tremendous success, and we thank all who helped make it possible.
to view photos from our trip!
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