The Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine participates in several international outreach activities. For example, Project Shunt has provided neurosurgical services since 1997 to children in Guatemala with neural tube defects. Guatemala has one of the highest incidences of spinal bifida because of dietary issues, genetic predisposition and poor prenatal care. Accomplished with donations and fund raising activities, it provides opportunities for faculty, fellows, and nurses to participate in annual medical missions providing much needed neurosurgical care to children who otherwise would not have access to such care. In addition to performing operations, the group provides teaching to other surgeons, nurses and parents. An important educational objective was to improve the quality of life for children with spinal bifida and train the health care professionals in state-of-the-art management techniques. The team includes Dr. Gail Annich and Dr. Karin Muraszko, MD, Chair and Professor of Neurosurgery.
Additionally, Dr. Rodney Daniels is collaborating with the World Pediatric Project and physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital to help develop critical care services in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere and has an infant mortality rate 3x that in the US. A grant was recently submitted to the Rotary International to help fund this project.