The Medical Mission

Medical Missions, Inc. Bio

Background of Anthony Galetta:

A third year medical student from the University of Santo Tomas was on vacation in the summer of 1961 and was traveling to the northern provinces of the Philippines, on the island of Luzon. He was on his way to visit the Mountain Province. His plan was to visit the famous Rice Terraces of Ifugao. These are chains of mountains which have been terraced over the centuries for the cultivation of rice. They are reputed to be over 2000 years old and considered by some to the “eight wonder of the world”.

There, he encountered a Belgian missionary priest and was invited by the priest to visit his mission outpost in the mountains. He was shown the mission clinic deep in the forest of an ancient mountain village. For the student, it was a life changing moment. He worked alongside the sister who ran the mountain clinic. He used his meager skills as a third year medical student to help the sister in the care of her patients. He saw the need for medicines, equipment, and helpers for the clinic. On his return to Manila, he shared this wonderful discovery with several of his classmates. They were eager to return with him to the mountain clinic with medicines, equipment and help for the sister. Their enthusiasm was infectious and the word passed quickly through the medical school.

The rector of the University was caught up in the joy and excitement of the project and quickly endorsed the plan of the medical students to work in the mountain clinic. A faculty member, a professor of surgery was assigned to lead a group of nine medical students in this very first medical mission sponsored by the University of Santo Tomas.

When the team returned from the medical mission in the Mountain Province, the enthusiasm and joy of the participants spread throughout the medical school. Students and faculty, hearing of the experiences of the medical team, were like the people who listened to Marco Polo after his fabled trip to the Orient. They were eager to be part of this experience. The enthusiasm grew exponentially and the Medical Missions Inc. of the University of Santo Tomas was born. It consisted of faculty members and students of the Medical College and School of Nursing of the University of Santo Tomas.

The Medical Missions, Inc. of the University of Santo Tomas is a strong and vibrant part of the University of Santo Tomas School of Medicine. They continue to work with the rural poor, the urban poor, and the inner cities of the Philippines. To date, the have sponsored thousands of missions and continue to serve the medically indigent and medically under-served throughout the Philippine Islands. That third year student from the University of Santo Tomas was Anthony S. Galetta.


Anthony Galetta graduated in June, 1951 from Bessemer High School in Bessemer, Pennsylvania, and then enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. In June 1955 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. Following his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, he enrolled in the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippine Islands. After graduating from the University of Santo Tomas, Anthony Galetta interned at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. Upon the completion of his rotating internship he did a surgical residency at St. Elizabeth and Mercy Hospital in Pittsburg, PA.

After completing his surgical residency at St. Elizabeth and Mercy Hospital, Dr. Galetta embarked upon a medical missionary career. As a member of the U.S. Catholic Missions 1968 to 1969, Dr. Galetta volunteered for the Catholic Medical Mission Board at the Dispensario Bethania in Jocatoan, Guatemala. During 1974-1979 Dr. Galetta served as the Medical Director of the Sister City Project, Washington, PA-Rivas, Nicaragua. From 1975-1990 Dr. Galetta served as the Medical Director of the Brother’s Brother Foundation of Pittsburgh, PA. This Foundation is dedicated to providing medical assistance to forty different countries. In addition the Brother’s Brother Foundation developed a massive immunization program. Also, the Foundation developed extension “Books Across the Seas” program. During the period 1999-2001 Dr. Galetta served as the Medical Director of Monroeville Assembly of God joint venture medical mission program in San Luis Colorado, Mexico.

Because of his idealism the University of Santo Tomas, Medical Mission, Inc. provided medical assistance to the poor in many countries of the world. During this period the University of Santo Tomas provided over 274, 000 Medical and Dental services. These medical services included 225,000 medical, 36,000 surgical, and 13,000 dental treatments. Currently, Dr. Galetta resides in Canonsburg, PA where he is an active staff member in the Department of Family Practice at Canonsburg General Hospital, Canonsburg, PA.