Our Mission Trips
For the past several years, Neurotech, LLC employees have volunteered their time and talents to those in need, both in the United States and around the world. We are blessed to have had so many employees that sacrificed their paid time off attend a trip where they were able to provide valuable training, equipment, and support.
by Sedalia C.
Ghanahas more than 30 million citizens and only two neurologists to serve them. Infrastructure, cultural beliefs, and transportationlimitations are only a few of the restrictions to providing healthcare in this part of the world. EEGs are recorded out of two hospitals in the country, each of which have separate adult and pediatric EEG labs. All the EEG machines are stationary, so ICU patients cannot receive EEG service at this time.
There are currently 9 employees in the entire country who had some training in recording EEGs. Most of them are nurses who have cross-trained, only two are devoted EEG Technologists. I went to Ghana to provide whatever training and quality improvement possible. Only two of the employees were measuring and recording impedances. However, although they recorded the values, they didn’t attempt to improve them or understand what they meant. Every old recording I reviewed was full of artifact: mostly cancellation and sweat artifact. The employees would smear the Nuprep and 10-20 around each electrode. The rooms were around 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Five days later, every employee had successfully completed measuring independently. They paired up and practiced hooking up and recording EEGs on patients. They learned about application techniques, impedance, filter settings, recording practices, history taking, and the basics of EEG interpretation. These final recordings had great impedances and almost no artifact. They were interpretable studies whereas many of the previous were not.
by Edrose H.
Our trip to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in April 2019 was roughly around 26 hours of travel one-way but well worth it. Keith Morgan has been working with Dr. Edward Kija and his EEG team for the past year remotely, so it was very exciting to be part of the first trip to their lab. We were welcomed by the 90-degree weather and the warm greetings of everyone there. The four techs at Muhimbili Hospital were all motivated to improve their skills and eager to learn more of what we had to offer.
Our training goals for the EEG techs consisted of proper 10/20 measurement and application, wearing gloves and sterilizing equipment rather than just cleaning it with soap and water, performing EEGs on children without sedation, and writing a good patient history and taking notes during the recording. Although being equipped with five EEG machines, they all were donated from different companies and organizations making it a little more difficult on the techs and neurologists since the machines all worked slightly different. We wanted to ensure they understood how each machine worked and how to properly start and end a recording.
To further combat these obstacles, we were fortunate enough to install Persyst on the reading computer along with downloading TeamViewer on all unit laptops to ensure a means of communication for any technical assistance and remote education.
Immersing in a different culture is always fun but having a mutual appreciation and excitement toward neurodiagnostics made it so much better. The excellent seafood selection, vibrant colors of fabric, and amazing view of water and beach were just added perks when we were done with work at the hospital. I am very grateful to have gone on this trip and am excited to continue working with these individuals and look forward to the next trip!
by Chris B.
Moringa, chihuahuas, tortillas, and dirt. The laughter of playing kids. The constant quacking of a roaming duck squad. The Spanish orders yelled in a stern-yet-loving voice. Those are the things that stick out in my mind when I think about Laredo. Then there’s the stuff just below the initial wave of memories. The stables. Angel’s missing shoes. The smell and the buzzing flies. The single dark, square room that an entire family calls home. The dread that drops your stomach when you realize that this is a person’s life every single day. The sight of someone you respect and admire with tears in their eyes, so overcome by the sadness of it all that they are unable to even speak. It is those two sides together that made the Laredo trip what it was for me.
From October 18th to the 21st, a team of five Neurotech employees worked in the service of Pastors Lucy and Luis DeLeon and New Vision Church of Laredo. Lucy and Luis are Guatemalan immigrants who were called away from their six-figure, suburban Chicago lives to serve the people of Laredo, TX. They founded a church which provides the community with job/volunteer opportunities, religious works, and charitable programs to help ease the struggles of life on the border. Their missions include a restaurant inside the church called Mana Kitchen, as well as the Ein Gedi Ranch outside of Laredo which serves as a community center and small farm.
The team of Amy Willaert, Lance Morgan, Michael Conolly, Angela Gripentrog, and me (Chris Blank) basically did anything Lucy asked of us. Largely it was the preparing and distribution of food at various locations to needy families and the elderly. Our main project was two-fold: the guys constructed and placed five raised beds to hold plants on the ranch, while the girls planted rows upon rows of moringa plants. The work was hard, but unquestionably fulfilling. I don’t think anyone down there informed the sun that it was almost November, because we were out in cloud-less skies with 80 or 90-degree temperatures.
There is so much more I can say about Laredo, but I will leave it here. Thank you to the DeLeons, Randy Shaw, and Neurotech Gives for allowing us to take part in this experience.
by Keith M.
I’m not exactly sure what to say about the mission trip that Magdalena, Neurotech’s Director of EEG Services, and I went on. I will try to describe it as best as I can from my point of view. For those of you who are unaware I am a Christian and I know God called me to have this experience in my life. About 2 years ago, I made the decision that this business I own, Neurotech, is not mine, but God’s. I believe he has blessed me with it and I’m his steward of Neurotech. I believe being a steward can be accomplished in countless ways, such as in medical missions. I pray we at Neurotech are consciously reminded that our mission is “Transforming lives through EEGs.” On this mission to Haiti it may have been my life that was transformed more than anyone else’s. I have been on a roller coaster ride of emotions, thoughts and experiences since March 9th when our trip first began.
This trip has been in the making since October of 2016 with my friend and mentor in missions Dr. Greg Lipscomb. Thanks to Greg our medical team served over 200 Haitians many who have never even seen a doctor or dentist before. We arrived with a mission team of 14 people. This team consisted of a Primary Care Physician, Pediatrician Physician, Nurse Practitioner, RN, Chiropractor, Pharmacist, Neurologist, Dentist, two EEG Technologists and four evangelical worship leaders. We went to serve the Children’s Hope Mission which is sponsored by The First Baptist Church of Alabama. I believe 10 of the people on this trip came from this church. Children’s Hope Mission is located in Jacmel, Haiti and it helps Haitians in many ways including an orphanage, eight churches, eight schools and a medical clinic to name a few.