News & Updates


The HealthRays project has been awarded booth number 612 in the Toronto House of Friendship at the 2018 Rotary International Convention. Having a booth again this year is a fantastic way to showcase the HealthRays project and share District 6440’s effort to bring digital x-ray technology to needy populations in Guatemala — and eventually, around the world.

In just six months, HealthRays will be on display to convention attendees from across the globe from June 23 – 27, 2018. Plan to visit Booth #612 and sign-up to help spread the word about the HealthRays project in Toronto!

NEW Valuable Assets for HealthRays

HR BuildingHR Office Door SignEarlier this year, the District 6440 HealthRays project became the proud recipient of a new official address and office space, which has been donated for our use as long as we need it by a generous HealthRays supporter and Rotarian. The office is in a central location of district 6440, which is a tremendous asset and convenience to the many committee members that live throughout the district.

The HealthRays project letterhead, business cards, e-Newsletters and News Alerts now all include the official office address: 1845 E. Rand Rd. Suite 109, Arlington Heights, IL 60004. This new office provides valuable space for storing, processing and organizing the growing number of materials necessary for the HealthRays project that is approximately one-third of the way to completion in Guatemala thanks to the growing number of contributors and supporters!


The District 6440 HealthRays® Project has been notified by The Rotary Foundation that its ninth clinic installation of a digital x-ray system has been approved.  The new installation will be in the Nahualá clinic in Sololá, Guatemala, which is on the highway leading from Ciudad de Guatemala to Quetzaltenango. The unit will serve a population of 188,500 people in that area!

The HealthRays Project was begun in 2011 with the request of 29 units by the Guatemalan Ministry of Health.  We are providing digital x-ray diagnostic to a population who has never had this access before.  Previously, patients have had to travel to a regional hospital, sometimes many hours or days away, to obtain an x-ray.  Our project is changing the face of care for the very poor in Guatemala.  Thank you to all of the clubs in our district who are supporting this very important project!

HealthRays is Among Success Stories Cited by Rotary International President John Germ During Global Gathering

Rotarians who attended the opening of this year’s Rotary International Convention in Atlanta Sunday, June 11, heard Rotary International President John Germ highlight projects that exemplify “Rotary Serving Humanity.” HealthRays was one of the projects President Germ highlighted, by sharing the experience he and his wife, Judy, had last fall when attending the dedication of a digital x-ray machine in Guatemala. The following link includes the approximately 2-minute portion of his welcome address that was related to the HealthRays project. The segment begins at 6:08 minutes into the video and ends at 8:10 minutes:


Although President Germ did not mention the District 6440 HealthRays project by name or the specific location of Villa Canales, the story he shared and the photos shown were from the inauguration ceremony at the Villa Canales clinic, which the Germs attended last September.

Rotary International President John Germ’s recognition of how HealthRays is a prime example of “Rotary Serving Humanity” at this year’s Opening Ceremony — coupled with his reference to HealthRays in the June 2017 issue of The Rotarian magazine — sends a strong message about how we are impacting lives and making a difference in Guatemala. It has been estimated that the installation in Villa Canales alone will benefit 158,000 Guatemalans!

Thanks to President Germ for this wonderful recognition and support of HealthRays!

Eighth Digital X-Ray Unit Arrived in Guatemala City!

Spring is here and the District 6440 HealthRays project continues to make exciting progress. The eighth digital x-ray system arrived in Guatemala and is scheduled for transport to a clinic in Gualan on April 25th.  Installation will follow with an official inauguration planned for later in May.

When this clinic is operational, an additional estimated 50,000 to 100,000 residents in rural areas of Gualan will have access to travel to a remote clinic with digital x-ray technology connected to regional hospitals through the Internet.  With this eighth unit in the works and plans for the ninth unit to be announced soon, HealthRays approaches one third of the 29 total units needed to complete this project.

Visit Booth #2224 at the 2017 Rotary International Convention House of Friendship in Atlanta to learn more about HealthRays and how to help support the last 19 digital x-ray units for this project!

