“Voluntourism” – Hearts to Serve

by: Kevin Broyles

Tony Galiani and Mira Gloss are examples of those with a heart to serve.  Both of them have worked with Kevin within the Duke Health System for many years.  They have not only been colleagues, but friends. Tony and Mira wanted to see what HOPE worldwide – Bolivia was doing here in La Paz and wanted to help.  They have taken a week of their vacation time and have come to Bolivia to serve and work with us at Hospital Arco Iris (HAI) and the orphanages (Foundation Arco Iris).  They didn’t come alone but brought with them generous personal donations for the orphans – coloring books, crayons, hair bands, finger nail polish, etc. These gifts are treasures to the orphans who have so little. Because of such limited resources the orphans’ “needs” are barely met at times and their “wants” are hardly ever met.  Mira has volunteered her time to work with Noelle in the orphanage, as well as, served as our unofficial photographer for our work this week.

Tony and Mira

Tony has worked with Kevin for over 10 years at Duke in developing successful ambulatory walk-in, primary and specialty care clinics all over the Triangle Area, North Carolina. Tony’s expertise in clinic operations, medical facility space design and practice efficiency have been put to work this week as he and Kevin have worked together to strategize the building of the first walk-in and private medical office within a shopping mall in Bolivia.  The goal of this medical office is to provide affordable care in a facility that offers lab, x-ray and pharmacy (rare in Bolivia) with an additional goal of generating resources to support the mission and vision of Hospital and Foundation Arco Iris in serving the poor. As the needs as well as the cost of health care continue to rise Arco Iris must find innovative ways to support the provision of health care to the underprivileged. Kevin truly enjoyed working with Tony this week. And because of their generous and sacrificial hearts, Tony and Mira, are creating vacation memories as “voluntourists” that they will never forget as they gave and served in La Paz!

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