Fall 2020 News

From the Field The challenges of COVID faced by poor communities in Ecuador seem worlds apart from those in the United States. So many people here live hand to mouth and simply can’t afford not to work. And most jobs put them face to face with many people, continuously exposing them to the virus. The

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Summer 2020 News

From the Field

As in the U.S., life has changed considerably in Ecuador since the Coronavirus pandemic hit. In this newsletter, we hope to give you a better idea of what has happened here, tell some patient stories to illustrate the challenges, and explain our response as a regional health care provider within the broader Ecuadorian context.

While watching events unfold in the U.S., we are struck by both the similarities and the differences in the political, medical, and the community’s response to the pandemic between these two countries.


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Spring 2020 News

From the Field

Are hospitals good for the health of our communities? At first glance, you might say, “of course!” But peel off a few layers and you might find some sticky questions. Why do hospitals and hospital procedures cost so much? Does the health benefit they provide justify the cost, especially when compared to other health interventions outside of the hospital? As just one example, how does the impact of a $15,000 heart bypass surgery compare to 15,000 vaccinations at $1 each? Likewise, we often wonder why so many health dollars are spent near the end of life for sometimes seemingly needless interventions, when less costly and often more humane palliative or hospice care options are readily available…


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Coronavirus Update

March 26, 2020

Ecuador has the most cases in South America behind Brazil. There are 1,211 confirmed cases today, and that is with limited testing available. AHD’s hospitals are prepared to receive the Ministry of Health’s overflow patients any day now.

March 23, 2020

Dear AHD Family,

Ecuador is suffering. The Minister of Health just resigned, and as of today, no additional public funding has been budgeted for this epidemic. Frankly, I’m stunned at their complete lack of response regarding resources and funding given that we’re on lockdown and our borders are closing. The number of cases double daily down here, and that’s only what we know from limited testing capability. The public sector will soon be overwhelmed. Our medical staff is prepared, and we have protocols in place. We recognize there is suffering everywhere around the globe, but please keep Ecuador in your thoughts. We have started a COVID-19 emergency fund for these underserved people. Please consider donating.


March 12, 2020

Coronavirus is here in Ecuador. Given the community transmission that we’ve seen in other countries, there is a high probability that it will spread fast in a low-resource setting like Ecuador. Handwashing and hygiene in Ecuador are not nearly at the level of the United States.

We are preparing ourselves to collaborate with the federal government and social security system to help manage patients in our catchment areas. When this becomes a major public health problem, the public system will collapse quickly. We have set up a tent outside our hospital to triage patients as to keep them separated from the other patients in the lobbies and waiting rooms. We have protocols in place for our medical professionals.

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Winter 2019 News

Empowering Women Everyday: Didn’t you notice?

A donor came to Ecuador a while back to see our hospitals and clinics in action. As with many of our visitors, she was duly impressed. But she added, “David, you never told me how many women you have working here. This is incredible!”

We have had so many women working here for such a long time that I never stopped to think about how that might look to a visitor…

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Hesburgh Film

AHD will be one of two recipients of any profits from the new documentary Hesburgh. The film offers a unique glimpse at US history as seen through the eyes of the long-time president of Notre Dame. Educator, civil rights champion, advisor to presidents, envoy to popes, theologian and activist, Fr. Hesburgh was called on by countless world leaders to

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2019 Andean Health Bike Ride

For eight years, a group of people who are passionate about the humanitarian work of Andean Heath have gotten together annually to learn of the progress of AHD’s work in Ecuador while doing something that they love: cycling!

This year the group ventures to Crater Lake and the Oregon Cascades to ride some spectacular routes, all the while helping raise money and awareness for Hesburgh Hospital in Santo Domingo, Ecuador. Please visit our Donate page to support the campaign of one of these riders! All donations go straight to our programs at Hesburgh Hospital. Thank you!

2019 Riders: Greg Allen, Jane Allen, Mike Allen, Hahns Burg, Dave Cutler, Lisa Cutler-Stamm, Laura Dries, Jim Dunn, Pat English, Rachel English, David Gaus, Alan Gianotti, Mike Heisler, Judy Jesiolowski, Phil Kalamaros, Mike Roemer, Tom Rolfs, Amy Rudolf, John Rudolf, Matt Rudolf, Nancy Rudolf, David Stein, David Thompson, and Mike Whyte

Donate to the 2019 Bike Ride

Select Bike Ride under “Special Designation” and enter the rider’s name under “Comments,” or send a check with the rider’s name in the memo to Andean Health, 1100 Delaplaine Ct., Madison, 53715. Thank you!

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Spring 2019 News

You may have heard people speak of social determinants of health. These include poverty, poor education, political disenfranchisement, and being a member of a cultural or ethnic minority. Another one is war. I would like to tell you about a patient I saw in clinic early this year.
Eduardo is a 51 year-old man who transported vegetables in big trucks along the Ecuador-Colombia border. He was kidnapped about 5 years ago

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Winter 2018 News

A critical part of our mission is training Ecuador’s future health leaders. The AHD Family Medicine resident training program truly sets us apart, and I’m so proud to welcome our newest residents: each one Ecuadorian, seven in all. We developed our program to focus on four key disciplines.

First, we teach them…

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