Dr. George Takes Advanced Laparoscopy
to the Eastern Caribbean
On August 1-8, 2008, John P.A. George M.D. former
bank teller and assistant manager at the Royal Bank of Canada in Grenada
now Director of Gynecologic Endoscopy at the Washington Hospital Center
will lead a team to teach gynecologists while treating patients with
gynecologic problems in St. Lucia.
The idea of doing such a project
evolved a few years ago when he proposed a similar mission for his
homeland, Grenada. For reasons that are unclear, the offer was not
pursued by the host country. Dr. George who is a graduate of the Grenada
Boys Secondary School and the Howard University College of Medicine is a
pioneer in laparoscopy in the Washington area and has been performing
these techniques since 1988. Close to 95% of his gynecologic operations
are performed in this manner. He lectures locally regionally and
internationally on the topic and treats patients from North America, the
Caribbean and as far as Africa. His work was recently cited in a
In January, 2008 while participating in the Howard
University Hospital Medical Association Annual Scientific Symposium in
St. Kitts, his colleague Dr. Hector Collison suggested that he contact
Dr. Trona Bennett in St. Lucia for the purpose of helping to develop a
Laparoscopy program. Dr. Collison had assisted in promoting cardiology
services on the Island and was aware of some of their other medical
needs. As if guided by a mystical force, Dr. Collison persisted in
having Dr. George contact Dr. Bennett. Soon thereafter Dr. Collison and
his son were tragically killed when his private aircraft crashed in
Virginia. Dr. George has undertaken the project in memory of his friend
and colleague Dr. Collison.
Photo: The occasion at lunch in St. Kitts
when Dr. Collison (left) and Dr. George (right), introduced the idea of
Dr. George contacting Dr. Bennett.
Dr. George hopes that by training gynecologists and
other surgeons in advanced laparoscopy the modality will be made
available to patients in St. Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean.
Dr. George, the surgeon, will be accompanied by a
team of three individuals who regularly assist him with laparoscopic
surgery. They are Ms. Barbara Jackson, nurse, Mr. Tyronne Crawford,
certified operating room surgical technician and Mr. David Vandygriff, a
biomedical engineer with the Stryker Corporation. They will participate
in lectures, surgery and workshops to introduce and assist the St. Lucia
surgeons in adopting the techniques that are hoped to ultimately benefit
physicians and patients from the region.
Photo: Three members of the team
(left to right), Tyronne, Barbara and Dr. George at the Washington
Hospital Center (David Vandygriff's picture is not
In order to achieve the project goals, Dr. George
has assembled and shipped an extensive array of laparoscopic equipment,
instruments and supplies that will aid in managing gynecologic problems
such as fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and various gynecologic
ailments formerly treated by a large abdominal incision and a lengthy
hospitalization and recovery at home. In many cases, patients having
laparoscopy for procedures like hysterectomy can return home the same
day with small incisions covered by band-aids. They may then return to
normal activity in two weeks.
The project is supported by The
Washington Hospital Center, the largest
hospital in Washington, DC, and the
Pan American Health and Education Foundation.
Ethicon Endo Surgery Inc,
Ethicon Inc. and the
Stryker Corporation have provided
material support without which the project would not be possible. Dr.
George would also like to acknowledge the support of Sir George Alleyne,
Director Emeritus of the
Pan American Health Organization, (PAHO).
The team is donating their time and services towards the project.
Participants and Patients:
Dr. Trona Bennett well known St. Lucia gynecologist
has invited gynecologists and other interested surgeons to participate
in the project that will run for one week. She will also select the
patients for care.
“I foresee the day” Dr. George says, “when patients
will travel to St. Lucia from the Eastern Caribbean and even as far away
as North America to receive quality, cost-effective laparoscopic
surgical care." The first such patient may well be traveling from
Grenada! It will be necessary, however to revisit the Island to provide
ongoing stimulation and support for a modality that can perish if not
Article published on
Grenada Broadcast - July 27,
To August 10, 2008 Updates:
St. Lucia Agenda
St. Lucia more photos Phase I
St. Lucia Laparoscopic Surgery Video
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