Sister Parishes Medical Mission in the Dominican Republic

img_2467_0040From May 22 – 25, Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida visited the Dominican Republic (DR) for their sixth Medical Mission trip.

The Church has a close working relationship with three local DR Sister Parishes and they work together to provide medical, construction, education, water/sanitation and spiritual aid to the natives. Because the medical team visits the DR three times a year, they have the opportunity to build patient continuity and regularly manage both chronic and acute diseases. The team has focused chronic disease management on hypertension, diabetes, parasite prophylaxis through treatment and nutrition supplementation.

The lack of dental care and poor condition of teeth in DR patients is a great concern, which is where dental care kits and medical equipment from Henry Schein Cares Foundation really came into play. The team consisted three physicians, one Physician’s Assistant (PA) student, three nurses and seven other volunteers and together they served 535 patients. Toothbrushes and other dental care items were provided to all patients along with lasting education on regular oral care. The team was also able to provide fluoride varnish to each child in Batey El Mamey, which is an isolated village without any access to dental care.

Beyond preventative oral care education, the team was able to distribute Amoxicillin for infections and Ibuprofen for pain. It is the goal of the team to make a true impact in the long-term health of these locals.