Berkeley College Faculty and Students Travel to Ecuador to Provide Pro Bono Medical Care with Healing The Children New Jersey

Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
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Berkeley College faculty and students from the Surgical Technology program traveled to Ecuador October 28 – November 4, 2017, as part of a medical mission with Healing the Children® New Jersey (HTCNJ). The mission, which focused on pediatric urology at the Dr. Roberto Gilbert Elizalde Children’s Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, was the latest in a series of endeavors that have brought medical professionals to countries such as the Dominican Republic and Peru to evaluate and treat children needing major surgeries.

During this mission to Ecuador the medical team, comprised of professionals from the United States and Ecuador, evaluated 60 patients and performed 27 procedures – most of which dealt with congenital defects.

Joseph Charleman, CST, CSFA, CRCST, LPN, Chair, Surgical Technology, Berkeley College School of Health Studies, served as the administrator. He was joined by three Berkeley College students: Jaime Gaita of Totowa, NJ, Adrijana Hasanago of Waterbury, CT, and Jennifer Schaub of Bloomingdale, NJ; and faculty members, Debby Dunn, RN, Nursing and Patient Care Technician programs, and Amanda Lowe, CST, Surgical Processing Technician and Surgical Technology programs, both from the Berkeley College School of Health Studies.

“The medical mission focuses on the compassionate side of care and on the application of all the skills the students are studying,” Mr. Charleman said. “The experience also provides a global perspective and the opportunity to work with professionals from all over the New Jersey – New York area, broadening their professional network.” 

“This experience helped me not only make new professional connections, but really inspired me to go even further with helping others in the United States,” said Berkeley College student Jaime Gaita of Totowa, NJ.

Ms. Schaub observed the contrast in both the environment and the people compared to the U.S.  “They make do with a lot less than we have, yet they are really optimistic. The families were really grateful and remained positive, more so than some would be here,” said Ms. Schaub.

All of the participants had the opportunity to meet the patients and their families, which does not usually occur for surgical processing technicians and surgical technologists who practice in the U.S.

“Even though there was a language barrier, we still found a way to connect with both the kids and the medical professionals from that country, “said Berkeley College student Adrijana Asanago of Waterbury, CT.

Photo Captions: (Top) Gregg Lobel, MD, Director of Pediatric Anesthesiology, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (left); and Joseph Charleman, CST, CSFA, CRCST, LPN, Chair, Surgical Technology, Berkeley College School of Health Studies (right); smile with Diana, a patient who was treated during the Healing the Children® New Jersey medical mission to Ecuador. (Above) Students from the Berkeley College School of Health Studies and medical professionals from the New York and New Jersey area greet a family during the medical mission.

HTCNJ is a nonprofit organization that provides access to medical care and related services for children in need in New Jersey and worldwide. Volunteer medical professionals travel at their own expense for the eight- to 10-day trips. The trips often include surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists from New Jersey hospitals, as well as administrative laypersons to manage logistics.

The partnership between Berkeley College and HTCNJ began in 2013, when students and faculty packaged and sterilized medical equipment for upcoming missions. Since then, Berkeley College volunteers have participated in several medical trips through the Medical Teams Abroad Program of HTCNJ, which provides pro bono medical care and related services to children in developing countries.

In 2018, HTCNJ will honor Berkeley College with the Partnership in Caring Award for its support. Also, Mr. Charleman will receive the Sue Tiger Memorial Award. Both awards will be presented during the HTCNJ Annual Gala on May 12, 2018, at the Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, NJ.

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 7,100 students – including more than 440 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies, and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has five New Jersey campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. In New York there are three campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For four consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is

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