Dr. O’Keeffe has been on several mission trips, including Guatemala and most recently Honduras.

She traveled to small villages as part of a medical team that provided much-needed care to patients that would sometimes walk through the night to receive treatment.  In Guatemala she was accompanied by her then-teenage daughters who assisted with care and disinfecting of instruments, which was not easy.

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As there was no dental facility in Guatemala, the team would work outside on a concrete porch behind a church, with no access to electricity or running water, and natural daylight as the only source of light.  The only dental treatment consisted of extractions, for which there was an overwhelming need.

Hundreds of patients would line up and wait all day to be seen.  For some natives of the area, it was their first health/medical treatment of any kind.

In Honduras, she was part of a larger medical team, and had the luxury of working in a dental clinic where they could provide fillings and cleanings as well as extractions.

She says of the experiences:  “Grueling and often exhausting, I wouldn’t have traded those trips for anything. It was an honor to be part of such rewarding work.”