2014 Guatemala Mission Trip – Day 0

2014 Guatemala Mission Trip – Day 0

Hello Certified Medical Educators friends and family,

Today is the day our 2014 Certified Medical Educators Physician Assistant team is traveling to Guatemala to volunteer our medical services for our week long medical mission trip. Here is the: who, what, where, when and why answered in reverse order.

Why a medical mission trip? Many of us in the medical profession have a desire to go above to provide help to those in need. We are very blessed in the United States to have just great healthcare right at our finger tips where other counties do not even have Tylenol available.

When is the trip occurring? Our week long medical mission trip is occurring November 2nd-9th, 2014. We are planning on making this a yearly trip. Next year our trip will be the week of Nov 1st, 2015.

Where are you going? We are going to Guatemala for our medical mission trip. We will be flying into Guatemala City and then traveling ~2 hours east to the city of Jalapa where we will meet our American host family. Each day we will travel from there to a different rural area (some in the mountains) to provide care.

What are you bringing? Basically EVERYTHING. With us bringing supplies including: medications (both prescription and over the counter), diagnostic equipment, vitamins, and much more!

Who is part of the team? Our team consists of 9 wonderfully caring individuals:


Anna Kawa - I have been practicing PA for the past 12 years. I started at Allergy and Asthma where I have been working until March of this year. About 3 years ago I started working at Internal Medicine practice. I still continue to work there part time. Currently, I work work at Immediate Care Centers. Helping other has always been my passion and I truly enjoy what I am doing as a PA. My passion for reaching out to people in need spread to my private time. I have been working with and for many missions throughout the world for the past 7-8 years organizing food/supplies containers, participating in many charity actions and mission trips. In free time I like to read, Latin dance, sing, talking to people. This is going to be my first time leading the group, so please help/correct me if you would see something is not going right. I am very excited for this trip and can’t wait to meet you all. :)

Katie Haspeslagh - My name is Katie Haspeslagh, I am a physician assistant in a OB/GYN practice in a small town in Ohio. I work mostly in an outpatient setting but do Postpartum and post op rounds at the hospital. The practice that I work in is just myself and the doctor so I have to do everything from annual exams, to triaging Obstetric emergencies, I don’t assist in surgery though. I have been working in OB/Gyn for the last 10 years , with 1 year of family practice before that.

Amalia Solano - Amalia Solano is a practicing PA-C currently with the Sleep Medicine Team at National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado. This past year she finished a five year stint with the Air Force practicing family medicine in Los Angeles and then Misawa, Japan. She loves all sports , including deep sea diving where she swam with the sharks. She is active in her church choir and in the care and concerns of her large extended family.

Janine Solano - Janine Solano Is a practicing PA-C in Pediatrics with Denver Health and Hospitals, She has spent her entire career practicing in public health outpatient settings in Colorado and the Boston, Massachusetts area. She and her husband Henry, an attorney, maintain a family home in inner city Denver and a family ranch in Trinidad, Colorado; with dreams of one day being there long enough to raise a herd of something, cows and/or horses and goats and chickens, etc.

Miranda Dellert - I currently work as a Physician Assistant in Otolaryngology, Head and Surgery, at the University of Chicago Medical Center. There I work with adults and children with various ailments, including very complicated head and neck cancer patients. I am originally from the Detroit area; graduated from PA school at Wayne State University and worked in Bariatric surgery for 3.5 years at the Detroit Medical Center right after graduation. In my free time, I enjoy staying active, especially with running and yoga, and taking advantage of all of things Chicago has to offer.

Melissa Rider - I am Colorado native who is pursuing a career in medicine following nearly two decades of work in the corporate environment, where I performed high-level science project planning and management for the US Antarctic Program. My lifelong interest in medicine has evolved from caring for animals as a veterinary technician during my college years to providing medical care in remote field camps in the Antarctic. As a newly minted PA-¬C, I’m looking for exposure to the widest set of clinical experiences possible as I further refine my skills and practice interests. I enjoy a diverse menu of cultural and geographical interests, and look forward to working alongside skilled and experienced practitioners from whom I can continue to learn.

Todd Cecchini - I graduated from Emory PA school in 1984 & have worked in surgery almost thirty years. I teach @ the AAPA conference yearly. I do locum tenens primarily in thoracic & vascular but currently am studying for the boards-5th time yuck! I have been on mission trips in US doing construction. This will be my first medical mission trip & also my first out of the country…Looking forward to the experience! Avocationally, I am an avid cyclist, hiker, sports enthusiast & national soccer official. I enjoy repairing renovating Victorian houses.

Susan Lewis - I have been a Medical Assistant for 20 years working in OB/GYN, Allergy and Cardiology. I am currently the manager of a cardiology practice which specializes in vascular disease.I look forward to using my clinical and organizational skills on this trip. I love traveling, being outdoors and learning new things about other cultures.

Terra Wachs - I have been an Administrative Assistant for 15 years and am currently the Office Manager for Certified Medical Educators. I look forward to using my Administrative, Manager and organizational skills toward making the Mission Trip run as smoothly as possible. This is my first Mission Trip and I am ecstatic to have a chance to be a part of this group. I enjoy movies, music, traveling to new destinations and meeting new people.


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