Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Obras Sociales del Hermano Pedro: A brief intro

Hermano Pedro was pronounced "pious" in 1980 and with the idea of imitating his charity, Fray Guillermo Bonilla Carvajal started Obras Sociales del Hermano Pedro around his tomb. Following destruction from a powerful earthquake in 1976, the building has been restored and repaired progressively, and today, accomodates more than 230 patients. The patients range in age and arrive at Las Obras for various reasons, including: severe handicap, abandonment, and poverty.
Las Obras is run entirely (!!!) on volunteers and donations, including financial support, but also including food, plants, clothing, medical equipment, furniture, cleaning, etc. Donations also include medical missions, surgical materials, medications, and professional services, such as physical therapists (also the presence of PT volunteers is not as extensive as medical doctors or nurses).

Las Obras' vision: Be a religious and humanistic institution that extends charity and solidarity, beign an example of Saint Hermano Pedro, giving integral attention in order to offer a better quality of life and dignity to people, with emphasis on the poor, regardless of religion, race or condition.

APTA's vision: Guided by integrity, life-long learning, and a commitment to comprehensive and accessible health programs for all people, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants will render evidence-based services throughout the continuum of care and improve quality of life for society.

The similarity in the theme of serving ALL people is uncanny - additionally, the guidelines for pro bono work supports our role at Las Obras through the facet of donating professional expertise and service to charitable groups or organizations, such as Las Obras. And while these statements do provide reinforcement for our work here, it was humbling to be at Las Obras and to witness and become involved with the love and care that is provided for the patients that reside there. We have so much to share and will do so over the next few days...but we hope that you will familiarize yourself with the work at Las Obras and perhaps consider how you might be able to join them for the betterment of this society and of physical therapy as a profession.

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