Return to Our Roots: Operation Walk Pittsburgh’s 10th Anniversary Trip

We are proud to congratulate our long-time partner, Operation Walk Pittsburgh, on their 10th anniversary medical mission trip to Antigua, Guatemala.

Operation Walk Pittsburgh is dedicated to providing the gift of mobility to patients across Central and South America. Completely volunteer-based, the team of over 70 is made up of surgeons, nurses, and other professionals who provide hip and knee replacement surgery completely free of charge. 

The 10th anniversary trip marked Operation Walk Pittsburgh’s 5th visit to Antigua and Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro hospital, a place that the team has come to hold near and dear. Over the course of their five trips to Las Obras, the Operation Walk Pittsburgh team has developed close personal and professional relationships with many of the doctors, clinicians, and staff. In addition to fostering international medical cooperation and promoting cultural exchange, the team has changed the lives of hundreds of patients and their families. 

For ‘walking cultures’ such as Guatemala, mobility is essential. In the United States, it is easy to take for granted our ability to walk. Our cities are designed to be compatible with those of us who need crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs. Guatemala, with its hilly terrain and cobblestoned streets, does not share many of the assistive attributes that we enjoy stateside. The necessity to stand, walk, and work without pain is so essential that most of the patients in Antigua travel for up to 8 hours by car or bus to be seen by the team for surgery. 

Over the course of one week, the team operated on 41 patients, successfully replacing 57 joints. After 1-2 days of inpatient care and physical therapy, patients are able to walk out of the hospital unassisted. For many of the team members, this is the most pivotal moment of their week. To see patients who were previously suffering from degenerative diseases, incredible pain and immobility of their hips and knees, walk out of the hospital to meet their families and return to their lives is incredibly meaningful.

This year, goShadow was tasked with a unique role: to engage patients, local staff, and Operation Walk Pittsburgh volunteers in the application of our suite of patient-centered tools.  These tools-- perception mapping, shadowing, and “What Matters to You” (WMTY)-- were used to provide analysis and reports, such as current and future state process maps to be used to foster collaboration between the Operation Walk Pittsburgh and Obras care teams.

We are proud to be a part of such an amazing organization and will continue to support their work in the future. To learn more about Operation Walk Pittsburgh and their life-changing mission trips please visit

To see more pictures from the 2019 trip click here.

Las Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro
Post Operative Recovery
Women's Floor
Physical Therapy
Discharge education prior to returning home