The Medical Mission

Edgar Rodas, MD, FACS
Dolores Reinbach Rodas

Dr. Edgar RodasDr. Edgar and Mrs. Dolores Reinbach Rodas are founders of the Cinterandes Foundation, a visionary mobile hospital and rural health care project based in Ecuador. Together, they have developed programs that focus on clean water, nutrition and preventative education for those in the most remote areas of that country.

Born in Cuenca, Ecuador, Edgar graduated from the University of Cuenca’s Medical School in 1961. He completed a fellowship in general surgery at the Herbert Jerome Research Foundation in Dolores RodasMiami Beach, Florida, and performed his surgical residencies aboard the SS Hope and at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. The Hollywood, Florida-born Dolores met Edgar while she was a student in the Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in Miami Beach.

Their Cinterandes Foundation was founded in 1994 to aid the some five million Ecaudorians that live in rural areas with limited access to health care. The cultural make-up of that country is as varied as its terrain. Seventeen ethnic groups reside in Ecuador, speaking at least ten different languages. In the Andean Region of Ecaudor alone, communities are spread from sea level to as high as 13,000 feet above that water mark. 

So that they could quickly reach the most remote areas to serve the impoverished residents, the couple developed a surgical mobile hospital. A self-contained operating room on wheels, it has enabled Edgar and other physicians to perform complex surgeries in regions that have little or no medical facilities. So successful is their truck, that Edgar and Dolores added a surgical boat that reaches into the villages located in the deepest parts of the Amazon jungle.

Edgar estimates that Cinterandes has performed more than 5,000 surgeries and has never lost a patient. Yet in order to really make a difference, the couple knew that Cinterandes needed to focus on more than just reactionary surgeries.  Today, Cinterandes’ doctors and nurses promote fact-based Western health care in areas that have known only traditional treatments in order to emphasize health education, fight malnutrition and provide immunizations.

Edgar’s honors include being named recipient of the Surgical Humanitarian Award by the American College of Surgeons in 2009, the Order of the Great Cross by the Ecuadorian Government in 2002 and the Award to the Scientific Merit by the Ministry of Health of Ecuador in 2004. He also served as Minister of Public Health of Ecuador from 1998 to 2000. A professor of English at the University of Cuenca since 1982, Dolores has also served as a professor of Postgraduate Surgical Residency at that institution.