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 | Donna Connell

Laboratory installed in Nahuala Medical Clinic

A long-held dream of Sister Immaculata Burke, RN, was realized in 2015 with the addition of an i-Stat blood analyzer. Now, going one step further, a medical laboratory, "Laboratorio Clinico Santa Elizabeth Ann Seton," has been established at the Nahuala Clinic, one of four medical clinics in the Guatemala mission.

Dr. Jose Miguel Vasquez, director of the medical program and doctor at the clinics, reports that the i-Stat is kept at the Novillero Clinic, while the laboratory is located at the Nahuala Clinic, making it possible for blood tests in both locations. Moreover, there are some blood tests that require the laboratory.

The Sisters of Charity, New York, funded the laboratory project and have paid employee salaries for a few months while the laboratory is working toward self-sufficiency through patient payments. Sister Mary Ann Daly (mother superior, Sisters of Charity, NY) was among those present at the inauguration of the lab.

The Knights of Columbus at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Colbert donated $15,000 toward the purchase of the i-Stat in 2015. Previously, patients did not have access to blood work. Since the purchase of the i-Stat, St. Joseph Church has provided the testing cartridges and insurance to cover any breakages or malfunctions of the i-Stat. They also sent funds to cover other outstanding expenses, such as equipment and reagents for the new laboratory.

Dr. Jose Miguel said, “This laboratory is going to be very helpful for all the community, especially for the poor people, because now they won’t have to travel to Xela or Solola. They are going to save money, time and travel risks.” Traveling to the hospital in Quetzaltanego (Xela) and Solola is difficult and expensive, particularly without a personal vehicle.

The doctor expressed gratitude to the Sisters of Charity, NY; St. Joseph Church, Colbert; St. Patrick Church, Pasco; St. Mary Church, Spokane Valley; Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral; and everyone who generously supports the medical mission.