Welcome to the Memphis Mission of Mercy blog! My name is Nia Zalamea and welcome to our humble abode. My family began a mission group (Memphis Mission of Mercy) in 2001 with the primary purpose of giving back to our country of origin. I myself was born in the US but my parents both immigrated from the Philippines as nurses in 1973 and 74. I was in college at Uva when my father first went on a solo mission trip to teach anesthesia in Guyana. As a CRNA he had many a conversation afterwards about the idea of going back to the Philippines to do similar but more service oriented work. With the help and volunteerism of friends and a particular ENT physician, John Hodges, Memphis Mission of Mercy began.
Since then, my parents have organized annual and sometimes biannual (slightly nuts) short-term medical and surgical missions to needy areas of the Philippines. We typically respond to areas of need via personal referrals and friends/family who are from that area. This has led us to serve small mountain towns as well as poor areas of major cities. For the past few years we have been on a journey of delayed disaster response. For example, after Typhoon Pablo, we sent immediate aid to the City of Tagum and surrounding areas and afterwards, followed up with a medical and surgical mission to the victims of that disaster.
This work has always been and continues to be a labor of love and family. I myself have had the blessing of joining initially as a college and then medical student. Now I am able to participate fully as a providing General Surgeon. This work is why I went into not only medicine, but General Surgery in particular.
I hope you find our stories inspiring, motivating and empowering. Mission work isn’t for everyone, and I am not sure it makes us better surgeons. But, I do believe this work makes us not only better physicians, but better people.
While this work stems from a place of faith and values for me and my family, we are always open to working with and serving people of all faiths. We do believe faith is foundational to healing.
So…take a gander, please comment and share your own stories. If you would like to join us sometime, let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, continue the good work you do!