We make a difference.
Every year, the LAUGHH team embarks on a health and wellness mission to Santander, Colombia, where volunteers from across the globe join forces to provide essential medical assistance and educational resources to underserved rural communities surrounding Bucaramanga. During this week-long initiative, our dedicated team works tirelessly to improve access to healthcare and promote healthy living practices, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve.
Working together to create real and lasting change.
Our missions take a team of 80 volunteers from all over the world to work together in caring for 1500+ patients. Led by Gisella Alvarez, Clinical Coordinator and Dr. Bruce Sands, Medical Director, we offer primary medical care including internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, optometry, physical therapy, wound care, nursing and laboratory tests along with fluoride treatments for the kids.
We are joined on each mission with local Physical Therapy volunteers who examine and assess patients, giving wheelchairs, canes, walkers, etc. as needed. They help patients with exercises and advice. Local Optometry volunteers come to give eye exams, measure for glasses, and give readers to people who need them. After the mission, these folks return to hand out the glasses. Our excellent Colombian optometry team provides 400 eye examinations and 300 pair of prescription glasses to children and young adults.
We partner with the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at the University of Kansas Medical Center to create and deliver meaningful knowledge of nutrition and exercise to ensure that the patients get tools that can be used right away in making necessary changes in their lives, based on their history and current diagnoses. This is especially important with the increase in Type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension seen in this population.
We are teaching women to take care of their own bodies, including how to do self breast examinations. In the last few years, the medical students have done sex education for those patients between the ages of 13
Our education has shown to have a major affect on the people we encounter. We have experienced sustainability through our involvement with the people.