“I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.”
—Hippocratic Oath, as re-envisioned by Louis Lasagna, 1964
Opportunities abound outside any doctor’s practice to assist the infirm or treat those afflicted by disease. Sometimes this opportunity is in one’s own city; other times it might be in another part of the world. Dr. Gregory Leach assists in both. In his home of Naples, Florida, he volunteers at the Neighborhood Health Clinic, but he has also practiced his art in the Amazon and Africa.
Dr. Leach accompanied his wife, Sally, to the Amazon as she participated in collegiate independent study on Amazonian botany and sustainability. Their group dwelled in an ecological preserve located on a tributary of the Amazon River, the Yacumama. While there, they were invited to join a medical group known at the time as the Rainforest Health Project which treated patients in remote areas and the floating city of Belen. While there, he treated everything from malaria to tumors.
Burkina Faso, Africa
While having a skin lesion removed, Dr. Leach was approached by a local colleague, Dr. Manuel Peña to join him on a medical mission to Africa. Both Greg and Sally agreed and accompanied Dr. Peña to The Village of Hope, a boarding school and orphanage located in small African county of Burkina Faso.
During their stay, Dr. Leach assisted in surgically treating cleft palettes and lips, as well as other minor surgical procedures. Additionally he assisted Dr. Peña in teaching African doctors through demonstration to perform skin grafts – with equipment donated by Dr. Peña.
Ft. Myers was also represented during the trip, as two women from ECHO were teaching sustainable farming to the villagers!