WHITIA Announces the Completion of Digital X-ray Pilot Sites in Urban and Rural Guatemala

Social Venture Plans to add Telemedicine, Additional Digital X-Ray Sites

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WHITIA, a global non-profit social venture focused on bringing affordable healthcare technologies to medical facilities in limited-resource areas, today announced that it has completed two digital X-ray pilot site installations in Guatemala. The organization said that these sites will serve as the model for both urban and rural installations throughout the country.

“We would like to thank our partners, funders and all of the individuals who worked with us to successfully complete these installations,” said Ivy Walker, WHITIA’s CEO. “Many thousands of individuals in urban Guatemala City and rural Rio Hondo now have access to an important, essential healthcare technology through their community medical providers. This technology will be used to significantly improve the delivery of care in the communities served by these medical facilities. We look forward to helping these sites continue to improve their ability to provide quality medical care through the addition of telemedicine. We also look forward to using these sites as models for additional installations.”

The digital X-ray installation at Salud y Bienestar Clinica Municipal in Guatemala City involved the participation of several of WHITIA’s partners including Merge Healthcare which provided the PACS and image management software, Sedecal which provided the digital X-ray system, Carestream Health which donated the computed radiography system (CR) and Kane X-ray which donated personnel to perform the CR and PACS installations.

“Digital imaging is an essential aspect of delivering quality health care,” said Merge Healthcare CEO Jeff Surges. “This project provided Merge with an opportunity to help an underserved community and to make a measurable difference in the lives of those who need it most.”

“We are thrilled to see the direct impact that our participation has made,” added Manuel Martinez, Sedecal CEO. “This was an exciting opportunity to improve healthcare delivery for Salud y Bienestar and Sedecal is glad to have been able to contribute to the project.”

"We are very happy to bring reliable, high-quality digital diagnostic imaging to Guatemala City and Rio Hondo," said Kevin Hobert, CEO, Carestream Health. “Local access to imaging services will provide higher quality, more convenient and lower cost healthcare to the people of Guatemala."

The Salud y Bienestar project was funded by several Rotary clubs including the local Guatemala Sur Rotary Club and several Rotary clubs located in the Chicago area. The involved US Rotary Clubs included the Rotary Clubs of Arlington Heights Sunrise, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mundelein-Vernon Hills, Mt. Prospect Sunrise, and Park Ridge. “Rotary is committed to helping improve the health of people in need all over the world,” said Bruce Baumberger, District Governor of Rotary District 6440. “Our partnership with WHITIA has provided a great opportunity for local Rotarians to make a difference -- and we are excited to see how digital X-ray will improve the quality of life of patients in Guatemala.”

The installation at Dr. Gustavo Casteneda Palacios Hospitalito in rural Rio Hondo, Guatemala involved providing digital capabilities for an existing portable X-ray system. The hospital, located nearly 80 miles from Guatemala City, was recently able to host a team of volunteer orthopedic surgeons as a result of the new digital X-ray capabilities.

“It would not have been possible to host the medical mission group without the digital X-ray,” said Ana Fratti, co-Founder of the hospital. “We sincerely thank the team that worked on this and made our dream possible. We are so excited to have our first digital X-ray system.”

“Working on these installations was truly a phenomenal experience for our team at Kane X-ray,” said Jake Thompson, Kane X-ray President and CEO. “We learned a lot and look forward to bringing more of these installations to medical facilities throughout Guatemala.”


WHITIA is a non-profit social venture working to improve the health of people living in poor areas by helping limited resource medical facilities gain access to affordable essential healthcare technologies such as digital imaging and telemedicine solutions. WHITIA does this by building relationships with key stakeholders including local health authorities, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions, and the healthcare technology industry and by collaborating on the development and sustainable deployment of these technologies. For more information please visit www.whitia.org


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