Season of Giving 2017: Berkeley College Faculty and Students Travel to Ecuador to Provide Pro Bono Medical Care with Healing the Children® New Jersey



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


Berkeley College


Berkeley College faculty and students traveled to Ecuador in October 2017 as part of a medical mission with Healing the Children® New Jersey (HTCNJ). The trip, 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 the medical professionals to countries including the Dominican Republic and Peru to evaluate and treat children needing major surgeries.


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 College’s partnership with 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.


During the October trip to Ecuador, the medical team evaluated 60 patients and performed 27 procedures – most of which dealt with congenital defects.


“This experience helped me not only to make professional connections, but really inspired me to go even further to help others in the United States,” said Jaime Gaita of Totowa, NJ, a Berkeley College student and member of the medical mission team.


In 2018, HTCNJ will honor Berkeley College with the Partnership in Caring Award for its support. Also, Joseph Charleman, CST, CSFA, CRCST, LPN, Chair, Surgical Technology, Berkeley College School of Health Studies, 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.


“Over the past several years we have developed a strong partnership with Berkeley College,” said Diane Calesnick, President, Board of Trustees, HTCNJ. “We value this collaboration and hope it will continue to grow as we continue our mission of providing quality medical care to children in need and giving them the opportunity for a brighter future.”


Mr. Charleman received recognition for his efforts from the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey and the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management in 2015. The following year, while on a medical trip to Ecuador, the United States Counsel General to Ecuador honored the Berkeley College volunteers at a dinner.


“The feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment cannot be put into words,” Mr. Charleman said. “The opportunity for students and faculty to participate in a global healthcare experience and apply interventions through skills they learned within the classroom is education at its highest level.”


Berkeley College

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. 


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