Your donations continue to help the people of Guatemala.

Creating Greater Access to Surgery

and a stronger healthcare system through education

About Ossa

 

OSSA supports expanded education for Guatemalan Orthopedic surgeons, provides up to date equipment, and supports surgical care for patients who cannot afford to pay

Millions of people throughout the world do not have access to basic surgery such as appendectomies, hip fractures, and hysterectomies. 80% of the Guatemalan population has to pay for their medical care without insurance and more than 50% of the people live below the poverty level.

OSSA  is a charitable organization started by Geri and Barry Messinger to support surgical care in Guatemala. Due to lack of public funding, much of the surgery in public hospitals in Guatemala is being held back by lack of resources and access to modern technology.

Using donated equipment and funds, we have already helped people get access to orthopedic surgery they could not normally afford. OSSA has supported the Orthopedic residents in learning how to do arthroscopic surgery, learning up to date trauma techniques, and started the development of the first surgical skills simulation laboratory in Guatemala. We have purchased 3 new operating room tables as well as arthroscopic surgical equipment.

To learn more about OSSA, download the following document.

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Our Mission

The goals of OSSA are to support expanded education for Guatemalan Orthopedic surgeons, provide up to date orthopedic equipment, and support surgical care for those patients that cannot afford to pay for urgent surgery themselves.

  • People

    Guatemala people are hard working & resilient yet it has some of the worst poverty, malnutrition and maternal-child mortality rates in the region, with the highest out of pocket health care expense of all Latin American countries. Guatemalans are recovering from years of civil war, frequent earthquakes, and a long and discouraging history of government corruption.

  • Education

    Training doctors in the skills lab and integrating educational modules, will produce highly skilled, fellowship trained doctors strengthening a network of trained arthroscopic surgeons throughout the country. These doctors will reach more of the population–keeping people who seek care at work and earning a living. Beginning with resident education in the Trauma Department of San Marcos hospital, we hope to increase accessibility of Arthroscopy throughout the region.

  • Equipment

    Arthroscopic surgical equipment, CT scans, and other modern procedures are not readily available–due to lack of funding and familiarity in their use. In 2013, we installed an arthroscopic tower and performed the first arthroscopic procedure in the hospital. We’ll look for ways to create low cost updates to the facility while working with the hospital administration to evaluate equipment needs. Generous donations provide the implants and fracture equipment most people are unable to purchase.

What we do depends on you. Every contribution, large or small makes a difference.

News


All News

 

Firefighters
OSSA Brings CPR To First Responders
August 29, 2019

Orthopedic Solutions to Surgical Access (OSSA) is a misnomer.  At its genesis, founders Geri and Barry Messinger thought their reach would be limited to the Orthopedic department. But as they walked the halls of the…

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clubfoot guatemala
The Obstacles Facing Clubfoot Treatment In Guatemala
August 13, 2019

  Every parent wants to help their child.  Few parents wouldn’t walk to hell and back to improve their child’s life. This is evidenced by the thousands of migrant parents that make the perilous trek…

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IOWA Brace OSSA
Treating Clubfoot Is Made Easy & Affordable With The Help Of The IOWA Brace
August 13, 2019

While rare in the USA, clubfoot continues to be a life-changing problem in the developing world. Of all the babies born with clubfoot, 80% of the cases occur in developing countries such as Guatemala. Clubfoot…

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San Marcos National Hospital Personnel Receive CPR Training Thanks To OSSA
August 13, 2019

CPR certification is mandatory for all healthcare workers in the United States. Everyone from the attending physician to medical students must be trained and ready to provide CPR to a cardiac arrest patient should the…

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San Marcos, Guatemala

We work near the Mexican border in the western highlands of San Marcos, Guatemala at Hospital Nacional de San Marcos, one of 44 public hospitals in Guatemala. It is 240 bed referral center from the smaller hospitals and rural regions. The OB-GYN Dept performs 600 deliveries a month while the Orthopedic Dept treats a significant number of trauma cases.

San Marcos is 5 hours from Guatemala City and 1 hour west of Quetzaltenengo (Xela) the second largest city in Guatemala. The city of San Marcos is the capitol of the Department (state) of San Marcos and has a population of 75,000 at an altitude of 7,000 feet. The region  is a lush mountainous coffee growing region and a market center for many of the indigenous people of the region. There are 22 Mayan dialects in addition to Spanish spoken within Guatemala, Mam is a common language in San Marcos. Clothing is colorful and typical of each region. San Marcos had 2 significant earthquakes in November 2012 and July 2013 but the people there have shown significant resilience to rebuild their city.

  • 59.3 % live below the international poverty rate
  • 80% of the Guatemalan population has to pay for their medical care without insurance
  • 83% have no access to health insurance and most could not afford even if available.

Who We Are

Barry N Messinger, MD, Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with a Fellowship in Sportsmedicine, graduate of Yale, University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Orthopedic Residency. Orthopedic Consultant to the UConn Athletic teams for 25 years. Office practice was in Manchester, Connecticut now affiliated with ECHN; Clinical Associate UConn Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Geri and Barry now travel to Guatemala 3-4 times a year and work with Orthopedic doctors in San Marcos as well as developing a network of Orthopedic Surgeons throughout Guatemala and Latin America.

Geri Messinger graduated cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelors Science/ Nursing. She worked at the UConn Health Service for 20 years in Urgent Care, Women’s Health, and International Student Health. She is experienced in medical office practice management and medical office design.

Andrew Groher is a partner at the Law firm of Riscassi and Davis in Hartford, CT. A University of Virginia and the UConn Law School graduate, he is listed among the top Attorneys in Connecticut and was recently awarded the Lifetime Service Award by the Connecticut Bar Association. In addition to his practice, Mr Groher also teaches at the UConn Law School.

Thank You To Our Donors

We would like to thank these donors for their selfless generosity.