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NCH physician organizes mission trip to Guatemala

December 5, 2017

Randy McCool, M.D. plans to bring clean water to Central America


Gynecologist/Obstetrician Randy McCool, M.D., of Northwest Women’s Consultants in Arlington Heights is planning a medical mission trip to Guatemala and plans to recruit employees from Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) where he is on staff, to assist him. He hopes to put together a team of 20 to 30 medical and non-medical personnel to improve public health issues for rural families.

“Anybody can participate in this project,” Dr. McCool explains.

The trip, offered through Ties Journeys of Discovery in conjunction with NCH is planned for August 4 through 11, 2018. Participants pay their own way and travel to Antigua where they are transported to the countryside to help indigenous families. Two projects are planned. One provides metal bunk bed frames and washable mattresses, replacing ground pallet beds so that families can enjoy a healthy night’s sleep.

“What happens during the rainy season is the floors get wet and the children and families get sick from the wet floors,” Dr. McCool says. The lack of sleep from this situation can cause multiple health issues, he explains. “They experience sleep deprivation, diabetes, hypertension, accidental injuries or falls from fatigue and impaired cognitive development and function.”

Clean water is another public health issue. Dr. McCool’s team will help to reduce waterborne illnesses and parasitic infections by installing ceramic water filter containers that can be reused.

“The mission of this project was to take volunteers down and do a project that would directly help the people after we left,” Dr. McCool says. “It would not require a high level of skill so that everybody would be able to participate.”

Visit the Journeys of Discovery website to learn more about the trip and watch videos from The Ties Program to see how NCH is helping to improve the lives of many families.