Countries served

Guatemala, 1998-present

Guatemala flag

Guatemala was our first GEMINI country. There have been almost a dozen GEMINI trips to Guatemala over the years, and the work done there has made substantial differences in the quality of health care provided and the level of emergency medicine available to the people. 

Westborough Rotarian Jorge Yarzebski teaching from a podium in Guatemala in 2006

We have also greatly improved providers' ability to respond to natural disasters. We returned in 2013 to present the Stabilization Post Reanimation/Pre-Neonatal Transport (STABLE) Program to firefighters, medical students, and pediatric residents in Quetzaltenango. Find out more about the project by downloading the report. 

The North End Health Center in Boston donated dental chairs and dentist/dental assistant chairs to us in 2015 so we could give them to a Rotary club in Guatemala. The Guatemala club has opened a dental clinic that provides care to children for free during the school day, and to adults after hours for a small fee.

Guyana, February 2012

Guyana flag

The focus of GEMINI's February 2012 training in Guyana was the Georgetown Public Hospital, where 16 nurses received Certificates of Competence in the project's first phase. Nine additional participants represented Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital, Davis Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital and the Guyana Red Cross Society. 
Gemini class in Guyana

'Train the trainer' instruction was accompanied by equipment and supplies, including defibrillators, bandages, and collars, all of which will be used in future training. Major topics were splinting, bandaging, bagging, the use of EMT equipment, transporting patients and First Aid/CPR.

All students were given a GEMINI-produced electronic resource kit on a flash drive that included instructional materials, and links to global EMS resources and organizations.

Project outcomes in Guyana included:
  • EMT skills were now widely disbursed in Guyana (67 nurses)
  • Nurses are competent to teach the course
  • 2 Hospitals in addition to Georgetown Public Hospital are upgrading their ambulance services and are using project trained staff.
  • One of Guyanan Trainers will be hosted in Maine for several days by a US factulty member
  • A gift of 300 medical medical books from UMASS to Guyana

Armenia, 2008

Armenia flag

A GEMINI team delivered two new Russian ambulances to St Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center in 2008 to transport patients from the countryside to the capital for treatment. A $40,000 grant was obtained from Rotary International through the matching grant program. This matching grant was sponsored by the Franklin Rotary Club and co-sponsored by Westborough and Littleton. 

Ambulance that was delivered to Armenia

During this trip relationships were strengthened with the Yerevan Rotary Club and discussions began on partnering with the country's Medical School in further GEMINI training. We are also working to help form an additional Rotary Club in Armenia.  

Dominican Republic, 2000-2010

Dominican Republic flag

GEMINI has had an ongoing program to teach emergency medicine in the Dominican Republic since 2000. The most recent trip, in 2010, included 5 physicians, 2 nurses and 3 Rotarians from UMass/Memorial Medical Center. The team conducted classes in two locations – La Vega and La Ramona.

This was the final trip of a matching grant project that began in 2006. Although the matching grant ended in 2008, we returned on this trip to further advance our Dominican Medical School partner’s goal to become a teaching center for Advanced Cardiac Life Support. We brought additional teaching equipment with us to replace what had been worn out by 4 years of use by our teams and the medical school’s classes. The students received their American Heart Association manuals to prepare for the classes and had a passing rate of over 90%. 

Nicaragua 2006-2013

Nicaragua flag

Under the guidance of Mick Godkin, Ph.D, of the Rotary Club of Westborough, a $15,000 Matching Grant with the Rotary Club of Leon, Nicaragua allowed GEMINI to deliver equipment and training over 5 days at the Autonomous University of Nicaragua’s Faculty of Medical Sciences in Leon (UNAN-Leon) and at its teaching hospital. The trainers were all American Heart Association-certified trainers and consisted of 3 trainers from UMass: Mariah McNamara MD; Westborough Rotarian Jorge Yarzebski Jr., NREMTP; and Roy Clifford, NP; along with 2 trainers from Mexico and 1 from Texas. 

Twenty physicians and one UNAN medical student were trained in Basic Life Support and ACLS and all 21 passed the American Heart Association test to become certified in BLS; 17 of the 21 passed the ACLS test and were certified. Fourteen of the 17 then completed a course to become certified trainers.

Rotarian Mick Godkin with medical students from Nicaragua
Rotarian Mick Godkin, left, with Alina Baldizon and Karen Munguia, 5th year medical students from Nicaragua.The photo was taken at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Westborough on September 19, 2012.

Honduras, 2003

Honduras flag

This 3-H (Health, Hunger, Humanity) project established community-selected health goals, utilizing elected public health committees in over 140 communities (about 165,000 people) in the lower to middle Rio Aguan Valley area of
Honduras; an area halfway down Honduras on the Caribbean Sea. The health committees were
trained in disease prevention, and obtained
equipment to:
a) provide potable chlorinated drinking
water for each community;
b) provide sanitary facilities for each
community; and
c) control, treat, and develop educational
programs to fight malaria and dengue.

Project GEMINI also trained over 2,000
Honduran people in emergency medical

Project Summary (PDF, 1 page)
Power Point slides of the trip