How a team of volunteers expanded access to care in the Dominican Republic
In March of 2016, our team of 31 arrived in the Dominican Republic (D.R.) to bring medical and dental care to underserved communities.
We held one week of clinics and were able to provide a variety of treatments thanks to our diverse team.
Our group consisted of five dentists from Ohio, seven Cedarville University students, a pharmacist from Family Health, a doctor of naturopathy, and a massage therapist. We also worked with several other healthcare providers and a construction crew. A physician, a hygienist, and her husband who is fluent in Spanish rounded out the team.
From the D.R., four other nurses joined our team for the week, as well as a Dominican Physician and the Medical Director of SCORE, also a dentist.
We held free health clinics in two very poor areas.
For our first two days of clinics, we went to Duquesa, a village adjacent to the City Dump of Santo Domingo, the D.R.’s capital city.
Next, we traveled to Batey at La Magdalena, a sugar cane village tucked away outside of the resort city of La Romana. Here, many Haitian refugees live and work in the sugar cane fields. Bateyes tend to be the poorest communities in the D.R., with workers earning barely enough to survive, and access to health care very limited.
In addition to the four days of mobile clinics, on Saturday our dentists treated over 30 children associated with Josiah’s House.
Josiah’s House is a boy’s home located in San Pedro de Macoris, giving the children a chance to grow up safely in a family setting. The complex is expanding to have four homes housing a total of 32 boys. In each home, eight boys and one married couple will live and grow together. Our dental staff was able to treat and teach about proper oral hygiene to the young boys.
Throughout our time in the Dominican Republic, our team made a tremendous difference for the health of many people.
Over the four full days of clinics, the medical providers examined and treated over 600 patients, including children. Meanwhile, the dental team treated over 160 patients.
In order to ensure many of our patients received the care and prevention they needed, we filled 580 prescriptions along with some natural pro-biotic and vitamins. Oral hygiene instructions were also given. Finally, we worked with the Ministry of Restoring Vision to provide reading glasses, and our team was able to distribute this much needed resource to many people.
Click through the photos below to join the journey of delivering medical and dental care in the Dominican Republic.
By Michael Fourman, DDS, Board Member of SCORE International
Read more about this mission trip and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation Health Kit Outreach program here.