Northwestern doctors and nurses are helping more than 100 women in the Philippines

CHICAGO — A life-changing medical mission trip to the Philippines has positively changed the lives of more than 100 women with a variety of reproductive health conditions.

A group of surgeons and nurses at Prentice Northwestern Medical Women’s Hospital were in the spotlight Friday afternoon for an upcoming article about their recent trip to Salcedo, Philippines.

The team spent two weeks in the countryside performing vital surgeries and procedures.

Dr. Princessa Urbino, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Northwestern Medicine, said the team saw more than 150 clinical patients and performed 39 surgeries.

“It’s just a great feeling to give back and be able to share my gift,” said Agnes Teodora, surgical clinical coordinator for gynecology.

Several patients traveled more than eight hours to see a team of doctors at Salcedo Hospital.

“As soon as they walked into the OR, they were just grateful and appreciative that we were there,” said Melanie Silas, an operating room nurse. “I really think they appreciated it. Obviously, we’re glad we were there.”

To complete their work, the team brought almost all of their surgical equipment and made history by performing the first island-wide laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Despite their service, they said their gifts did not compare to what they received.

All patients between the ages of 19 and 72 have been discharged from the hospital. Wi-Fi is not available to the women, who were able to connect with telehealth doctors and nurses through Facebook Messenger.

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“I just want to thank the women for trusting us and allowing us to achieve personal achievements on this trip,” Urbina said. “It was really satisfying for me.”

The group said they hope to make another trip to the Philippines and hope to encourage others to do the same.

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