I am happy to report that we were able to provide services this month to our clinic at Laguna San Ignacio.  Due to the pandemic and a slow restart of volunteers and airplanes, we had not been able to open that clinic when we reopened the Lopez clinic in March.  Beth Diedrich, Triage/Nurse Coordinator, and Neta Kimmel, chiropractor, were the providers.  Pat McClure was our trusty pilot.  Our contact in LSI, Susy Rojas, had communicated with her community and, as a result, there were people ready and waiting when we arrived.  Beth saw 28 patients and Neta 24.  This is a smaller clinic, so the numbers were great.  Susy provided us with a delicious lunch.

I also want to mention the condition of the clinic itself.  Back in December when we were hoping to get clinics started sometime in the new year, Charlie Brown, Dennis Gerlach and I visited both clinics.  The LSI clinic showed a lot of neglect and we decided to allot funds for repairs.  Susy and other individuals in the community painted the building, doors and ceiling supports, made roof repairs, cleaned out the inside of the roof covering the waiting area (birds nests, cobwebs, etc.), tiled the corroding benches and even re-painted the mural.  The inside of the building was also thoroughly cleaned.  I will post photos on the FS Facebook page to show the improvements.

The Lopez clinic was staffed with general medical doctors, a pediatrician,  chiropractors, a dental hygienist, pharmacist and nurse, along with interpreters and pilots lending a hand in dispensing reading glasses.  Unfortunately, there were no dentists available for this trip.   All told, 146 patients were provided with various services and 48 prescriptions were dispensed. As usual, a delicious lunch was provided by Guillermo and granddaughter, Andrea.

Overall, I believe the Flying Samaritans Phoenix Chapter is off to a good resumption of our clinics.  I have spoken with people in other volunteer organizations and have heard the same statement several times that getting volunteers back on board has been a slow process.  I also think we need to continue with efforts to publicize our return in the Baja communities.  Losing our dear Neli, our contact in Constitución as well as lunch provider, was a big blow to us but her granddaughter, Andrea, is working hard with us to let folks know we are back.

I am so proud of each and every one of you who volunteer each month.  It takes someone very special to undertake a volunteer mission in a foreign country. Especially since it involves covering your own expenses and giving up a Saturday to work at a job that you had been doing all of the previous week.

Until next month,
Bonnie Lassen