Physicians for Peace Helps Advance Burn Care in Central America

Nonprofit will provide training to Honduran healthcare professionals and care to burn victims

NORFOLK, VA (10/31/2011)(readMedia)-- From Nov. 2-5, Physicians for Peace, an international nonprofit headquartered in Norfolk, Va., will work with in-country partners Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to advance the skillset of burn care professionals, so that they can provide better, more comprehensive care to their patients. The need for improved burn care is significant, particularly when it comes to children: according to the World Health Organization, 95 percent of the world's burn-related deaths occur in underserved areas. Within Central America and the Caribbean, 70 percent of burn victims are children.

"Many burn care professionals and facilities in the world are not equipped to care for the patients who come in – sometimes for catastrophic burns," explained Jonathan Niszczak, an occupational therapist from Philadelphia, Pa., and a member of the PFP mission team. "If they don't receive immediate care and rehabilitation, burn victims can be infirmed for life. That hurts entire communities."

Without proper care, burn victims suffer from painful contractures, as the skin tightens over their wounds and severely limits their ability to move freely. Trained professionals can help reduce victims' devastating physical and emotional scars, helping them to return to productive, normal lives in the classroom, at work and with their families.

Joining Niszczak on the mission are fellow PFP volunteers Bibiana Gama, a translator from Suffolk, Va.; Susan Meagher, RN, a nurse from Prior Lake, Minn.; Michael A. Serghiou, OTR, an occupational therapist from Galveston, Texas; and Lisa Tropez – Arceneaux Psy.D., a psychologist from New Orleans, La.

To interview team members or to find out more about Physicians for Peace, please contact Mary Westbrook or Monika Bridgforth.


Physicians for Peace transforms lives by training, supporting and empowering healthcare professionals working with the world's underserved populations. Since 1989, volunteers have conducted medical missions in more than 60 countries. Find us online at and Follow us on Twitter, Physician4Peace.