Gisella Alvarez of Baltimore, Maryland, is an experienced medical-surgical nurse and a veteran of over 30 medical-surgical missions to impoverished areas in South America and Africa.
“When I saw a mission recruitment notice in my hospital 15 years ago, I applied, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” says Alvarez. “The poverty we see here in America is not at the same level that we see in developing countries.”
A native of Colombia, Alvarez immigrated to America and earned her nursing degree at the University of Maryland. She’s been a member of the nursing staff at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore for 27 years and is currently a Clinical III level nurse. In addition to hospital awards, she recently won a national nursing award from the Daisy Award For Extraordinary Nurses. She’s been interviewed as a breast cancer expert on National Public Radio.
Alvarez has participated in medical missions to Peru, Colombia, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, often serving as clinical coordinator with significant advance planning responsibility as well as coordination on the ground. She’s worked with Global Health Ministry, Wide Horizon for Children, The Healing Hands Foundation, The Madeu Williams Foundation, Partners for Cancer Care and Prevention, and Hands Across America. She’s earned humanitarian and community impact awards for her work, and has been featured in many newspaper stories.