Project Health for León is a group of health care providers whose principal goal is to improve the quality of medical care provided to the poor of Nicaragua through education of doctors and nurses, the provision of appropriate medical technology and resources, and direct patient consultation and care, where such is not available currently in Nicaragua.
Project Health for León had its beginning in January,1985, when Dr. John Paar, a Raleigh, North Carolina, Cardiologist, first visited the Hospital Escuela Oscar Danilo Rosales A. in León, Nicaragua, to give lectures in cardiology, following an invitation by Dr. Gustavo Sequeira of León.
Dr. Paar had first visited Nicaragua in 1984 with Witness for Peace and became acquainted with the desperate state of health affairs in that country. Following the 1985 visit many health professionals from various disciplines came to León to present conferences and see patients. In addition, some Nicaraguan patients were brought to Raleigh, North Carolina for specialty care
Since that time many U.S. physicians and surgeons, nurses, and technicians have participated in Project Health for León missions in various fields of medicine, including initially in general and specialty surgeons, orthopedists, pediatricians, and others. The orthopedists formed an autonomous group, COAN, which continues to be active, not only in León but in other areas of Nicaragua, and general surgeons have also recently formed a separate group. Project Health for León now is mainly concerned with cardiovascular disease and with bidirectional medical education, meaning that we educate learners from the U.S., as well as Nicaraguan health professionals and students in both countries.