Letter: Medical program in Aspen this week | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Medical program in Aspen this week

Medical program in Aspen this week

This week, please join us in welcoming a delegation of medical professionals from Bariloche, Argentina, to participate in the 20th Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange.

The delegation includes the following medical professionals: Dr. Tomas Trapani, orthopaedic surgeon; Dr. Maria Emilia Saavedra, cardiologist; Dr. Nicolas Ginato, anesthesiologist; Dr. Marcela Raffaele, emergency medicine; Enrique Santilla, physical therapist; and artist Paula Trapani.

The Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program works to improve patient care for the Sister Cities of Aspen and Bariloche through education, philanthropy and cultural exchanges. We are proud to be one of the few medical-exchange programs organized through the International Sister Cities Program. This exchange program was formed shortly after San Carlos de Bariloche was named one of Aspen’s Sister Cities on Nov. 1, 2002, and following one of Argentina’s worst economic disasters. During this economic tragedy, the value of the Argentine peso declined to less than one quarter of its value and funding for the only public hospital in Bariloche, Hospital Zonal Ramón Carrillo, outdated and already facing minimal government financial support, was faced with the daunting task of being the only public medical provider to more than 500,000 indigent people in the Bariloche community and surrounding region.

Luckily, through this new Sister Cities relationship, the medical professionals at the Ramón Carrillo Hospital were able to contact Aspen Valley Hospital to make a desperate plea for help. From that request, the Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program was born.

So many medical volunteers, generous community members, and organizations contribute to the Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program. A special thank to the 2014 exchange hosts Dr. Mark and Kelley Purnell, Dr. Leelee von Stade, Dr. Tito Liotta and Krista Fox, occupational therapists.

This program would not be possible without the dedication of The Buster Foundation, Aspen & Bariloche Sister Cities, Aspen Orthopaedic Associates, Aspen Sports Medicine Foundation, Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen Skiing Co., Carol Kurt and the Aspen Chapter of the Colorado Mountain Club, the Red Onion, Smith & Nephew, DePuy Synthes, Arthrex and Acumed.

Dr. Mark Purnell

Aspen Orthopaedic Associates & Aspen Sports Medicine Foundation

Griff Smith

Aspen Sister Cities


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