Cardiac services are advancing in El Salvador thanks to the delivery of a cardiac catheterization laboratory to the Pro-Familia Hospital in San Salvador.  

Until now, cardiac teams at the hospital have relied mainly on an echocardiography laboratory installed in 2017, which to date has scanned over 1,500 underserved patients in need of cardiac diagnoses.  With support from the International Medical Outreach Program (IMO), Pro-Familia hospital will now be equipped with a cardiac catheterization laboratory, which will allow medical teams to not only further diagnose patients, but also offer minimally invasive treatment to patients with coronary diseases.

Pro-Familia Hospital is a 46-bed facility and administers a range of medical services at a significantly reduced costs and free care to those in greatest need.  It works with and accepts patients from the national public hospitals, including the Rosales Hospital and Benjamin Bloom Pediatric Hospital, who lack adequate medical equipment, particularly cardiac testing and treatment capabilities.

El Salvador is a small Central American country facing the Pacific Ocean with a population of 6.3 million people.  Because of its small size, smaller than the state of Massachusetts, it is affectionately called the “Tom Thumb of the Americas” and known as the land of volcanos, – 23 in total.  The average income in El Salvador is approximately $350 per month.

Dr. John Cedarholm led a cardiology and engineering team the week prior to the opening to conduct education and training session with the local providers.

IMO is a collaborative partnership between Atrium Health and Heineman Medical Outreach, Inc.  The cardiac catheterization laboratory was dedicated in honor of Dan Wheeler and his son, Andy Wheeler, who supported its technical installation, as well as many other cardiac catheterization laboratories IMO has donated throughout Central America.  The inauguration was held on February 21, 2019, and in attendance were the Ministry of Health, local government dignitaries, and officials from Pro-Familia, Atrium Health and Heineman Medical Outreach. The unit was officially put into operation the end of April.

Our profound thanks to Atrium Health, Chiquita Brands International, GE / Promed, Marand Builders and Transtate / Avante Health Solutions, for shipping, installation and educational support.