Guatemala Welcomes WU Nephrologists with Traditional Latin American Hospitality

“The Division of Nephrology physicians are continuing to make an impact improving healthcare in Guatemala,” says Dr. Marcos Rothstein, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology.

Left to right: Steve Bander, Aubrey Morrison, Monica Chang-Panesso, Tim Yau and Marcos Rothstein.

Rothstein and a delegation of Washington University nephrologists recently attended the scientific symposium First Annual Update in Nephrology: Leading the Battle against Chronic Kidney Disease, October 12-13, 2017, in Guatemala City. The academic program provided an intensive update on topics ranging from basic science to clinical nephrology

The group included Drs. Rothstein, Aubrey Morrison, Timothy Yau, Monica Chang-Panesso, and former WU nephrology fellow and attending Steven Bander, who is now head of the Vascular Access Center (part of the St. Luke’s Hospital system) in St. Louis.

The conference was organized locally by Dr. Vicente Sanchez Polo, Chief of Nephrology at the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security (IGSS), and Dr. Ever Cipriano Maldonado, head of the fellowship program, both of whom have spent time in St. Louis training and observing the WU system.

Also attending the conference were Guatemalan medical residents, renal fellows and attendings. “Seldom do Guatemalan doctors have the opportunity to attend such a conference led by international physicians,” says Rothstein, “so it drew participation from high ranking San Carlos University authorities and government health care officials.” The conference received wide coverage by local television and print media.

This is not the first contingency of WU nephrologists to visit Guatemala. For the past several years, a group of WU researchers, residents, fellows and staff, in partnership with the IGSS hospital system and Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City, has been working to study MesoAmerican Nephropathy (MeN). MeN is an unexplained epidemic of chronic kidney disease prevalent on the Pacific coast of Latin America.

The renal centers of WU and the IGSS are officially recognized by the International Society of Nephrology as a B-level Sister Renal Center Pair.

Rothstein emphasizes that the WU delegation was treated to a most Latin American tradition – warm hospitality and a heartfelt welcome from all the Guatemalan hosts. “We all felt that Su Casa was Mi Casa.

See more pictures of the event on the Division of Nephrology’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and take a look at the full program here.