Critical Humanitarianism in Antigua, Guatemala

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Jacob Zelko
by Jacob Zelko
1 min read


Project Status: Current
Duration: Summer/Fall 2019
Location: Antigua, Guatemala

A rigorous investigation and appraisal of the interactions between local Guatemalan healthcare providers in Antigua and visiting surgical teams.

I will be working with the NAPA-OT Field School in Antigua Guatemala with Stephanie Roche MPH and Dr. Rachel Hall-Clifford PHD MPH MSC as well as others from across the United States. Furthermore, I will attend the Tecun Uman Spanish School to receive intensive Spanish grammar instruction, live in a Guatemalan home stay, and attend daily lectures on public health from NAPA-OT faculty.

Project Goals:

The goals of this project are set out by the Field School below:

  • To explore the perspectives of Guatemalan health care providers on their experiences with visiting surgical teams in Guatemala

  • To understand the processes and participants involved in short-term surgical missions, from patient identification to triage to surgery to post-operative care

  • To identify points for strengthened collaboration and process improvement between local providers and visiting surgical teams

  • To understand the impacts of humanitarian aid and development paradigms on the Guatemalan health system

  • To develop social justice and occupational justice analyses of short-term surgical missions

Project Updates:

:tada: :tada: :tada: Fully Funded!!! :tada: :tada: :tada:

April 8th, 2019

After review, the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering decided to increase their initial contribution to $5000 by also awarding me the BME Jain Fellowship Stipend - this fully covers all of my expenses to go to Antigua with the Field School. I am extremely thankful to the Department and am looking forward to sharing my progress here.

:tada: Half-way Funded! :tada:

March, 2nd 2019

With huge thanks to Dr. Susan Margulies, Chair of Georgia Tech’s Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, and to Georgia Tech donors, I was awarded the BME Prucka Student Travel Award and $2500 to offset travel expenses.