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Our mission

OUR MISSION

At FundaHigado America we are committed to provide training, education and counseling to local healthcare staff in pediatric liver transplantation by living donor in Latin American and Caribbean.
We offer training and assessment by the hand of our first-level healthcare professionals in pediatric liver transplantation, to local medical staff in the institutions where they work.

During the training process for local medical staff, FHA doctors offer first-level medical care to children that require this type of treatment

This project gives a chance for pediatric patients suffering from liver diseases. It represents an alternative which provides timely and accessible treatments for these children and their families in Latin America and the Caribbean.

FundaHigado America training and educational program for local medical staff is expected to be completed 3 years after its commencement date. By then, pediatric liver transplantation by living donor programs are expected to operate on their own.

Thanks to the training program carried out by FundaHigado America, dozens of children have an opportunity to live. So is the case in Venezuela, where since 2001 a sustainable transplantation program has been established. Being the only transplantation program in that country.

In FundaHigado America we work to Bring Hope to all the children in LatinAmerica and the Caribbean.

Our story

In the year 1990 Dr. Pedro A. Rivas Vetencourt was accepted in the University of Illinois at Chicago and began his training as Transplant Surgeon. Out of the vast universe in medicine, he had already discovered his interest in transplant techniques. This had occurred during his intern years in the emblematic Hospital Universitario de Caracas.

In 1992 he was given the opportunity to formally participate in the first liver transplant surgery practiced in Venezuela. This is where the first efforts took place and which later led him to establish the milestones of the first permanent liver transplantation program in Venezuela

In the year 2000 the beginning of a new century would bring a non-profit organization called the Metropolitan Program of Liver Transplantation - FundaHígado to life, which would mark a new milestone in the history of Venezuelan Medicine.

In the year 2004 Dr Tomoaki Kato, one of the most renowned specialists in organ transplants and Dr. Pedro A. Rivas met. This approach pays off on April 19th, 2005 when they both established a precedent in Venezuela by performing the first pediatric liver transplant with a 100% success. They began a program that has served to this date to hundreds of patients who have gained a new chance in life thanks to this program.

Thanks to the experience obtained in Venezuela in 15 years of activity, the bases were established so that in the year 2011 Fundahigado America was officially created, in order to replicate the program in other countries of the region, we have now had approaches with a number of countries such as Peru, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic who have expressed their desire to install the program, and conversations are being made between government agencies, hospital centers and local medical authorities for that purpose.

350 +

cases attended

125 +

trained professionals

50 +

offices around the world

340 +

donations

Our team

Pedro Rivas Vetencourt

President

Tomoaki Kato

Vice-President

Maria Corbo

Board Member

Philip Bowman

Board Member

Kristie Pellechia

Board Member

Colleen O´Donnell

Board Member

Marco Monroy

Board Member

Carolina Herrera

Board Member

Juan Carlos Velasquez Lopez

Board Member

Elizabeth Verna

Board Member

Mercedes Martínez

Board Member

Jackie Fuller

Board Member

Objectives

Fundahigado America Foundation focuses on initiating successful pediatric transplant programs in Latin American countries. The Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable and scientific purposes. It promotes efforts to train healthcare professionals in areas of America where this option does not exist currently, in order to help provide medical treatment for liver diseases including liver transplantation.

  1. Fundahigado America constitutes a non-profit organization with the primary purpose of training health care professionals from countries of Central America, South America and the Caribbean, where the option of pediatric liver transplantation is not currently available.
  2. The foundation also seeks to provide advice on the identification of hospitals suitable for implementing a complex program such as transplantation.
  3. It will assist and guide the process of forming multidisciplinary teams to care, evaluate and follow up on the patients, facilitating protocol evaluation and management to ensure the success of this medical therapy.death at early age, bringing devastating consequence to the family structure.  Fortunately liver transplantation can cure these children from liver disease.

 

Foundation Activities

Our program focuses on two main objectives:

Making access to liver transplantation possible in pediatric liver patients in targeted countries for this phase such as Peru, Guatemala and Dominican Republic

Improve the care, treatment and control of pediatric patients suffering from liver disease that do not need liver transplantation

The implementation of this program has 4 factors which address key aspects that determine its success.

Component 1: Action Plan Development

a) Engaging national governments:

In FundaHigado America we establish a direct relationship with the local authorities in the countries that are part of the Foundation´s scope of action.

b) Identifying partner institutions:

We advise hospital institutions that are selected to install the program, in the purchase of surgical medical equipment, as well as in the improvement of infrastructure and facilities.

c) Vetting health care professionals and staff:

We select specialists who can become potential participants of the liver transplantation educational and training program

Component 2: Implementation of training program

The local medical training process is intended to function in a mixed way. The local medical staff will receive both in-class given by our team as well as on-line lessons.

Our team will visit each country where the program is installed. This time will be invested in face to face training with the local medical staff.

Our medical staff team selected for the program will be able to travel to witness liver transplant procedures as observers in other countries.

Offering low to no cost pediatric LT: The multiple visits of our team, necessary for the development of the training program, serve as an opportunity for the foundation's physicians to perform pediatric liver transplants to patients in the institutions where the training is taking place.

Component 3: Installing local fundraising chapters

In order to secure the sustainability of our training activities and mitigate any government budget shortfalls, we will build local fundraising chapters in each of the countries.

Identifying and engaging local leaders: While carrying out in-country trainings, we will also meet with local stakeholders who are interested in supporting pediatric LT.

Setting up local chapters: we will work with and provide assistance to identified stakeholders to set up fundraising campaigns or formal non-profits to keep and access donors.

Component 4: Project management (36 months duration)

Counseling local institutions and staff: Our staff will also be available to local institutions and medical and staff for counseling and follow-up.

Monitoring, evaluating, and learning: As part of project management activities, FHA will also carry out monitoring and evaluation activities to request feedback on the program to ensure that procedures are being carried out according to the outlined manual of procedures.

Supporting logistics requirements: Our staff will provide logistics support to help organize travel related to trainings as well as other requirements for the successful implementation of the training program.

 

HELP CHILDREN IN NEED OF A LIVER TRANSPLANT