October 2018 Trip Report
Two clinic, two strong starts to the season.
They say timing is everything and ours was good for October’s season opener. Enough time had passed since the remnants of Hurricane Sergio passed through Baja that runways had dried sufficiently at Serenidad and at the clinics. Our only flight challenge was leaving Phoenix Friday morning because of the restrictions associate with the presidential visit. For most pilots it was procedural, but Charlie Brown had to move his airplane from Deer Valley because that airport (and Scottsdale) were completely closed by the restrictions. His efforts were especially important this trip because he was our designated ‘direct to Lopez on Friday airplane’ We’ve decided an advanced airplane on Friday will be standard procedure to make certain the clinic is ready on Saturday and we’re there to hand out the numbers if locals aren’t available.
We had a big clinic at Lopez with support from our Aeromedico friends that included a dentist and an MD. Here are the numbers and they represent a strong start to the season: General Medical - 40, Pediatrics - 20 (the most I recall for peds), Dental-28, Dental Hygiene – 13, Chiropractic – 106, Optical – approx 100 including reading glasses, Pharmacy – 93 , and Prosthetics – 12 (4 arranged ahead of time, 8 walk ins). Please recall this is prosthetic prescreening for our program with ARSOBO located in Nogales Mexico where the fittings will take place.
As you know we depend on the cannery for many things at Lopez including water, electricity, runway access and security. In June we made direct contact with the local cannery management and established a strong relationship. This clinic were very fortunate to meet the owners of the cannery who are based in Guaymas. They were visiting their Lopez facility, got to see our clinic in action and they pledged their support for our continuing operation.
Laguna San Ignacio (LSI) was staffed by a small but mighty four person team including a medical provider and a dentist. The dentist was from the Aeromedicos and came away quite impressed with the facility and the need. We did suffer a compressor failure later in the day that stopped the ability to do fillings, but the dentist still managed to see more than 20 patients. We have good momentum going at LSI, so we are going to make significant effort to get the compressor back in service before the November clinics.
Before I say more about the November clinics, please recall that I recently I reported the passing of Aeromedico John Lawrence. Two weeks ago, on short notice, I learned of a celebration of life event for him in Santa Barbara. Charlie Brown and I were able to attend and pay respects on behalf of the Samaritans. It was a very well attended event and there are clearly many who will miss him. The Aeromedicos also had some photos of him with candles placed at Serenidad this past weekend. I hope it’s not too irreverent to say that one was somewhat appropriately located on the outdoor bar.
The next clinic will be November 16-18 and we hope for both Lopez Mateos and LSI. I will likely be the designated ‘direct to Lopez on Friday’ airplane for this trip. Hope to see you soon!