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Dr. Mirta Ochoa - Head of Pediatric Department



Dr. Mirta Ochoa began at the KHMH in 2001. Her first 8 years of medical studies were done in Tegucigalpa at the National University of Honduras, first general medical studies then training at the Hospital Escuela, then went to Guatemala to study Pediatrics at San Carlos University, doing her training at the Guatemalan Social Security’s Institute.  She finished her pediatric specialization, graduating in 1999, and then spending a year working at the government hospital in the Peten District of Guatemala, moving on to Antigua Guatemala to the Pedro de Betancourt Government Hospital, serving as Head of one of the pediatric wards at this national hospital.


Training Received in the below areas:



  • Diploma in Hospital Management: San Carlos University/ MOH Guatemala/ PAHO, Guatemala
  • Training in Mechanical Ventilation: National School of Respiratory Therapy, Guatemala City
  • Training in Pediatric Endocrinology: San Carlos University, Guatemala
  • Course Provider of Pediatric Fundamental Critical care Support, Chicago Illinois
  • Certified instructor: Advanced Neonatal Resuscitation/ National Institute of Perinatology, (INPER) The major Hospital for Management of High Risk Pregnancy and Critical Newborns, Mexico City.
  • Certified Instructor of STABLE Program (Management, Stabilization of Critical Newborns after Resuscitation), Salt Lake City Utah


A current focus at the pediatric ward is the further work on Protocols of Management for Newborns to be implemented countrywide. For her, a guiding principle she brings to the profession is that of honesty – it is important to be honest especially to the parents or guardians of her patients who are generally children. She credits this strong value on her upbringing, especially the influence of her father who was her strongest influence in shaping her career. Familiarly referred to as “Dr. Smith” after a popular TV series, her father was always the one they ran to when they received cuts and bruises, and his loving care of even the simplest home ailment developed in her a calling for the medical profession. Apart from being a great influence on her medical career, and a great influence in that he himself loved to read, a love that passed on to her.   For her, happiness is intricately bound up in health and wellbeing. When her family is healthy, that brings happiness. And, for Dr. Mirta Ochoa, a patient who is on the road to recovery is always a cause for satisfaction. Responsibility, dedication, hard work, and honesty – these are values she brings to KHMH. “I will be a doctor forever,” says Dr. Ochoa.



Belize Medical and Dental Association

Former Secretary of the then Belize Pediatric Society



Reading, especially works of Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabelle Allende, and similar writers.


Dr. Cecilio Eck – Pediatrician


dr_eckDr. Cecilio Eck, an Open Scholarship awardee of Belize’s St. John’s College Junior College, took up medical studies at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica in 1991, graduating as a general practitioner in 1996. He then went on to specialize in pediatrics at UWI, Jamaica becoming qualified in 2002. He has more than a decade of practice, joining KHMHA in January 2009.  Dr. Eck’s driving passion in pediatric care is focusing on providing information and explanations to patients; in Dr. Eck’s specialty of pediatrics, he often comes across parents or caregivers who are unaware, for example, of the type of antibiotics their child is taking or, in the case of where the child is admitted, the nature of the complaint and, most importantly, the follow up home care required. It has become his personal mission to speak with each parent clearly and concisely, especially during rounds in the ward, so that the parents can understand what is happening. Apart form such a mission being grounded in sound pediatric practice, it also provides the type of modeling that ensures medical officers and interns who make rounds with the pediatrician develop this patient care education as an integral part of  medicine.


Dr. Eck’s experience includes 15 years studying and training in Jamaica and training for six months additionally at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.  He rotated through emergency pediatrics as well as through the neonatal intensive care unit. Following his Texas training, Dr. Eck returned to Jamaica, where he did a couple years of private practice before returning to Belize and joining the KHMH. In tandem with his focus on pediatric education at the patient level, he is also interested in contributing to national decisions affecting child care. Particular research interest includes developmental pediatrics, such as studies of children with autism and Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD.  Part and parcel of his working day includes general clinic pediatrics, what is commonly referred to as “the bread and butter pediatrics,” involving much interaction with children and their caregivers. His personal mantra is “Treat your patients the way you would want to be treated.”