Ministry of Health seeks to reduce burden on 2 hospitals

The following is a translation from an article originally appearing in Guatemala.
Click here for a PDF of the Spanish version.

Eight health centers and five regional hospitals will be improved this year to reduce about 145,000 patient consultations that go to Roosevelt and General San Juan de Dios, according to projections of officials, who will allocate up to Q[Quetzals]70 million for this goal.

By Andrea Orozco
January 7, 2017 at 07:47 a.m.

In a press conference, the Minister[,] Lucrecia Hernandez Mack and the three deputy ministers, informed that the health centers of El Paraíso, zone 18; El Amparo, zone 7; First of July [Mixco], zone 19; Zone 11, zone 1, Palencia, Fraijanes and Villa Canales will have more human resources and improvements in laboratories, supply of medicines, furniture and equipment.

HealthRays Article January 2017

Patients at the San Juan de Dios Hospital line up for an appointment at an outpatient clinic. (Photo Press Free: Newspaper library PL)

Adrian Chavez, deputy minister, said that for the recruitment of staff and annual payment, are needed Q6 million 288 thousand and to complete the changes, some Q20 million are required.

With these improvements it is sought that the external consultations of the two national reference hospitals will not be saturated.


The strategy also calls for the strengthening of regional hospitals in San Benito, Petén; Cobán, Alta Verapaz; Mazatenango, Suchitepéquez; Cuilapa, Santa Rosa and Zacapa, so that fewer patients are referred to the capital.

The deputy minister, Edgar Gonzalez, said that the analyzes are still being done to determine the amount of money that will require this change, but it is estimated that they will be up to Q50 million, in addition to a generalized increase for the 44 national hospitals.


Another purpose of the portfolio authorities for 2017 is to improve the quality of care for people.

Chavez explained that what affects hospitals is not only the lack of medicines, as they also require improvements in equipment or rejuvenation of units, as well as transparency issues.

To improve in this situation, in the coming months, with the help of an organization, a system will be established so that the population can complain and make complaints about the service.

In addition, a unit will be installed at headquarters to manage the solutions to those demands.

“We know that sometimes the care given does not necessarily have to do with the lack of resources,” said the official, so they think about improving information and care with a human sense for the patient.


The debt with which the Ministry of Health began in 2017 is Q46 million, said the minister, Lucrecia Hernandez Mack. According to the official this is lower than the registered in early 2016, when the outstanding payments were for an amount of Q500 million. Eight hospitals were free of late payments.

Other achievements

The 2016 closed with an average supply in the national hospitals of 86%, a figure that is considered acceptable since it is greater than the one registered during the two previous years, indicated the authorities of Health.

The budget execution of 92% is also an advance, as in 2015 it was 84%.

Great News…Not One, Not Two, Not Three, But Four Installations Completed in 2016!

As noted in the November 28th issue of the e-Newsletter, the District 6440 HealthRays project took a major step forward over the last several months when four new digital x-ray unit installations were completed in Guatemala. Inaugurations took place on: August 25 in Palencia, September 12 in Villa Canales, October 25 in Livingston and November 10 in Fraijanes.

If everything stays on schedule, digital x-ray units will also be installed in the spring of 2017 in Gualan, which is scheduled for March, and Nahualá, which is scheduled for an April/May timeframe, bringing the total number of units that are up and running to nine.

We will keep you posted on progress as additional installations continue and plans for new ones evolve.

Rotary International President John Germ Attends Latest Installation Ceremony, September 12 – Two More Scheduled

The most recent HealthRays digital x-ray installation was formally announced on September 12 in a health clinic in Villa Canales, Guatemala with Rotary International President John Germ present. This fifth dedication occurred three years after the first installation of equipment in Mixco, Guatemala during September 2013.

Besides the September 12 dedication and the one in Palencia, Guatemala on August 25, two other installations will become active soon for clinics in Livingston in October and Fraijanes in November.

The installation of these four digital x-ray systems in 2016, along with two more digital x-ray installations in the works for Gualan and Nahualá, keeps the District 6440 HealthRays project moving forward at an exciting pace!