In the News

Cedars-Sinai physician works locally at Huntington Health, acts globally to provide care

Cedars-Sinai physician works locally at Huntington Health, acts globally to provide care
Jun 21 2024

Pasadena otolaryngologist, Karen Linnea Peterson, MD, FACS, with Huntington Health, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai, recently traveled to Guatemala with the non-profit organization, Hospital de la Familia, to donate supplies and provide care for patients suffering from nasal, sinus, voice/throat and ear issues. Dr. Peterson specializes in thyroid/parathyroid surgery and voice/swallowing disorders. Together, with a team of caregivers, Dr. Peterson treated over 100 patients and performed 15 surgeries.

Headshot: Karen Linnea Peterson, MD, FACS,
Karen Linnea Peterson, MD, FACS

The trip was originally scheduled for October 2023, but was rescheduled to February 2024 due to civil unrest in the country related to elections. Two otolaryngologists (including Dr. Peterson), eight audiologists, two ophthalmologists and two ophthalmology residents with Hospital de la Familia made the journey to donate their time and expertise.

After flying into Guatemala City, the team traveled to the small mountain village of Nuevo Progreso, where Hospital de la Familia is located. Here, visiting medical specialists from the U.S. collaborate with local health care providers to render care to those in need. People travel from across the region for this expert care when specialists are in town.

Dr. Peterson and the team also brought much-needed supplies to the clinic. “Thanks to the support of Huntington Health, I was able to bring five duffels of donated equipment and supplies! These were much appreciated and quickly absorbed into the operating room,” said Dr. Peterson.

In Nuevo Progreso, Dr. Peterson and her colleague alternated between the clinic and operating room (OR) for several days, where they worked with Guatemalan physicians to care for patients. “The local physicians joined us in the clinic and rounded with us on post-operative patients. They triaged patients before the trip and then while we were there helped interface with the anesthesiologists to make sure patients were optimized for surgery or deferred for further workup,” she explained. The pair worked with local anesthesiologists and operating room staff. The audiology team worked alongside the otolaryngology team and also independently supported hearing needs.

Not only did the trip help numerous Guatemalans; it was a united front of care. “It was an amazing experience to be part of a collaborative, dedicated team working to provide optimal care with limited resources,” said Dr. Peterson.

Dr. Peterson has become part of a large group of Cedars-Sinai physicians who provide expert care to children and adults through non-profit organizations around the world. Here in Pasadena, Dr. Peterson cares for adult and pediatric patients who require thyroid, parathyroid, laryngology/voice surgery. To learn more about otolaryngology care at Huntington Health, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai, click here.