New York, NY
6/27/2014

A Promise to Peru Provides Medical and Surgical Care to Rural Peru

A Promise to Peru, Inc. announces their return to Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The annual cataract surgical and medical mission commences today through July 12th, with a team of volunteers consisting of: physicians, health related professionals and support staff from across the U.S.; along with Stony Brook School of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson medical students and SUNY optometry students. As well as, graduate students from various disciplines such as pharmacology and public health. Upon their arrival, the team will set up a full service eye clinic and a portable operating room by converting a basic room into a medical facility designated for use by the Peruvian Ministry of Health.

JetBlue has generously provided the air transportation for 45 out of the 55 participants from Boston, New York and Chicago to Lima, Peru. As a result of JetBlue’s commitment to this project, the transport of the medical and surgical equipment, instruments, medications and supplies has also been included. “This mission is another great example of our longstanding partnership with Airlink, a non-profit organization that connects NGOs (non-profit organizations) with airlines,” said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue Airways, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility. “This effort will help a medical team provide much-needed care in a previously underserved area.  We felt it was important to contribute to these efforts.”

The two-week mission will entail cataract surgery, treatment of common eye diseases, and provision of eyeglasses. Patients with complicated medical conditions will be provided with scheduled sub-specialty medical clinics. The same quality medical services provided at this base camp will be available to remote villages high in the Andes Mountains throughout the second week. “This year’s goal is to perform 100 cataract surgeries doubling last year’s total and evaluating over 700 patients,” commented Debra Messina, M.D. “We greatly appreciate the support we’ve received from JetBlue and Airlink and their assistance with getting us back to Peru.”

A Promise to Peru’s physicians have established a lecture series to aid the local Peruvian physicians and health care professionals on medical topics affecting the local population. They have also initiated public health research working with the Stony Brook University Program in Public Health and the Peruvian Ministry of Health which examines the impact that cataract surgery will have on the quality of life of the people in this area of Peru. Their medical and public health students are presenting the organization’s research at conferences at Harvard, Yale and Stony Brook Universities this year.

About A Promise to Peru, Inc.

Founded in 2011, A Promise to Peru has delivered much needed cataract surgery and medical care to almost 7,000 residents of remote Peruvian villages, many of them now with restored vision, some even enjoying normal eyesight for the first time ever. Whether it is through a site restoring surgery or administering one of the pairs of 4,000 pairs of glasses that have been given thus far, it is our mission to continue to provide these life-enhancing services and to expand our reach throughout South America. These missions are designed to make a meaningful difference not just in the lives of the patients served, but for those volunteering as well. All members of the mission gain the satisfaction of providing modern surgical and medical services to those less fortunate. The students among the team gain invaluable knowledge and experience from the physicians they are assisting, nurturing their own capacity for empathy and compassion that will enable them to become successful leaders in the future.  For more information please visit www.apromisetoperu.org.

About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is a leading carrier in New York, Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries 30 million customers a year to 85 cities in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America with an average of 825 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. New service to Hyannis, Mass. begins June 26, 2014. For more information please visit JetBlue.com

About AIRLINK

Airlink connects commercial airlines and humanitarian aid organizations for air and cargo transportation. Through the Airlink program, we assist disaster response teams with timely mobilization to affected areas. Our program helps disaster victims receive delivery of necessary relief, supplies and the support that ultimately will help them rebuild their lives.Our reach is global; our air transportation network is constantly expanding as crisis, natural disasters, etc. are on the rise around the world.
 
Airlink has supported humanitarian initiatives on every continent, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the refugee crisis in Syria, regions in Arkansas and Oklahoma destroyed after tornados, Hurricane Sandy, the Japan tsunami and the earthquakes in Haiti and in Turkey. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink’s airline partners have flown approximately 3,300 passengers and transported over 800,000 pounds of cargo, equating to almost $1,500,000 in donated transportation.  
 
The program depends on volunteers from the aviation community and new volunteers are always welcome. For more information, please visit www.airlinkflight.org. Go to the AIRLINK Partners page to view a current list of Airline and NGO Participants. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.