The international missionary organization SIM confirmed that Dr. Rick Sacra, 52, will return to Liberia to work at SIM’s ELWA hospital in Monrovia. Besides serving patients with malaria and chronic health issues, he will work in maternity and pediatrics.

Sacra is a family physician and faculty member of the University of Massachusetts Family Practice Residency Program from Holden, Massachusetts. He serves on SIM medical missions teams and volunteered to go to Liberia during the height of the Ebola crisis there.

He himself battled the ebola virus this fall and was successfully treated at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Sacra expects to remain in Liberia for about a month.

“I am feeling well physically, and it seems the Lord is opening the door for me to return to regular ministry trips to Liberia,” said Sacra. “My physician colleagues are working very hard, keeping ELWA Hospital open for a wide range of patients, as well as managing Ebola patients at the ELWA 2 unit. I hope to be able to lighten their load, providing both compassionate care to our patients, as well as contributing in some small way to rebuilding and refreshing the staff, which has been through so much in the past six months.”

ELWA Hospital served as a model for other Liberian hospitals throughout the epidemic, developing facilities and processes and offering critical care even when other hospitals closed.

“This demonstrates how Rick has such a heart for serving others and using his skills to treat those suffering from various conditions,” said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. “We’re so thankful for his successful treatment and recovery from Ebola. He has spent nearly 20 years serving patients in Liberia, and now he’s ready to get back to work doing the things he’s trained and gifted to perform.”

Besides writing, R. McKinley loves reading (especially historical fiction and science books), playing piano and flute, being involved in politics and community, working out, enjoying nature, and hanging out with four wonderful cats.