Permanent Facility in Guatemala
Since 1990 Dr. Barker has organized teams of doctors, nurses, residents and students from the University of Louisville and the local community to visit foreign countries where they provide, teach and learn medical care.
Typically teams of 10 to 40 individuals spend 1 to 3 weeks in Latin American Countries where they:
Provide care to needy children suffering with traumatic or genetic birth defects.
Teach by working one-on-one with local physicians, nurses and social workers examining and operating on children and counseling their parents.
Learn from local people about their culture and their healthcare systems.
While these foreign experiences have benefited hundreds of Latin American patients and local healthcare volunteers over the years, this valuable experience could be enhanced tremendously if a permanent facility were available in one of theses foreign countries where the providing, teaching and learning activities could be delivered in
a focused, well structured and supervised manor.
To this end in 1996 Dr. Barker lead a group of individuals from the University of Louisville and the community on a trip to Antigua, Guatemala, where they
explored the feasibility of establishing a permanent medical/teaching facility.
Stemming from this trip Dr. Barker managed to secure the use of a 17th Century monastery located in the heart of historic Antigua Guatemala where the permanent Medical/Educational facility could be located. Financial contributions were made to the monastery to secure the site and architectural
plans were generated for the restoration.
Unfortunately, after several months of planning and negotiations it was felt that while a permanent facility had many benefits over previous approaches the tremendous amount of time that would be required to administer such a facility made it impossible to tackle at this time. Therefore at this time medical teams from Louisville
continue as in the past to visit Latin American countries on brief medical missions.