Genesis Mission Scholarship Recipient Plans Trip To Native Peru
Miluska Kendall had a hard time standing still when Genesis President and CEO Doug Cropper phoned her to deliver the news: She had been selected to receive the first-ever Genesis Mission Scholarship.
“He couldn’t see me, but I was jumping up and down,” Kendall said. “My husband asked me, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘I’m getting the scholarship!’ It was so exciting.”
Kendall also won’t be standing still come July, when she joins a Medical Ministry International mission trip to Arequipa, Peru. The two-week trip, from July 6-22, will be filled with long days providing medical services to impoverished residents of that country’s second largest city, located in the Andes Mountains 475 miles southeast of Lima.
Kendall, an Environmental Services Aide at Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street, was selected for the scholarship from among 16 applicants across the health system. The scholarship was awarded at the conclusion of Genesis Mission Month, observed in May to celebrate and re-commit staff to the Genesis mission of providing “compassionate, quality health services to all those in need.”
“We are all very excited about this new mission opportunity for our employees,” said the Rev. Becky David, Director of Spiritual Care for Genesis and Mission Officer. “The selection committee feels very confident that Miluska will not only represent herself and Genesis very well in Peru, but that her story will inspire even more of us to get involved in mission work in the coming year.”
The trip will have special meaning for Kendall, giving her an opportunity to assist the less fortunate in her native Peru. Kendall, who grew up in Lima, attended college in Peru. She earned a degree in industrial management and worked as operations supervisor of a gold processing facility for four years. She came to the U.S. nine years ago after marrying a man from Davenport.
Kendall has been to Arequipa, which has a population of more than 800,000, once before. Though she has seen only a little bit of the city, she knows what to expect.
“The people we’re going to treat are very poor, but super nice,” Kendall said. “I know they’ll appreciate everything we’ll be doing.”
The trip will be led by Joe Lohmuller, M.D., Vice President, Medical Staff Affairs, Genesis Medical Center, Davenport. Dr. Lohmuller, who also is with Davenport Surgical Group, has been traveling to Arequipa for 10 years, where he and a team of other Genesis professionals provide care, equipment and technology to patients at Hospital Goyeneche.
“The hospital is a little like going back in time 70 years. The medical resources are very fundamental,” Dr. Lohmuller said. “There are many heart-warming stories of patients who have been afflicted with surgical problems for as long as 30, 40, even 50 years. We provide a life-changing surgery they’ve never been able to afford, and they’re free of pain from gallstones, kidney stones, gynecological problems.”
Because she knows the native dialect, Kendall will be able to assist with translation, making sure patients and their families understand the care being provided. Kendall, who last year completed training as a pharmacy technician, also will help dispense medications.
“I’ll be there to translate for the patients and assist in the pharmacy,” Kendall said. “That will be my main job. But whatever is needed, I’ll help.”
Kendall still has two brothers in Peru and a short break in the middle of the trip may give her an opportunity to see them briefly. She has been back to Lima several times, scrimping and saving to pay for the flights, and taking toys, clothes and shoes to give to children who live in poor areas of the city. It’s one way she lives the Genesis mission.
“I always like to help. When I heard about the opportunity for this trip, I said, ‘I want to do it,’“ said Kendall, who will mark four years on the job in October. “I’m so happy to be able to take this trip, and thankful to Genesis for providing the financial support to do it.”