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UT Tyler Longview, Rotarians work to outfit Guatemalan hospital

From Staff Reports
Aug. 12, 2015 at 11:01 p.m.

Above: University of Texas at Tyler Longview Center's Darrien Robinson, left, assists Rotary Club of Longview members Carroll Greenwaldt, Bill Bartlemay and Charles Risinger as they prepare to load a hospital bed into a truck. The center donated beds and other equipment to the club Wednesday at the center in Longview. Top: From left, Bartlemay,  Greenwaldt, UT Tyler Longview Center Director Van Patterson, Robinson and Chris Martin load a bed into a truck.

Longview Rotarians and educators worked together Wednesday on a continuing project to modernize a hospital in remote northern Guatemala.

Hospital beds and other equipment and supplies donated by the University of Texas at Tyler Longview Center were loaded onto a truck by members of the Rotary Club of Longview, which is leading an effort to modernize Hospital de San Benito in the Petén Department of Guatemala. The equipment eventually will be shipped to maternity and nursery areas of the hospital.

The help is badly needed, said Carroll Greenwaldt of Longview, immediate past district governor of Rotary District 5830, whose member clubs also are involved in the project.

"Due to the crush of patient load there, oftentimes women are having to labor on the floor," he said.

Petén is the largest department, or state, in Guatemala geographically, and it also is the most remote. Rotarians for years have been working with Longview's Refuge International to keep supplies flowing to the hospital and its patients.

Petén has the highest rate of maternal mortality in Guatemala, at 172 deaths for every 100,000 births. The infant mortality is also high, at 40 deaths for every 1,000 births, nearly twice the rate for the country as a whole.

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