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After many months of construction and planning, DOCARE’s newest continuity of care clinic in Tecpan, Guatemala, began seeing patients on November 9, 2015! 
“We are thrilled that the clinic has been well received in the community and is seeing more patients than we projected,” Amy Adams, DO, DOCARE board member and Co-medical director of DOCARE’s Guatemala clinics, said.

Since its opening in November to January, the clinic has had over 350 patient visits, even considering the slower period around the holidays in December.  The patients have been primarily female at approximately 60% with a mean age of 29.

In the months prior to the clinic opening, Dr. Adams and Dr. Alan Schalscha, DOCARE Guatemala Clinics Director and Vice President, traveled to Tecpan to conduct medical protocol training with Dr. Aguilar and Dr. Cap, the Guatemalan physicians DOCARE hired.  

“One of the exciting new additions to the Tecpan clinic is the system of electronic medical records,” Dr. Adams said. “The system allows the clinic physicians in Guatemala to collaborate with DOCARE board member physicians in the U.S. to get feedback on patient care.”  

The Tecpan clinic physicians spend five hours a day seeing patients at the clinic. The remainder of the day is spent conducting outreach and implementing public health programs in the community.

Most recently, Dr. Aguilar and Dr. Cap have also arranged to teach basic health and hygiene such as handwashing and using sunscreen to children in three schools in the community. This program will reach approximately 600 kids. Other afternoons are spent doing free screenings in local churches.

We look forward to keeping you updated on progress at the clinic!
Dr. Amy Adams (right) with the Gautemalan physicians, Dr. Cap (left) and Dr. Aguilar (center)

Kelli Glaser, DO, FACOFP was elected unanimously as DOCARE President, 2015 – 2017, at the DOCARE General Membership meeting in Orlando on Sunday, October 18. Dr. Glaser has been an active member of the board since 2009; serving in several leadership positions including Secretary and Vice President.
“I’m so glad to be the President of DOCARE because of the wonderful volunteers who make up this organization,” Dr. Glaser said. “They give their heart and soul to the work of serving those in need and it’s truly inspirational.”

Dr. Glaser has participated in several global health outreach trips to Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras and assisted in the development of DOCARE’s continuity of care clinics.
“When I went on my first global health outreach trip with DOCARE in 2004, it was a life changing experience for me in many ways and inspired my passion for global health,” Dr. Glaser said. 

In addition to her contributions to DOCARE as President, Dr. Glaser is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona; Educator-at-large on the AOA Bureau of International Osteopathic Medicine and Chair of ACOFP’s Medical Outreach Committee.

“I am happy to continue contributing to the future of DOCARE as President, and to the volunteers and patient lives that will forever be touched by DOCARE and osteopathic medicine.”

Also, elected to DOCARE leadership roles were Alan Schalscha, DO, as Vice President; Amy Adams, DO, as Treasurer; and Mary Jo Voelpel, DO, as Secretary.

Meet the three new board members that were elected at the DOCARE General Membership meeting last October in Orlando. Welcome and Congratulations!
Allison Abraham, DO
Board of Trustee, 2015 – 2018

Dr. Abraham has participated on many DOCARE global health outreach trips to Guatemala, Peru and Kenya. She is a hospitalist at Legacy Health System in Portland, OR.

What appeals to you about global health outreach?
“I enjoy doing international medical outreach because I believe it’s important to learn and understand other medical systems and disease processes we are not exposed to on a day to day basis. It offers incredible opportunities for us to teach and learn in a collaborative way with health care providers throughout the world.”
Bo Pang, OMS
Board of Trustee, Student Member, 2015 – 2016

Student Dr. Pang attends MSUCOM where she is Class of 2016 President and was named MSUCOM Student Doctor of the Year 2014. She has global health experience serving in Peru, Guatemala and Brazil.

What is a memorable global health outreach experience for you? 
"DOCARE has been instrumental in shaping my past 4 years of medical school, and will continue to shape my future as an osteopathic physician / surgeon. It was through a DOCARE trip where I saw my first real patient, performed my first physical exam, and learned that I wanted to become an ENT & Facial plastic surgeon. I hope to continue my work in global health in the future, and continue to provide care to those that would not have access to healthcare otherwise. I am very honoured to be able to serve the osteopathic profession and my future patients on a Board that has provided so much for me."
Catherine Pinkston, DO
Board of Trustee, Resident Member, 2015 – 2016

Dr. Pinkston is a family medicine resident at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. She has extensive volunteer experience in Guatemala and Belize and has held many leadership positions with global health outreach organizations.  

