Doctor Gives Assistance to Underdeveloped Country
- Pete Rouse to receive honorary degree
- Savas Zembillas to receive honorary degree
- Erik Quist to receive honorary degree
This January, Dr. Frank Malinoski '76, will embark on his eighth mission trip to Nicaragua.
Malinoski is originally from Wilmington, NC and has recently retired from the biotechnology field. He first traveled to Managua, the country's capital, in January 2002. The purpose of his trip was to assist in the construction of a church, but due to his medical background he was recruited to help alleviate the city's pressing need for medical care.
Now, the focus of Malinoski's annual trip to Nicaragua is to "provide basic urgent care services for all ages of folks who show up," Malinoski says. "Many folks have not seen a physician for many reasons, especially up in the rainforest area."
Along with the rest of the medical team, Malinoski helps those in Managua and its surrounding cities. The group aims to treat, and ultimately prevent a wide variety of illnesses that plague the people of Nicaragua. His first trip had only three members on the medical team, but over the years has grown to include 25, including doctors, nurses, dentists and laboratory workers.
These visits to a foreign country have taught Malinoski a great deal about life back at home. "The trip reminds me that joy in life [comes] from how you approach your situation, not from your possessions." The trips also serve as a personal reminder of "the importance and benefit of God and prayer in one's life," Malinoski says.
Malinoski believes that developed countries like the United States have a responsibility to help less-developed countries without the same understanding of medicine and access to modern technology. He notes the importance of getting involved in similar community outreach projects, stating that people often do not realize how "simple" it is to support a cause. Malinoski explains that people can contribute by going on these types of trips themselves or by donating and supporting those who do go on mission trips through fundraising. Malinoski also supports the notion of spiritual aid. He recounts his personal experience with the power of prayer, saying that he has experienced its positive effects on many of his trips. "We have a group of 'prayer warriors,'" explains Malinoski, "whose 'job' while we are away is to hear about our prayer requests via our contacts back in the States and are asked to pray for those items, and it works."
Looking back on his days at Colby, Malinoski appreciates the College's real-life approach to education through its encouragement of internships and service learning projects. He says this approach challenged him and forced him to step out of his comfort zone. He particularly credits his JanPlan opportunities and year abroad in Wales as experiences that opened up a new world to him.
Malinoski is now retired from his work at MedImmune LLC, a Maryland-based biotechnology development enterprise, and currently works as a part-time biotechnical consultant. His wife, Judy, is an author, and he also assists with her publishing work. The couple published Crescent Veil, their first novel, in 2006, and Judy currently has two more books in circulation. Malinoski continues to return to Nicaragua each year and has taken a great deal away from his work in central America, including a global perspective. "Getting involved in our world community," says Malinoski, "whether on a 10-day mission trip, [JanPlan] or lifetime mission outside your comfort zone, is an essential part of life."