Dr. Eck enjoys relaxing by reading, watching TV…and having barbeques.



Belize Medical and Dental Association

Friends of Pediatrics. (A volunteer group founded by Dr. Egbert Grinage. As a member, Dr. Eck has provided volunteer pediatric service to the River Valley Area and to Liberty Children’s Home)



West Indian Medical Journal

Currently in draft:  An article on HIV population in pediatrics in Belize


Dr. Egbert F. Grinage – Pediatrician


Subspecialty: Pediatric Intensive Care and Master’s in Public Health


dr_grinageDr. Egbert Grinage, in addition to being on the Pediatric team at KHMH, also is a Pediatric Intensive Care specialist and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health. He has been a doctor since 1986; after doing General Medicine with residency done at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, he went on to specialize in Pediatrics in 1993 at University of California at San Francisco/Children’s Hospital Outline, and Pediatric Intensive Care in 1997, returning to Belize and working some four years at the Old Belize City Hospital/KHMH. He resumed service at KHMH in 2008. His Master’s in Public Health is by the University of California, Berkeley.


Dr. Grinage credits a deep and abiding love for Belize with his desire to remain in country and serve. He has assisted the team in raising the standards of pediatric care considerably. One specific strategy has been linking and networking with friends elsewhere, such as U.S. partners who donated ventilators to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and on the Pediatric Ward:


Beginning with the provision of mechanical ventilation for children in 2000, and over the years with intermittent infusions of donations, the level of care of child respiratory failure has improved by having more ventilators and child assisted equipment donations from the U.S. His contacts and friends that donate come from Children’s Hospital Outline mainly, and in one case from the University of California, San Francisco. Equally important to Dr. Grinage is his nonprofit FRIENDS OF PEDIATRICS ( organization, founded in 1998, through which he has helped children access required surgical procedures. It has done a lot for children needing pediatric care countrywide, sending children abroad for procedures that cannot be done locally and also assisting with procedures that can be done locally with children who have a difficult diagnosis. Friends has also helped with several educational seminars and financial assistance to children with cancer, particularly with accessing further care in neighboring Merida, Mexico. One of his aspirations is to assist with accessing mechanical ventilation for other regional hospitals so that children needing this care do not have to travel to the KHMH.


Click on the links below for some media stories on pediatric patients who have received such care:


“A breath of hope” (2010)

“Friends of Pediatrics hosts symposium” (2006)

“Donor contributes to help sick children” (2005)

“Baby needs help to fight rare disease” (2003)



Dr. Grinage credits God, his parents, and his high school motto with being a guiding influence in his life: if you’re going to do something, do it right. In his free time, he enjoys watching a range of movies with his family, especially dramatic series. He also embraces technological advances like Facebook® as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family. Says Dr. Grinage, “Our ability today to juxtapose two dialog boxes together and speak, for example, to our children in both Jamaica and the U.S. have made both my wife and I embrace technology as a way of affordably keeping in touch, chatting back and forth with family virtually.” He accounts being in Belize and being able to offer answers to parents and guardians about what’s wrong with their children as being his greatest personal accomplishment. Coupled with this, being able to find assistance and help with children with cancer and difficult diagnoses has been fulfilling. Doing one’s best for the patient is always his priority. This often involves not only medical knowledge, but also experience in navigating civil code procedures. He utilizes the famous saying, “for every intractable problem, there is a brilliant solution to be found” he saw on a wall once.  He welcomes being contacted, and considers himself available 24/7 at cellular (501) 623-3203 or on Facebook® ( )



Belize Medical and Dental Association

Founder, Friends of Pediatrics

American Academy of Pediatrics

Society for Critical Care Medicine


High school and junior college valedictorian

1980 Belize Open Scholar

Man of the Year, Guardian newspaper, 2000

Presenter, Belize Medical and Dental Congress



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