Why did you join the DOCARE board?
"After my month long rotation in Guatemalal, I really felt like DOCARE is global health done the right way with a combination of much needed outreach projects but also establishment of clinics in communities where physicians and staff are local and can provide much needed continuity to their patients. I enjoy international health work and particularly working in Central America because it is incredible to see such small interventions by our standards such as antibiotics and vaccines go such a long way. I also love immersing myself with people and the culture.”

By Evelyn Andra Whitworth, RN

Let me begin with a confession. When I entered nursing school in my mid-40s, I did so more out of necessity than desire. Becoming a nurse was never the fulfillment of some long-held dream. But in 2011, that's the direction my life pointed and, somehow during the ensuing nightmare of nursing school, a dream emerged, nevertheless. 

As nursing school wore on and my dream took shape, I became increasingly interested in the complex interplay between cultural and socioeconomic issues and individual health and well-being. I decided that, as part of my nursing practice, I would seek opportunities to pursue a greater understanding of people, their cultural practices and environments, and how those factors affect health behavior and needs; and I set a goal early in my career to participate in global health outreach projects. 

It was my good fortune to have had Stanley Grogg, D.O., for my pediatrician, neighbor, and family friend. When I learned of Dr. Grogg’s upcoming medical outreach trip to India with DOCARE International and his non-profit organization, Power of a Nickel (PON), through the neighborhood grapevine, I immediately signed on.
The first venture to India sponsored by DOCARE International and PON was scheduled for December, 2015, in the city of Nagpur, which is located at the geographic center of India and known as "The City of Oranges." Our team would be visiting at the invitation of Dr. Satish Deopujari, MD, an influential pediatrician with Central India's Child Hospital and Research Institute, for the purpose of providing medical care, making appropriate referrals and dispensing medications to underserved populations in India. 

The trip also would function to initiate discussions between the Osteopathic community and local health officials and educational institutions regarding the possibility of establishing training clinics for American Osteopathic students as well as local medical students.
By the arrangement of Dr. Satish, we conducted three clinics, during which we treated nearly 1,000 patients ranging in age from infants to 90-plus years, and addressed individual health concerns including everything from joint pain, seasonal allergies, and hair loss to foot infections, blurred vision, and skin disorders. In addition to prescribing and providing medications and reading glasses, the Osteopathic medical students were able to use OMT as part of their treatment approach, and the clinics proved to be an effective platform for introducing the Osteopathic philosophy of hands-on healing to the Indian medical community. 

I personally cherish the clinical days for the opportunity to interact with so many people and receive so many smiles. From my role as intake nurse, I was able to meet nearly every patient who came to us seeking care. 

We spent two non-clinical days in Wardha, famous as the site of Gandhi's Sewagram ashram, during which our team toured a hospital and met with officials from the JawaharLal Nehru Medical School. The hospital tour provided powerful visual images of crowded dormitory-style wards; breezeways draped in laundry that blew gently toward us as it dried; and families sleeping in the hospital courtyards until their loved ones either recover or die. Before heading back to Nagpur, we made a quick stop at Sewagram where we spent the last hour or so of daylight wandering the scenic ashram grounds just as the sun was setting over Gandhi's former home. 

A hallmark of Dr. Grogg’s outreach trips is the nightly ritual of "reflections," where all members of the group gather before retiring for the night to share something meaningful from their day. The visit to Sewagram had a powerful effect and nearly everyone touched on some element of Gandhi's life or philosophy they found inspiring. I was particularly moved by a small outbuilding that had housed a leper who came to Sewagram asking for asylum. Not only did Gandhi welcome this man into the ashram to reside, but Gandhi himself provided daily wound care for the man's ulcers. In so doing, Gandhi is credited with helping change society's attitude towards leprosy patients.
Dr. Grogg and his global health outreach team in India, December 2015
I had never really thought of Gandhi's life in terms of nursing, but this story prompted me to re-evaluate my attitude toward service and my relationship to patients, increased my empathy toward people in need, and instilled a true sense of honor in caring for people when they are ill and vulnerable. It's my goal to incorporate Gandhi's example into my nursing practice, to remember that I should always consider it an honor and privilege to care for people during their time of need, and respect the trust placed in me as a nurse. 

These quick reflections don't even begin to tell the story or depict my memories of India, for how can I describe my first ox cart ride; the little village girl with the yellow barrette who peeked at me from behind every tree and the side of every building; the majesty of the temples; the sweet smell of the orange groves; the mad quest for an ever-better selfie ... and the bonds formed between the amazing members of Team USA-India. We will meet again soon...

I would like to express my gratitude to PON and DOCARE International for the important work they undertake and the opportunities they make possible to provide medical care in communities throughout the world that lack access to health care services. 

And finally, as I sign off on this story, I can't help but think that becoming a nurse really was my dream all along, it just took going to India for me to realize it. 
Copyright © 2015 DOCARE International, All rights reserved.

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