Richard Peller, MD, Susan Peller, CNP, and Cathy Davis, MD, of Mankato Clinic are being recognized as Community Caregivers in the June issue of Minnesota Physician magazine. The Pellers and Cathy Davis provide free medical care to people living in remote areas of Guatemala and Mexico through Minnesota Doctors for People, a nonprofit co-founded by Susan Peller in 2006.
Since then, the organization has completed more than 25 medical mission trips. With the help of roughly 200 volunteers, they have traveled to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, and Chiapas, Mexico, where they have served the medical needs of over 12,000 people.
With a team of eight-12 volunteers, they set up primary care clinics in remote villages in these regions. For many people, this pop-up clinic may be the only chance they have to see a doctor all year. They do not have access to hospitals. In 2018, the organization coordinated three week-long medical mission trips.
In April 2018, Davis and Susan Peller led a team to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. With their team, they treated 50-65 patients a day in clinic and made several house calls. Health conditions include coughs, colds, rashes, obstetrical issues and malnutrition. Chronic pain is also prevalent due to the physical work the Highland Maya people do. In November 2018, the Pellers returned to serve.
In February 2018, Richard Peller served in Chiapas, Mexico. The team traveled across the region to set up primary care clinics where they treated 40-60 patients daily. They also taught patients ways to prevent dehydration when working outside on hot days. Mankato Clinic physical therapist Megan Linder, PT, DPT, joined this trip and demonstrated ways to relieve and prevent chronic neck and back pain.