January & February 2019 Trips Reports


I know our normal focus is one clinic at a time, but please look ahead to April.  For variety, we’re planning the overnights in Loreto.  The hotel arrangements are not as flexible there, so before March 1 we need a reasonable estimate of how many plan to make the trip.  By getting this information to your coordinators you’ll make it much easier for Donna Brown to make the arrangements and help us to get the best possible deal. 


I need to do a bit of catching up because I didn’t get a report written for last month’s clinic.  January was a single clinic month, Lopez Mateos only, that was very well-staffed and attended. February offered clinics at both Lopez Mateos and Laguna San Ignacio (LSI).  You’ll see from the Lopez numbers that January had a higher patient count than February.  We’ve seen this before when whale season is full on and the locals are taking advantage of the opportunities the whales provide to making some supplemental income.


For you who like numbers (Ok, I’m an engineer by profession and I guess I like numbers too.) here are the Lopez numbers:  

·         For the January clinic:  General medical – 45, Pediatrics -15, OB/GYN – 11, Dental hygiene – 15 (a very busy day for just one hygienist), Dental – 33, Chiropractic/Physical therapy – 52, Reading glasses – 84, Prescriptions - 107. Also under the general medical heading we distributed 2 back braces, 5 knee braces, 1 foot brace, 1 walker, and one wheelchair. 

·         For the February clinic:  General Medical – 9, Pediatrics - 6, OB/GYN - 7, Dental hygiene - 12, Dental – 14 (a very busy day for just one dentist), Chiropractic - 44, Prescriptions - 57, Reading glasses-number unknown.

You’ll see the February LSI numbers below in Steve Jacob’s LSI report.


As will be the case going forward, there were direct to Lopez airplanes in both months with the goal of making needed repairs, assuring all is in order for Saturday’s clinic and being present on Saturday morning to hand the numbers to those waiting in line for services.  Air pressure was connected to the chair mounted dental delivery units on the three west dental chairs,.  It was good to get that accomplished because those units had been setting unused for too long.  The air pressure functions (power for the hand pieces, and air for the syringe) and water functions (cooling for the high speed hand pieces and water for the syringe) appear to be working well.  One of the three units did fight back a bit, but urges to rip the unit from its mount and throw it in the ocean were controlled and the unit finally came around.  Suction is not yet connected, so that function still had to come from the existing carts.  The plan is to get the suction hooked up soon, perhaps before the next clinic, so that all functions can be delivered from the chair mounted units.


A lot of annoying plumbing issues have been corrected and hot water has been returned to the south side of the clinic.  Unfortunately, at our February clinic, running water was intermittent in the afternoon and finally failed completely before the end of the clinic.  Some trouble shooting determined that the problem was not our pump, but the supply line from the cannery.  The cannery believed that a recent equipment failure had sent so much debris into the line that it partially plugged and then completely plugged the line to our clinic.  They promised us a completely new supply line from the cannery to our building before our March clinic.


Steve Jacob was one of the pilots making the trip to LSI and I’m really pleased that we have another team member who’s learned the tasks that are required to get LSI up and running.  He has also kindly offer the follow on his LSI experience:


A note to the Sam’s about LSI

I had the honor of transporting one of two groups of the clinic team bound for LSI this month. What a great experience. I have not been to LSI in a number of years. This facility is very clean and very well equipped. We arrived in two car loads to clinic and Patrick had everything up and running by the time my group arrived. We had Shayne Guffey  DDS and his able assistant/son Ben working hard on Dental patients , Coleen O’Halloran RDH and her able assistant/husband Tom working hard with Dental Hygiene patients.  Joey Flynn was coordinating and interpreting and helping everyone. Patrick kept all the instruments Sterile and ready to go , and even sat in to assist in Dental during the lunch break.

Winds were howling outside all day and it seemed like we had a small turnout at first. However, the patients live close to the clinic and went home until their numbers were about to be called. Joey did an outstanding job with keeping the flow steady to each chair. All three chairs were full all day. No Medical services were handled, Just Dental and Hygiene. I believe the count was 10 or 11 Patients for each provider. We had a great lunch provided and the Patients and local support folks were extremely friendly. I would call it a

great clinic with a very hard working team from the Sams.

The weather was pretty good , with very strong winds to help us get back to the hotel in a real hurry. What a great ride back and beautiful country along the way.


Your Friendly Treasurer/ Pilot , Steve Jacob


Our next clinic will be March 15-17.  My hope is for clinics at both Lopez Mateos and LSI,  but I will be all about staffing and especially dependent on dental. I’ll see you soon!