June 2013 Trip Report

This month’s trip was a nice change of pace with Loreto as our overnight stop.  It’s really a trade off, more bureaucracy at the airport on clinic day, but lots to do in this really clean and interesting town.  This was the debut of the Phoenix chapter taking a stronger role in leading and staffing the clinic at Laguna San Ignacio (LSI) and so we had the pleasure of staffing not one, but two successful clinics.  This will also be the month of the lazy president’s report, because I’m going to use the contributions of others to fill out the majority of this month’s offering.

So let’s begin with the new kid on the block, LSI.  Laurie Kramer, our dental coordinator, offered the following describing her LSI experience:

The Phoenix chapter has been asked to help staff the clinic at Laguna San Ignacio and we said "Yes"! The population there is very isolated and has difficult access to any dental care for miles around.  This month Mike Johnson, DDS, his daughter, Morgan and I were flown to Laguna San Ignacio in Paul Rowley's plane.  A plane with Tucson members and our Neta Gimel (chiropractor) arrived also. We were given the basics on how to set up the facility which is totally self contained. Dr. Johnson, Neta and myself had the pleasure of treating patients there. We were very well received and could see that this community has a great need.

We can be very successful in this venture, once a quarter year, with the help of additional providers. Please help us help by checking calendars and signing up for a trip!

Thank you Laurie!  She mentioned that the facility is totally self contained so set up requires knowledge of how to get the generator and water system going.  For example, unlike Lopez Mateos, the dental vacuum pump requires a water supply to seal and cool it.  If it is run without the water supply turned on, the pump will be damaged.  There’s nothing we can’t handle, but it will require some caution and familiarization on our part. 

First time provider Miguel Cordova served as the dental hygienist at Lopez Mateos.  By doing so, he freed up Laurie to provide services at LSI.  He was kind enough to offer the following about his first clinic experience with us:

One of the reasons why I decided to become an RDH was precisely because I wanted to volunteer my time and services to those in need.  I am most fortunate to have found the outlet provided by becoming a member of Flying Samaritans Phoenix Chapter and all of the members who like me have the same goals and dedication in improving the human condition where lack of medical relief and attention is needed.  And not to leave out that every Flying Samaritan on the trip were friendly, fun, kind hearted and extremely helpful whether showing me around the town of Loreto or simply pointing me in the right direction at Lopez Mateo’s Clinic.  Most of the patients I encountered had never previously been provided hygiene services such as Susana a 30 years of age and mother of a 10 year old girl who is inspired by the Flying Samaritan Dental Team and hopes to one day become a dentist.  Ezekiel a male with 67 years age had his first dental hygiene debridement in his life.  Ezekiel has been smoking since he was 7 years old.  Wow, once I looked into his oral cavity I had flashbacks of the photos I had seen so many times in my school textbooks and I immediately thought I struck GOLD.  Removing the bridge of calculus formed on both upper and lower arches was exiting and the reward came when his teeth were visible when he smiled. 

I would like to thank Laurie Kramer for inviting me to Flying Samaritans and being a true role model, a few new friends Jerry Osborne thank you for flying me there and back, Lupe Castillo and Adalbert Payan for making the trip F.U.N. and Jessica Diedrich, the best assistant I have ever had.

Your new Samaritan,

Miguel Cordova

If you would like to see the amazing improvement in Miguel’s 67 year old patient, the pictures of his fine work are at the bottom of this report  No explanation required on which pictures were ‘before’ and ‘after’!

Now for the Lopez Mateos experience.  As always, here’s the report as ‘borrowed’ from Alicia’s blog:

The phenomena we call June Gloom had little affect on our Flying Samaritans clinic in Lopez Mateos for the month of June. We saw 6 planes arrive as well as one go to Laguna San Ignacio. So the Phoenix chapter of the Arizona Flying Samaritans was kept busy. We may not have had as big of a patient turn out as some would like to see but for me it is the quality rather than the quantity. But as a requirement of our government issued permit to practice medicine we are indeed required to report the quantity. And that comes to 112 chiropractic patients seen who walked away a little easier thanks to our gentle care providers which included some neurology consults this month. Added to those our general medicine group helped 18 along with 13 pediatric and another 13 ladies seen by OBgyn. There were 11 minor procedures and 64 pharmacy actions. Our dental group saw 15 general dentistry patients and 4 dental hygiene folks. All in all 186 patients here seen by care providers and if we add pharmacy refills into the number it comes to 250 for the final count. Although our reporting requirements keep the number at 186 patients who came and were treated by some of the most generous of the heart and pocketbook angels in the world. Way to go Sams and we'll see you in July.

Next clinic, the final of this clinic season, will be July 19-21 and a Lopez Mateos clinic only. (At least that’s the current theory.  We didn’t decide to staff LSI in June until the Monday before clinic.) For the success of the July clinic and the new clinic season which begins in October, I can’t say it any better that our beloved dental coordinator said it above - “Please help us help by checking calendars and signing up for a trip!” 

¡ Viva las clínicas !

Dennis