February 2014 Trip Report

Pilots know that it’s fortunate to have a tailwind to speed you along, but February was very generous and gave us a tailwind and smooth air, both down and back. It was a bit warm for this time of year, but very pleasant. I flew direct to Lopez Mateos on Friday to support two good causes. One of my passengers was a student reporter from ASU taking video, interviewing providers and patients, and gathering background information for a multimedia and a print article for ASU Student Media. A second was an ASU student gathering patient information to be used as research for an honors program thesis. In addition to supporting education, we hope for some useful video clips to be used to promote our cause and that the research thesis will give us a better understanding of our patient’s needs.

My passengers and I got to clinic Saturday morning in time to see the patient waiting line and it was relatively short. That short line turned out to be deceptive, because it was a very busy clinic. As you know, I’ve stopped repeating information available in Alicia’s blog so here’s the link http://samaritansmovil.blogspot.com/ . In addition to patient count, you’ll find an interesting action camera video highlighting one pilot’s journey from Loreto to Lopez Mateos.

New to this clinic was a procedure to fit reading glasses to those with age related farsightedness. The fitting is based on the use of a basic eye chart and is so simple that even a pilot can do it. I’ve been told that reading glasses could satisfy something like 80% of the need of those with vision problems and it should be something we can provide at almost every clinic. We got a generous donation of 200 pairs of reading glasses from the Lions club and information on a very low cost source to fill in any gaps.

I also have two items to report not directly related to this clinic. We recently received the donation of four dental chairs complete with accessories, and two x-ray machines from a dental office that was being closed. They are in storage awaiting transport down to clinic. Perhaps of more significance, our network of volunteers was able to facilitate the donation and fitting of a very complex artificial leg that would not have been otherwise affordable to the very grateful recipient.

Our next clinic date is March 14-16 and clinics are scheduled for both Lopez Mateos and LSI. Staffing both clinics will require an especially strong complement of dentists and dental hygienists. Hope to see you there!

¡ Viva las clínicas !