October 2016 Trip Report

New season, same good news!  Our season opener brought us two successful clinics.  Lopez Mateos and Laguna San Ignacio (LSI) were both well attended and well-staffed.  The weather was perfect for flying and the air was virtually smooth as glass.  We did have some confusion this month because our clinics weekend dates key off the day of the clinic, which is the third Saturday of the month.  Please remember it is clinic day, not the day we leave that determines which week end.  October 1 was a Saturday, so we left for clinic on what was the second Friday of the month, but clinic day, October 15, was the third Saturday.  This will occur once more this clinic season, in April, when the first day of the month is also a Saturday.

Getting the Lopez Mateos clinic started was a bit challenging; first clinic of the season, several first timers and an airplane with three much needed interpreters was delayed, but it all fell into place nicely.  Two dentists were provided courtesy of our Aeromedico friends, and we had three hygienists of our own this trip.  Two of them and an interpreter came in on a Saturday morning flight.  I know it makes for a long day of travel plus clinic on that Saturday, but it can be arranged if someone is not able to leave on Friday.  Detailed October clinic results, as always, are posted on Alicia’s blog http://samaritansmovil.blogspot.com/.

We continue to work toward getting a prosthesis for Nelly’s sister in law (coincidently also named Nelly), who lost her leg in a car accident early this year.  I didn’t realize that before a fitting, the limb needs to be shaped for several months by having the patient wrap it in a special way.  It was confirmed this trip that things were progressing well and our patient was following proper procedures.  

For the LSI experience, I ask our dentist Rick Turley to provide his impressions.  Rick wrote:

We had a great clinic at Laguna San Ignacio this last weekend.  I think this is the largest group I have been with at this clinic.  We had a total of twelve people helping out, including three pilots, that made the clinic successful.  We had a dentist, hygienist, as well as a nurse practitioner providing much needed treatment to this small community.  25 dental patients were seen between the dentist and the hygienist.  I don't have an exact number seen by medical, but they were busy!  We were fortunate to have two translators with us as well as plenty of support people to make sure things ran smoothly.  My 12 year old dental assistant, Diana, did great!  No problems with the generator or water this trip!  We had great support from the community as well, as they helped throughout the day with the clinic and provided a delicious meal for all.  We had a great experience and look forward going back soon!

You can also follow this link to a new video that was made for our recent recognition at the Tempe Sister Cities event.  https://www.dropbox.com/s/hh22k7xgipt6c4r/Flying%20Samaritans%20v2.mp4?dl=0   I think you’ll enjoy and you may find it useful to give new recruits a sense of what our clinics are all about. 

Our next clinic will be November 18-20 and I believe it will be both Lopez and LSI based on our anticipated staffing, but time will tell.  I look forward to seeing you soon!


Dennis Gerlach
President Phoenix Chapter
Flying Samaritans Arizona