OMAT Celebrates 30 Years of Compassionate Service

In 1991, Drs. Stephen and JoAnne Carryl founded the Overseas Medical Assistance Team, inspired by Francis Carryl, Dr. Carryl’s father who thought that he should provide medical care to help his hometown. That year, the Carryls organized a collection of medical professionals to embark on the first OMAT medical mission.

1st Mission, Linden, Guyana 1991

Francis Carryl

Since that fateful mission thirty years ago, the OMAT has executed successful medical mission trips to countries around the world, with a primary focus in Guyana and Haiti. Hundreds of different doctors and nurses have traveled from throughout the United States and internationally to join the OMAT and provide pro bono surgical procedures and medical counsel to underserved communities.

First team to Haiti

Over the past thirty years, Dr. Stephen Carryl and the medical professionals that comprise the OMAT have completed hundreds of medical procedures and seen hundreds of patients. In addition to performing surgeries and seeing patients in clinical settings, the OMAT has donated medical equipment and provided training to the doctors that work in the hosting hospitals to ensure that, after the team departs, the quality of medical care remains at a high standard.

  Dr. Carryl & Dr. Mitchel @ the old Linden Hospital 

L to R) Dr. Goodchild, Leigha Carryl, MD ’22, Dr. Stephen Carryl & Nurse Larkin 2021 mission

Acknowledging the importance of addressing all the needs within a community in order to see tangible change, the OMAT has prioritized bringing mental health experts, social workers, and educators in order to provide various kinds of support. By conducting health fairs, attending high schools and other education institutions, the OMAT has been able to counsel community members about the best means of achieving holistic health and invest in the children who are the future of the community.

(Top) Jo-Anne Williams Carryl, CSW, (co-Founder) – HIV lecturer. (Below) Prudence Gilbert, RN (founding member) Screening patients at an OMAT health fair.

The OMAT has also partnered with the Linden Center for Special Needs, a place that provides high quality educational services to children who have various disabilities and special needs. Understanding the importance of the Center both as a historical landmark in the Linden community and a positive environment for special needs children, the OMAT is currently working on rebuilding the Center to provide a state of the art facility for the children to learn, grow, and thrive.

Center for Children with Special Needs, Linden Guyana

Dr. Carryl and the OMAT have received several accolades and commendations for the excellent work that has been done to promote physical, mental, and spiritual health and education within the communities the team serves.

OMAT/Drs. Stephen Carryl & JoAnne Williams-Carryl receiving an award