Who We Are...

Cooperación Ortopédica
Americano Nicaragüense

Founded in 2002, Cooperación Ortopédica Americano Nicargüense is not-for-profit organization committed to optimizing the healthcare and well-being of the people of Nicaragua. COAN was formed following years of humanitarian efforts by individuals offering healthcare aid to Nicaragua after the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. While our efforts had an impact, it was felt that a more organized, structured approach would lead to improved care and the development of self-sufficiency among Nicaraguan physicians and surgeons. COAN established its 501 3 c status in 2003 and has made great strides working with Nicaraguan surgeons and administrators to improve healthcare at the HEODORA Hospital in León.

Nicaragua has experienced decades of devastation and destruction as a result of political strife, natural disasters and an unstable economy, and all of which have adversely affected healthcare development. Nicaragua is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere , subsequent to Haiti . According to the World Fact Book, the current unemployment and underemployment rate is 52%.

Nicaragua is home to over six million residents. Approximately 95% of Nicaraguan residents qualify for assistance from COAN. Our medical teams perform an average of 25 surgeries per trip. Our patient base is low-income people, mainly families, who need emergency treatment and longer term, orthopaedic care to increase their overall health. A great many of those served by our program are children.

Nicaragua has a total of 36 hospitals in the entire country, including two teaching hospitals. COAN's mission is home to the HEODORA teaching hospital in León, where our medical teams share their medical knowledge and skills with the orthopaedic residents.

Through our frequent trips, dedicated medical personnel and volunteers, COAN is committed to providing local hospitals with ongoing communication, needs assessment, educational intervention, inventory management, and technical support.

2019-2020 Board of Directors

Edmund Campion, MD
Robert Caudle, MD

James Crowther, MD
George Edwards, Jr., MD
Gayle Gertsch

Jessica Hirschhorn, MD

Jeffrey Kobs, MD
Terry Messer, MD, President
Greg Schmale, MD

Nevin Shrimanker, MD
Karen Stone, Program Director
April Williams, RN