Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


All in the family: Son of long-time Guatemala Mission doctor continues in medical school

by Lisa Sharkey, for the Inland Register

(From the October 16, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Dr. José Miguel Vasquez, at left, visits with Archbishop Cupich and two unidentified clinic workers during the archbishop’s visit to the Guatemala Mission last February. (IR photo courtesy of the Guatemala Commission)

Dr. Robinsson Vasquez, the son of Dr. José Miguel Vasquez, is a wonderful success story from our mission in Guatemala.

Dr. Miguel has been working with the indigenous population of Spokane’s sister diocese of Sololá and is paid through the generous donations given to the Guatemala Mission. Dr. Robinsson was thus able to also attend medical school and hopes to continue his studies to become a heart specialist.

Dr. Robinsson Vasquez spent the month of September observing cardiologists at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. He is currently serving in his second year of residency in Quetzaltanego, Guatemala, and had the opportunity to select any hospital in the world in which to observe.

He reported that everyone at Sacred Heart was especially kind and caring. He thoroughly enjoyed his experience and the opportunity to learn so much.

In Guatemala, Dr. Robinsson studies from the same textbooks and research papers that medical students study in the United States. He was particularly happy to observe procedures about which he had only read prior to coming to the U.S. He sincerely thanks all the people who made his experience in Spokane possible, as well as the donors from the diocese who support the medical clinics in the mission in Guatemala.

Dr. José Miguel has recently reported on our efforts to provide medical aid to the people of Guatemala. He wrote that he has been busier than usual due to the death of Sister Immaculata Burke and the illness of Sister Marie Tolle, two Sisters of Charity who have provided aid in some aspects of the medical mission. Dr. Miguel said that the clinics in Novillero, Nahualá, and Old and New Ixtahuacán helped over 6,000 people in the past year through patient consultations, vaccinating children, and working with pregnant women. They also held classes for 1,000 mothers of families, and worked to prepare 25 new midwives.

The various clinics employ six indigenous people as part of their health care team. The Medical Mission, besides visiting and supporting the sick, works to prepare young leaders, evaluates Mayan Medicine (principally with midwives), and coordinates with the Public Health Ministry of Guatemala and with other health organizations.

With continued generous support from Eastern Washington parishioners, much-needed medical aid can be provided to the people of the Guatemala Highlands, and dedicated professionals like Dr. José Miguel and Dr. Robinsson can continue to give back to their communities.

(Lisa Sharkey is a member of St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla, and of the Guatemala Commission.)


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