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DaVita Village Trust completes record-breaking surgery mission in Jamaica

Here’s a record health care workers everywhere can be proud of. On Monday, DaVita Village Trust, a Denver-based nonprofit dedicated to improving kidney health, primary health and chronic kidney disease awareness, announced the completion of a weeklong surgical mission in Jamaica that included one record-breaking day of surgeries for a local hospital.

Last month, the organization sent four vascular surgeons and an ultrasound technician to Jamaica to perform 63 fistula placement surgeries for dialysis patients at three hospitals. The effort was conducted through DVT’s Bridge of Life program.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, chronic kidney disease is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. In the U.S., 26 million adults suffer from CKD. Globally, that number is even higher and quality care and treatments are even harder to come by, making DVT’s international efforts are particularly noteworthy.

Surgeons completed 27 arteriovenous fistula surgeries in one day at Mandeville Regional Hospital in Mandeville – a record-breaking number of surgeries in one day for the hospital. Surgeons also completed 22 AVF surgeries in two days at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kingston and 14 AVF surgeries at St. Ann’s Bay Hospital.

“With the support of our surgical volunteers and in-country partners, DaVita Village Trust provides an expensive surgery – which is normally not an option – free-of-charge to Jamaican patients in an effort to improve their overall health and quality of dialysis care,” says Lori Vaclavik, executive director of DaVita Village Trust. “By decreasing the use of dialysis catheters, we can help make a major impact on mortality, morbidity and hospitalization rates for Jamaicans with CKD.”

Over the past three years, DVT has sponsored three other surgical missions to Jamaica, during which surgeons performed a total of 191 AVF surgeries. DVT surgeons worked alongside local physicians, nurses and other health care personnel to provide quality care to patients.

DVT is currently organizing medical missions to new sites, in partnership with the Red Cross in Mexico and Curando Mexico, to add hemodialysis treatment to the following three outpatient clinics:

  • Cuautitlan, Mexico: Setting up a new five-station dialysis clinic
  • Tlalnepantla, Mexico: Installing five dialysis machines at a new clinic
  • Toluca, Mexico: Setting up a new five-station dialysis clinic


By Karen Petersen, Huntsville Healthy Living Examiner

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