Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Dominicans Vital to Health Care Team Efforts
Sylvia Tillman with Padre Daniel Samuel, priest at St. Mary's the Virgin Episcopal Church, Montellano
The 2011 Dominican Health Care Team expresses thanks to the hosts, facilitators & translators, who are the reason this mission succeeds year after year... this year being no exception. We thank Father Daniel Samuel, priest at St. Mary's the Virgin Episcopal Church, his wife Maria and the women of the parish, who organized & publicized the clinics with the local officials, efficiently handled the sometimes tumultuous registrations at all of the sites, and generously provided home-cooked Dominican lunches for both teams several times each week. Our gratitude, too, to Maritiza Acevada, for her indomitable spirit and unquestionable joy in working to sort out the tangles and tests of logistics for the team, including transport, translators and local arrangements for the clinics... & much more. And the translators! These young people have been the lively lifeblood of communicating medical information at the clinics, especially for many on the health care team who have limited or no understanding of Spanish or Creole. The translators made a definitive difference in both language and credibility for health care delivery to hundreds of Dominican & Haitian patients. We give thanks for our Dominican companions!
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
House Calls in Haitian Barrio
In Munoz on Saturday, January 29th, the health care team encountered a young woman, whose baby's skin was mottled white & excoriating due to an allergic reaction to its milk-based formula. This child, who was brought to the team wrapped in a blanket... having no clothes or diapers, tugged at the hearts of team members. During lunch break, seven canisters of soy-based formula, two cases of diapers, three gallons of clean water & bottles & clothes were purchased.
As a few of the team wended their way through narrowing passageways between rough-board shacks, neighbors joined them... & it became a growing parade with children prancing with delight & shouting for everyone to come, see. We stepped over the small stream of sewer water that coursed between the rough-board buildings... trying to stay on the high ground where possible. On the way, we saw people who had appeared at the clinic in "church-going" clothing... greeting us from the doorways of their crude, small shanties. They were beautiful, blooming flowers emerging from the most meager of potting soils.
When we arrived at the young woman's home, Elaine Nau taught the mother how to make the soy formula with clean water... & the baby guzzled down that first bottle -- lickety split.
Greg Lawton, a pediatrician who had come on this baby/mom house call, was approached by a woman asking if he was a doctor, did he speak Spanish. Yes, he said. The woman took him and Rose Milano, a nurse practioner, to see a man who had been confined to a wheelchair for many years following an accident. Greg and Rose were able to examine and consult with the man and his family. The man, a paraplegic and diabetic, had run out of all of his blood pressure and diabetic medications. Fortunately, the team had the exact medicine he needed at the health care clinic in Munoz and Rose took him the medicine after the day's clinic was completed... an appreciated, unexpected house call. There were lots of hugs & kisses & 'gracias' from the patient & his family. Ole!
Day 2, Team B Holds Clinic at St. Mary's the Virgin Episcopal Church in Montellano
Team B headed by bus on Friday, January 28th to the nearby village of Montellano & quickly converted the interior of the church into stations for intake, exams, treatments, distribution of toothbrushes, dresses & eyeglasses... and a pharmacy. Old friends were greeted and trusted sentries were posted at the door to welcome & guide incoming patients to the appropriate places. Translators made communication possible. Order was achieved. Health care was delivered to nearly 300 persons!