Current Environment:

Colombia | Overview

Delivering Pediatric Orthopedic Surgical Care


About 1.3 million people live in Huila province, a region that was heavily affected by civil conflict in Colombia dating back to the 1960s. In addition to crippling the local economy the civil conflict hindered the development of an effective public health system. Many children with treatable congenital orthopedic conditions such as clubfoot and hip dysplasia lack access to effective medical care.

Where We Started

Brian Snyder, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Boston Children's Hospital, and Dr. Sergio Nossa of Roosevelt Hospital in Bogota began working with Healing the Children to provide orthopedic surgical and followup care in Neiva, capital of Huila province, during an annual surgical mission.

Our Impact

The Boston Children’s surgical team now includes members from anesthesiology and nursing. Collaboration with the staff of the host hospital has increased. For the past four years the mission has included an education conference sponsored by the University of Southern Colombia. Nursing care and education is provided by Boston Children’s Hospital nurses in collaboration with local staff. Effective pain control plans and education for post-op orthopedic patients in the setting of a university hospital have been collaboratively developed.

Moving Forward

The Boston Children’s team continues to build partnerships with the University Hospital in Neiva for providing surgical care and in measuring and improving outcomes. Future goals are establishing an orthopedic program in Neiva for early identification and treatment of clubfoot and hip dysplasia.


Michael Felber, Global Nursing Fellow