Medical Mission Ecuador (MME) is a homecoming for the surgeon, Dr. Henry Vasconez, head of plastic surgery at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington. Having grown up in Ambato, Henry lives the ultimate story of reciprocity. He pioneered the mission 17 years ago, jumping in with just one anesthesiologist and one nurse. That splash still ripples.
The team, mostly from Southern states, now numbers nearly 80. It contains biomedical technicians, physical therapists, surgeons, nurses, pediatricians, and anesthesiologists, among others. The majority of the surgeries correct cleft lips and palates, malformed ears, and club feet. What differentiates MME from other foreign medical missions is the fact that it returns each year to the same city and the same two hospitals. Many times, the doctors actually follow up with previous years’ cases.