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Since 1969, the HHPF has organized trips to provide needed medical care to the underserved people of Honduras. This amazing experience gives physicians wishing to pursue training in prolotherapy the opportunity to learn and work with a dedicated group physician instructors, nurses, and assistants. Together, with modest accommodations and resources, we change people’s lives by using prolotherapy to relieve chronic pain.
What to Expect in Honduras
Hard Work and Advanced Education
The HHPF runs clinic sites in three Honduran cities: LaCeiba, Tela and Olanchito. Our group joins together to transform churches and a Red Cross building into top quality patient care facilities.
Physicians enjoy one full day of lectures from experts on topics including prolotherapy for knee, shoulder, lumbar spine, hip, ankle, elbow, and cervical/thoracic spine. The day also includes important safety information as well as hands-on marking and palpation labs.
A typical work day starts with a breakfast meeting at 7:00 a.m. followed by a short group walk to the clinic to see patients starting at 8:00 a.m. Patients are registered and triaged with the help of people from local organizations who also assist with translation. Physicians determine if prolotherapy is needed, and the procedure is done by experienced physicians with a novice prolotherapist observing and assisting. After the last patient is treated, usually 5 p.m. or later, the clinic is cleaned and prepped for the next day. A group dinner is followed by additional prolotherapy lectures and discussions.
Friendships and Memories to Last a Lifetime
The people of Honduras always welcome us with open arms. Many strong bonds and friendships were formed throughout the years as HHPF groups brought kindness and healing to a country where more than half of the population lives in poverty. Patients often line up several hours before our clinics open each day. The need is great, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help.
One of our physicians, completely exhausted after a busy day in clinic treating as many of the waiting patients as possible said, “The way I feel right now is why I went to medical school.” Another participant in the HHPF Honduras project said the trip had been “life changing for me and my daughter who came along as a ‘helper’. Thank you for allowing us to join such a wonderful group.” Many go home feeling the way this participant articulated, “I have never been so tired, so hot, so dirty… but neither have I ever seen so many smiles, received so many hugs, and so many heartfelt thank yous—or pineapples!”
Attendance at the HHPF Annual Clinical Conference in Madison, WI, is a prerequisite for joining the HHPF service learning trip to Honduras. Only MDs and DOs are eligible to apply due to license restrictions imposed by the Honduran government. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to apply at the end of the conference in October. If you have met this requirement, our application link will be available in October 2019 to apply for the March 2020 trip. Participants are responsible for round-trip transportation to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The additional trip fee collected when your application is accepted includes transportation in Honduras, room and board, medical supplies, and teaching costs for the physicians. CME credits are available for an additional fee. Non-physician volunteer’s fees cover their transportation within Honduras, a shared hotel room and meals. We try to keep our fees as low as possible with the hope of covering our expenses for the trip.