The Journey Begins

Every year, as the Formation Class begins I feel so excited for the journey our doctors are just about to embark upon.

This year, two doctors join the class. Dr. Susan McNeil and Dr. Zach Gastelum.

Dr. McNeil comes to Mission Doctors from the Dallas area where she has worked in Family Medicine, Pain Management, and Addiction Medicine at Veterans Administration Hospital, North Texas, as well as serving as Assistant Professor, at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical School, Dr. McNeil completed a Family Practice Residency at Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine in Norfolk VA, and a General Surgery Internship at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK

As a member of the Airforce, Dr. McNeil served as a physician at Langley Air Force Base Hospital in Virginia and was the Director of Air Transportable Clinic during deployments which included, Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Dhahran SA, and Operation Southern Watch, Dhahran SA, as well as serving at Shaheed Mwaffaq Air Base, Jordan

As a military veteran, Dr. McNeil brings with her international experience, dedication, flexibility, and prepared for whatever might come up in a situation. A lifelong Catholic, as she pondered retiring she felt that God was calling her to something more. The Diocese of Kabale in Uganda is looking forward to her beginning her three-year service in January 2023.

Dr. Zach Gastelum completed the Via Christi International Medicine Fellowship in Honduras in June of this year, having graduated from The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ in 2018 with a focus on Community Service and Global Health

Dr. Gastelum’s Family Practice Residency was at North Colorado Family Medicine Residency – Sunrise in Greeley, CO where he served as Chief Resident. With a Degree in Latin American Studies and a minor in Spanish Dr. Gastelum graduated Summa cum Laude.

Feeling called to serve as a medical missionary Dr. Gastelum learned about Mission Doctors from former Mission Doctor, Dr. Lisa Gilbert, and Drs. Robyn and Brian Jennings. Santa Clotilde Hospital, on the Napo River in Peru, is anxiously awaiting his arrival in January 2023. Dr. Lucy Goh, who began her service in Peru earlier this year, shared that she and the others at Santa Clotilde are truly looking forward to his arrival.

Please keep our doctors in your prayers in a special way over the next four months. The commissioning in December seems a long way off, but it goes quickly!

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