Dr. Keith Berend is from a family of giving. He loves to share how he was inspired by his father, mother, brother and now even his adult daughter, to give of his gifts – to help those in need.
To the benefit of many in Central America, Dr Berend is also a man of science. Team Hope in Motion is a great example of one way he and his colleagues at JIS Orthopaedics continue to share their experience and training to provide hope. “It became clear that if we don’t do this, then the patients, their families, their work and their whole communities would be negatively affected,” Dr. Berend said. “There is no doubt that we were truly called to do it.”
Roughly three decades ago, Dr. Mike Berend (Dr. Keith Berend’s Brother and OrthoAlliance partner physician) and their partner Dr. Merrill Ritter spearheaded a local (Mooresville, IN) team for Operation Walk, a volunteer medical humanitarian organization. That group provided the gift of mobility through life-changing joint replacement surgeries at no cost to those in need globally. After several years, it was time to re-evaluate what they were doing and how to do it better.
So, JIS Orthopaedics physicians, Dr. Keith Berend and Dr. Adolph V. Lombardi, and Dr Mike Berend reorganized the efforts under “Operation Walk Midwest” which participated in the mission trips until the group once again felt called to restructure their entire participation. During a mission trip to Guatemala, they ran into a fellow hip and knee surgeon (yes, “in-country”) who was on a mission trip partnered with a similar organization, Faith in Practice (FIP), whose life-changing medical mission is “to improve the physical, spiritual, and economic conditions of the poor in Guatemala through short-term surgical, medical, and dental mission trips and health-related educational programs.”
This mission spoke to Dr. Berend and he was especially excited to learn that FIP already had established relationships with two hospitals in Guatemala that had the facilities and resources needed to do the kind of work his group wanted to continue. It was a perfect model for Team Hope in Motion (HIM). “Even when our first trip was postponed due to the pandemic,” Dr. Berend said, “we knew we were on the right path, providing hope and motion to those who needed our team the most.” The team went to Guatemala in the falls of 2021, 2022 and then again in February of 2023.
Dr. Berend described how this model is especially gratifying. Their team of surgeons and medical professionals triage and operate on the patients. Post-operative care is provided by FIP’s experienced and specifically trained volunteers. That consistency of care is so important and FIP operates its own Casa de Fey (House of Faith) for the patients and/or their families to live before, during and post-op. This extra support helps them to leap a real hurdle in this journey to more mobility and less pain.
Team Hope in Motion has raised money through some crazy endeavors. Including participation in Race Across America, a 3,000-mile non-stop bicycle race across the country and Shore-to-Shore 2021, a 60-mile non-stop swim in Lake Michigan. Their next mission trip will take place in early 2024. They are currently raising pledges for the team to take part in Ironman Wisconsin. They personally train for — and take part in — these difficult physical challenges, hoping to raise money to help others move. If you’d like to support their efforts, please visit the website www.teamhopeinmotion.org.
Their impact is big and direct. These trips yield measurable results. Their training and experience not only helps people regain motion, but it also instills hope for the patients, their families, the volunteers and their donors. Dr. Berend recounted that “Dr. Lombardi always tells us that God’s gift to us is our talents. What we do with those talents is our gift back to God.”