SOMC’s Pettit, Bennington Heading to Philippines for Medical Mission

Dr. George Pettit and Dr. Nathan Bennington are used to providing patients with excellent care at Southern Ohio Medical Center. Later this month, however, they intend to offer that same care to patients halfway across the globe.

On Jan. 26, Dr. Pettit and Dr. Bennington will head to the Philippines on a medical mission trip. For the two physicians, who have each gone on medical missions in the past, the trip is simply a chance to provide care to those who need it most.

“I’ve always had a desire to help out others and go to countries where the need for medical care is so great,” Dr. Bennington said. “After I completed my first mission, I knew I would continue doing this long-term. It’s such a life-changing and fulfilling opportunity.”

Dr. Pettit said that the experience is especially satisfying because they know they’re helping people who are otherwise unlikely to receive any medical care.

“It is a life-changing experience. There is so much poverty in the Philippines and so many people are in need of assistance,” Dr. Pettit said. “Over there, if they don’t have the money for a surgery they don’t get it. Through this mission, we’ll complete all sorts of procedures, probably operating from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening.”

In addition to assisting Dr. Pettit with medical care, Dr. Bennington said he plans to help the non-profit organization Across Borders. Across Borders attempts to provide long-term solutions to poverty by setting up micro-businesses in struggling countries in an effort to help people become self-sufficient.

The experience of volunteering in countries where there is so much need can be humbling, and Dr. Bennington said it never fails to return perspective to his own life.

“I think my priorities are already in the right place, but when you go over there and offer such a unique type of service, it really solidifies everything,” Dr. Bennington said. “You really appreciate what you have and what you take for granted. It’s a remarkable experience.”