ABOUT PETEN HEALTH
PETEN HEALTH is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded to support the community-based, rural health care program in Peten, Guatemala. This program, in which community members receive the training and equipment necessary to address remote villages health needs, has been steadily growing since 2002. Motivated by a nearly complete lack of medical services in the area, the program now has over 40 fully trained community health workers and serves an area populated by 60,000 rural Guatemalans.
Community health workers supported by PETEN HEALTH volunteer to participate in a 3-year training program, in which they learn to diagnose and treat a multitude of health problems. When fully trained, they are able to help with infectious diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia, chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes, and emergencies such as lacerations and snake bites. Their work provides affordable, local care, and helps their neighbors avoid long, costly journeys in search of medical services.
The immediate goal of PETEN HEALTH is to establish a permanent clinic, including classrooms and dormitories, for the community health workers, many of whom travel long distances to be trained. Recent local developments have caused the clinic to have to relocate to a temporary facility. Working together with supporters and donors from all over the world, we are planning on opening our new facility in 2022.
Who we are
KATE FEIBUSCH, MD, MPH is a family physician who lived and worked in Guatemala training community health workers for 12 years. She now works at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa, California and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Touro University. She has two daughters, both of whom were born in Guatemala.
KATHRYN CIRKSENA, Ph.D. retired as a research manager from Kaiser Permanente, following a 20 year career in teaching and research in communication. Since Peten Health's inception, Kathy has worked on communications like the website and newsletter. She joined the board in October of 2018.
Bringing medicines to the village
KELLY PFEIFER, MD recently joined the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) as the deputy director of mental health and substance use disorder services. She has long been a supporter of the community health workers in Peten.