CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- International Christian mission agency SIM (www.simusa.org) confirmed today that Rick Sacra, an SIM doctor who contracted Ebola while serving in Liberia, was transported to the United States for treatment and recovered, will return to work in that country on Jan. 15.
Sacra, 52, a family physician from Holden, Mass., will treat patients at SIM's ELWA Hospital in Monrovia. He will not be working at the Ebola treatment units on the ELWA campus, but will treat patients with malaria and chronic health issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as provide maternity and pediatrics care – much-needed services with so few hospitals available. He is expected to remain in Liberia for about a month.
SIM's ELWA Hospital became a model for other hospitals in West Africa during the Ebola crisis, developing treatment facilities, screening processes and offering other critical care medical services when other facilities were shutting down.
"I am feeling well physically, and it seems the Lord is opening the door for me to return to regular ministry trips to Liberia," said Sacra. "My physician colleagues are working very hard, keeping ELWA Hospital open for a wide range of patients, as well as managing Ebola patients at the ELWA 2 unit. I hope to be able to lighten their load, providing both compassionate care to our patients, as well as contributing in some small way to rebuilding and refreshing the staff, which has been through so much in the past six months."
"This demonstrates how Rick has such a heart for serving others and using his skills to treat those suffering from various conditions," said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. "We're so thankful for his successful treatment and recovery from Ebola. He has spent nearly 20 years serving patients in Liberia, and now he's ready to get back to work doing the things he's trained and gifted to perform."
In early August, as the Ebola outbreak was spreading, Sacra volunteered to return to Liberia. In six days he worked with SIM Liberian staff to reopen ELWA Hospital, when other hospitals were closed or closing. After contracting Ebola, he was transported to The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where he successfully underwent treatment.
Sacra serves on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Family Practice Residency program and as a medical missionary with SIM.
Those interested in learning the most current information about the medical response team at ELWA Hospital in Monrovia should visit www.helpebola.org.
SIM (www.simusa.org) is an international Christian mission organization with a staff of nearly 3,000 workers from 70 nationalities serving in more than 65 countries. In addition to medicine, SIM serves on every continent in areas of education, community development, public health and Christian witness. While SIM stood for Sudan Interior Mission when it was founded 120 years ago, it is now a global mission known as SIM (pronounced S-I-M).
Dr. Sacra and other SIM personnel will not be available for interviews until after the new year. For more information, contact Palmer Holt at 704-662-2569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE SIM USA