CRISP Information

Dr. Ronald StrahanFor thirty years, Dr. & Mrs. Ronald and Merry Strahan have provided health care, surgical care and education for under-privileged children in the United States and in third world countries. The Strahans co-founded the CRISP Foundation in 1997 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charity.  Since then, CRISP has sponsored medical teams to benefit the children of the United States, Pakistan, the Phillipine Islands, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rico, Belize and Guatemala.

In cooperation with Hospital Shalom and Diane Thompson, R.N., of the Boca Costa Medical Mission, CRISP has been sponsoring trips to Mazatenango, Guatemala since its inception.  CRISP’s unique program allows for continuity of care which is critical for the comprehensive, long-term attention required for the treatment of cleft lip and/or cleft palate patients that begins in infancy and can last through early adulthood.  CRISP's surgical teams perform approximately 40-50 reconstructive operations on children per trip.            

Today, CRISP's primary focus is the repairs of cleft lip and cleft palates, but also provides additional medical care and surgery for other congenital anomalies and/or correctable injuries for children whose parents can not afford private medical care.   

In the past 5 years, CRISP has also sponsored dental clinics in the villages (Paquila, Xojala and Chuisamayac) around Mazatenango. With medications from the World Health Organization, CRISP has helped Hospital Privado Shalom double its clinic visits per year.         

The work of CRISP Foundation is unique in that the medical teams make these visits twice a year (October and April) and basically the same doctor – nurse teams return to the same location.  This eliminates the oft heard criticisms of larger organization of American medical teams that “run in countries and work and then leave the problem to the local medical community.”  The CRISP Foundation returns every six months to promote continuity of care and favorable relationships with the local medical community.  This also allows CRISP Foundation to perform and evaluate staged medical surgical problems, to stimulate the local physicians’ interest in care of the indigent inhabitants of the surrounding mountains (mostly Mayan) and to establish and build long term community-village projects such as drainage systems, hygiene, sanitation practices, etc.