June 2014 Trip Report

The Flying Samaritans Arizona has acquired a new benefactor called "Amazon Smile".   Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of any eligible purchases to our treasury.  To get us this benefit, please use the link that follows for your Amazon purchases.  Your username and password is the same as regular Amazon and the donation does not increase the price you pay.   https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-2469782

On to the clinic - It may be part of my engineering personality that causes anxiety when there is a lot of uncertainly. (OK, stop laughing; I get it, the words ‘engineering’ and ‘personality’ don’t belong in the same sentence.)  Life experience and especially Sams clinic experience have taught me that the right people can assemble great success from chaos, but on Saturday morning I landed at Lopez Mateos with a good deal of apprehension.   We were working with a group of providers, the Aeromedicos from Santa Barbara that many of us had met socially at Hotel Serenidad.  They are a fine group of folks, but we didn’t really know their expectations or their approach toward operating a clinic.  The dental team was composed of three dentists from the Aeromedicos and a dental assistant on her first trip with us.  Audiology was a new offering and we were light on interpreters and not certain how many the Aeromedico would need to support their providers.  Along with some other uncertainties about who was going to cover what, there was the concern, though really unfounded based on recent experience, that there would be a poor patient turnout and frustrate the providers who’ve traveled a long distance to donate their services. 

Guess what, it all worked out great!  Though it’s really not about numbers, this was one of the largest number of patients treated in recent memory.   Please see the impressive results at Alicia’s blog http://samaritansmovil.blogspot.com/     The Aeromedicos were great to work with, melded right into our clinic process, and contributed greatly to the success.  Two of the Aeromedicos’ dentists performed basic dental work and the third was focused on dental surgeries. We used the motor home, El Movil to provide the Aeromedicos’ audiologist a quiet testing environment away from the  hustle and bustle of the clinic building .   One of their pilots was able to speak what he called ‘construction Spanish’ and that was sufficient for him to fit reading glasses.  I’ve seen it a few months in a row now, but it still amazes me how something so simple could make both the person receiving and the person fitting the glasses so happy. 

The pharmacist helped the nurse, new to us, and the physician’s assistant who had not been with us for a while, get triage going.  The interpreters were stretched and pull in many directions, but with support of some locals, got everyone covered.  The 35 general medical patients were all accommodated because our pediatrician, our physician’s assistant and the Aeromedicos’ women’s health provider were all willing to adjust their duties during the day to support the medical doctor and achieve this very fine result.  These are the accommodations I remember and there were no doubt many more.  I think everyone left clinic with a strong sense of accomplishment and the Aeromedicos were very impressed with our approach and the quality of our Lopez Mateos facility.

The next and final clinic of the season will be July 18-20.  Please join us and help us finish this very fine season on a strong note.


¡ Viva las clínicas !