Pediatric surgery duo helps with cleft palate repairs on Peruvian children

Two members of the pediatric surgery team at Children’s Hospital of Georgia spent 10 days in Puno, Peru, in late August serving on the medical mission team for Angels of Charity and Music, based out of Los Angeles. Dennis Rodriguez, a registered nurse, and Laurie Yates, a nurse anesthetist, were part of a group of 60 volunteers from California, Georgia, Ohio, and Florida who joined together to perform over 100 surgical procedures for Peruvian children in need. The medical teams helped repair cleft lips and palates and microtia, a congenital ear deformity that can affect hearing.

Joining Rodriguez and Yates were Dr. Brian Ho and Elise Hulsebus, a physician’s assistant, both former employees of CHOG. Two nurse anesthetists with AU Health, Allison Jester and Palmer Hummel, have also supported this mission in the past.

Puno is located on the shore of Lake Titicaca in the high Andes at an elevation of nearly 13,000 feet.

The experience was one of great teamwork, innovation, hard work, and spiritual growth, according to Yates, who shared this photo gallery from the trip.

This service project is another example of the #powerofyou at AU Health.

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Written by
Denise Parrish

Denise Parrish is Director of Communications for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic at 706-721-9760 or

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Written by Denise Parrish

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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