Our team of three dentists, Dr. Tyler Ames, Dr. Stephanie Cappiello and Dr. Tom Kaiser, a nurse, Laura Sandretti, a firefighter, Mathew Hill, and a dental assistant, Savannah Ramirez, traveled to Guaimaca, Honduras for 5 days to provide dental care, oral hygiene instruction and diabetes and hypertension screenings. Two American volunteers who are at the mission for the year, Mackenzie, a nurse, and Alicia, a teacher, also helped out at the clinic. With the help of the Henry Schein Health Kit Outreach Program, we were able to treat over 100 dental patients with extractions and fillings as well as hundreds more with diabetes, HTN and wellness screenings.
We received adult dental examination kits and diabetes screening kits from Henry Schein. These supplies enabled us to provide excellent care for our patients! Here’s a re-cap of a few of the clinic days…
Day 1: The first day at the medical clinic went off with a bang. Under guidance from us dentists, and especially with the help of Savannah, Matt, Laura, Mckenzie and Alicia, the dental clinic was able to see approximately thirty patients. Approximately forty multiple surface fillings, and thirty-five extractions were performed. Screenings in the medical clinic were spear headed by Sister Maria and included glucose readings, blood pressure readings with appropriately prescribed medications, tb screenings, diagnosing children with lice and administering corresponding shampoo, and diagnosing dengue fever. The amount of care taken in treating every patient rivaled the care you would expect from most physicians in the US. These people are dedicated and the patients even more grateful. The team has a strong heart and a willingness, sometimes with little energy, to carry our mission to its completion. The people of Guiamaca deserve everything that we can possibly give them. It is a thriving and close-knit community. Until tomorrow!
Day 2: The day started with another wonderful breakfast at La Cascada, our hotel. We made our way to the clinic and set up for another strong day. Today was a very impressive display of teamwork. We overcame several impediments to our success including fixing handpieces, suction lines and consoles. We relied on the diversity of our group and our ability to adapt to difficult situations; who knew that Matt’s background working in a paint store would be such a great asset. He has fixed more things in the clinic then I can remember. We had similar production to yesterday with 50 fillings and 20 extractions, however we spearheaded some very difficult cases. Tom and Steph took on the most anxious children of Honduras. Savannah proved invaluable again with her relentless work which and attention to detail helping multiple doctors at a time without waiver. Laura has been working double time as well as Mackenzie who had both been working in the nursing clinic in the morning and the dental clinic by night. The smiles and joy in the children and adults we have seen have more than paid for the hard work and sweat put in today.
Day 3: We started off with another great breakfast at hotel la cascada. Afterwards, we headed to the girls school for a tour. The school is absolutely beautiful. It is an oasis for these sweet beautiful girls that would have otherwise never had the opportunity to go to school past age 10. The school also had the BEST view in Guaimaca. We purchased some bracelets that the girls sell in order to pay for their graduation and we got to watch their play about saying no to drugs. The clinic had another very productive day and everyone pitched in on the dental side so we could see as many patients as we could before we leave. We were able to get through 70 fillings, 11 extractions and 39 patients. The team worked so efficiently and was able to save 70 teeth which is an amazing accomplishment. We all feel so humbled to be able to work on individuals who without us would not receive care. It is amazing what six people can accomplish in 3-4 days. The people of Guiamaca are so appreciative which makes all our efforts worthwhile.
Thanks for the support! We look forward to our next mission trip!