Meet the Staff: Ruth Varona

Ruth Varona is a certified nursing assistant who first joined our team as a volunteer in 2010. She now works with us as a Patient Follow-Up Coordinator and Field Nurse. Read more about her story below:

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Where are you from?
I’m from Lima. I was born here and raised in the district of San Juan de Miraflores.

How did you get involved with MEDLIFE?
I started out a few years ago volunteering for Mobile Clinics at the pharmacy station for a few hours a week. After a while, I began to work at the office a few times a week as well. Later, as we started to gain more patients, MEDLIFE asked me if I would like to join the organization as a full-time nurse. Now, when there aren’t Mobile Clinics, I am visiting patients several times a week.

What do you like about working with MEDLIFE?

I really like working at the Mobile Clinics because I am able to meet new patients. I love listening to their needs and learning about what we can do to help. It’s the starting point of building relationships with the patients. More than anything, what I love about this job is helping people improve their health. Good health is the foundation for a good life.

What is a problem you find most frequently at Mobile Clinics?
The dogs! There are dogs everywhere. But in all seriousness, one problem I find frequently is that many people do not know their own bodies. That is to say, when patients feel something wrong with their bodies, they often times don’t know where that problem is coming from. Many people are just not oriented with what is going on with their bodies. This is something that I try to teach to people during Mobile Clinics.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I have a 1-year-old son, so my free time is spent with him. Whether it’s playing with him or changing his diapers, I love spending time with him as I watch him grow up.

Anything else you would like to add?
I just wanted to say that I am very glad that you all (the interns) have come here to Peru to learn more about this country and meet the people here. Never forget that there is always someone to help; there are always people in need. 


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.