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CHARLOTTE, N.C., – Representatives from Carolinas HealthCare System joined public health officials and government representatives in Chinandega, Nicaragua, for the official opening of a mobile medical clinic donated by the International Medical Outreach (IMO) program, a collaboration between the System and the Heineman Foundation of Charlotte.
The lab is a large, mobile unit used to provide a range of primary care and specialty medical services, including women’s health care, heart disease and glucose testing. The clinic will be stationed at and managed by the Coen Foundation’s William Montealegre Clinic in Chinandega and will be moved to different areas of the country to provide care in rural communities in need.
“These communities have no adequate health services and their access to primary care represent mobilization costs that cannot be afforded for them. We aim to bring them closer to a healthier life with this integrated program that combines health care and preventative education” said Piero P. Coen, President of Coen’s Foundation
Chinandega is Nicaragua's fifth largest city, with a population of more than 121,700. Healthcare is delivered primarily through Hospital España, which serves nearly all residents along the West Coast of the country. The Coen Foundation clinic will provide continuous staffing of the mobile unit, and the IMO program will send medical teams from Charlotte to help as needed.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to help Nicaragua’s medical facilities enhance their services and deliver more up-to-date healthcare to those who need it most,” said Francis Robicsek, MD, PhD, vice president of the IMO Program. “We hope this donation reduces barriers to healthcare access and helps the city of Chinandega offer sustainable services for years to come.”
Since 2008, the IMO program has led projects aimed at improving the health of adult and pediatric patients in Nicaragua. Its first project was to repair and replace equipment in the Intensive Care Unit at La Mascota Pediatric Hospital, Nicaragua’s only pediatric facility. That same year, the program helped rebuild the country’s only cardiac catheterization (cath) laboratory, which was broken and remained unused since 2003. In 2012, it donated a mobile cath lab to the Nicaragua’s national heart center in Managua.
About Carolinas HealthCare System
Carolinas HealthCare System (carolinashealthcare.org), one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.
About Heineman Foundation of Charlotte
Since its establishment in 1943, the Heineman Foundation of Charlotte has pursued a variety of local and international research and humanitarian projects focused on providing medical assistance and education. Located on the campus of Carolinas HealthCare System’s Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, Heineman works closely with the System to provide medical training focused on cardiac care to health providers abroad, and medical equipment and supplies to countries in need.