Lynn Bassini, MA, OTR, CHT, founder of the Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation, joins us to share her love and passion for helping the people of this nation. Each year, she takes a team of surgeons and therapists to perform surgery and postop care as well as educate medical personnel in Guatemala. She shares with us how the Foundation started, the mission of the organization, and what to expect if you were to join her for a mission trip to Guatemala.
Originally from Guatemala City, Lynn graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 1977 with a BS in Occupational Therapy and in 1982 a Masters in Biomechanics and Ergonomics from New York University. She has been a hand therapist since the foundation of the American Society of Hand Therapists in 1977. From 1979 to 1982 she was a therapist and chief at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
Lynn has been in private practice for over 40 years, specializing in both adult and pediatric patients with upper extremity injuries and challenges.
In 1991 Lynn passed the first certification in hand therapy ever offered and later became an item writer for the Hand Certification Exam.
She has presented at many conferences and published several research papers and book chapter co-authored with a hand surgeon. In 1998 she became the recipient of the Vargas Award and traveled with Dr. Alan Freeland to Venezuela. In 2001 she was asked to serve a three year term in the Board of the AAHS and in 2004 organized and led the Vargas mission to Guatemala. Lynn was awarded the 2006 Paul Brand Award and the American Association for Hand Surgery Humanitarian Award in 2016.
In 2004 Lynn founded The Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation (GHHF/Guatemalahands.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality and availability of health care in Guatemala through education, hand surgery, hand therapy and community assistance. We have completed 13 missions and planning our next
mission tentative Nov 2022. Several children needing critical surgery were also identified during our missions. We assisted in getting the authorizations to operate in the US thanks to our network of dedicated professionals. GHHF’s projects between missions continue which include supporting a village through the critical times of covid, food, shelter and health insecurity while providing continued educational and clinic support to the children of Chichoy Alto, in Guatemala.
In 2021 Lynn relocated to Los Angeles and is now working for Select Physical Therapy.