The World is Our Clinic
DOCARE is proud to announce the selection of a new clinic site in Nicaragua. We are excited for the new international training and volunteer opportunities this partnership will offer to DOCARE student and physician members. This partnership upholds DOCARE’s future vision of focusing on establishing long-term commitments for continuity of medical care in underserved populations.
DOCARE Establishes Partnership with Clinic in Nicaragua
Over the last several years, DOCARE has established a relationship with the Nicaragua clinic site and has conducted many medical outreach projects in the country.
Dr. Stan Grogg, a DOCARE Board member and mission director, proposed the partnership between DOCARE with MINSA (Nicaragua Ministry of Health) and JustHope, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Tulsa, OK, after working with the organizations for several years to bring medical services to the community and leading several groups of OSU students to the area.
The clinic is located in Chacraseca, a rural farming community of approximately 8,000 people with an average income of $2 per day per family, 30 minutes away from Leon. The clinic has several exam rooms, a pharmacy room and a lab area with some basic equipment. It is staffed by volunteers from the community, a doctor and part-time dentist who see approximately 40 patients a day.
The partnership agreement allows DOCARE student and resident members to complete short term rotations for a period of one week to a month for 40 weeks a year.
DOCARE is also in discussions for a partnership with a new clinic site located in San Pedro De Marcoris, Dominican Republic. The partnership is being facilitated by Dr. Gautam Desai, DO, DOCARE President and global health outreach project director, to establish international clinical rotation opportunities for DOCARE student members at the University of Central Del Este (UCE) School of Medicine in the Dominican Republic.
AOA 2012-13 President Ray E. Stowers, DO Volunteers for 2 DOCARE Trips
AOA Past President Ray E. Stowers, DO, a DOCARE member, volunteered for two DOCARE medical outreach trips during his AOA presidency. “I’ve known about DOCARE for 30 years and have always wanted to volunteer and that’s why my wife Peggy and I took time to come be a part of this experience,” Dr. Stowers said.
In February, Dr. Stowers visited the DOCARE Continuity of Care Clinic in Guatemala as part of DOCARE Clinic Director, Alan Schalscha, DO, and John Burdick, DO’s medical outreach trip. They also traveled to neighboring mountainous villages to care for residents who were unable travel to the clinic, seeing upwards of 200 patients each day.
“I’m very proud of this clinic,” Dr. Stowers said. “DOCARE has great potential and ability to expand not only this facility but to other clinics to help even more people around the world.”
What impressed Dr. Stowers most was the ability of students and physicians across specialties to come together and work as a team to help patients and the invaluable international training opportunities for osteopathic medical students that DOCARE outreach projects provide.
In addition to visiting the Guatemala clinic, Dr. Stowers participated in a medical outreach trip to visit the new DOCARE clinic in Chacraseca, Nicaragua, along with outreach director, Stan Grogg, DO, students and other physician volunteers.
Of his participation as a DOCARE volunteer, Dr. Stowers said, “They say it, but it truly has been a life changing experience. I know I’m going to now more than ever be an advocate of DOCARE.”
Guatemala Continuity of Care Clinic Update
Now in its third year, the DOCARE Continuity of Care clinic in San Andreas Itzapa, Guatemala continues to thrive and gain acceptance in the community. This past year saw an increase of students completing rotations at the clinic and the near completion of a dental facility within the medical clinic compound.
The clinic, staffed by a full time doctor and nurse, sees on average 30-45 patients a day, 70% of which are women and children. Alan Schalscha, DO, Guatemala Clinic Director, said that the emphasis in the coming year will be on educating the clinic staff on preventive medicine, most of which is currently conducted by the clinic nurse rather than the doctor who is traditionally viewed by locals as someone to be seen only when having an urgent or serious medical need.
The dental facility is expected to meet a much needed service in the community due to the high incidence of oral diseases in the population which has little understanding of the importance of oral hygiene, often not seeking out medical attention until their pain leaves them no choice. The facility will accommodate two dental chairs, all necessary storage, drilling and suctioning equipment and sinks with hot and cold running water.
DOCARE has reached out to dental schools to arrange a partnership in running this part of the clinic. Similar to the international learning opportunities provided to osteopathic medical students at the clinic, the dental school would work with DOCARE to schedule students and/or dentists to staff the dental area.
DOCARE had 35 students from more than 7 COMs participate in the clerkship program at the clinic. While at the clinic, many students also participated in community projects focusing on providing potable water, clean-burning stoves, and other needs.
New President and Board Members Elected
Gautam Desai, DO was elected unanimously by the general membership as DOCARE’s newest President. Dr. Desai has led many global health outreach projects to Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Elected Board members were John Windsor, DO, William Blazey, DO, and William Henning, DO. Welcome and congratulations!
DOCARE Launches New Website
DOCARE’s website has a new look! After many months of development, we are excited to announce our new website, designed with a cleaner layout and user-friendly navigation. The website features links to DOCARE’s social media pages and more prominent buttons for visitors to quickly find pages that are visited the most frequently, such as, ‘Clinics,’ ‘Students,’ ‘Residents’ and ‘Outreach Projects.’
A new addition to the website will be a ‘Resources’ page where visitors will be able to view photos and videos of past outreach trips and links to important information for outreach project volunteers. Members will also be able to login to check their membership status. Click here
to explore our new website!
DOCARE Board Votes to Change Medical Outreach Term
The DOCARE Board voted in favor of using the term ‘Global Health Outreach Projects’ in place of the term ‘Mission’ that has previously been used. It was felt that the new term better exemplifies DOCARE’s purpose; Global is where we serve, Health is the service we provide, and Outreach encompasses multiple ways of doing so.
There was concern that the term ‘mission’ had a religious connotation and may not convey that although DOCARE occasionally partners with faith-based organizations, DOCARE volunteers and patients are not required to be of any particular religious affiliation or participate in religious activities.
Moving forward, the term ‘Global Health Outreach Project Director’ will be used instead of ‘Mission Director’ on the website and all communications.
Paul McHugh, DO Awarded the Robert A. Klobnak Distinguished Service Award
The Robert A. Klobnak Distinguished Service Award was presented to Paul M. McHugh, DO, at a Special Session at OMED in Las Vegas in recognition of his many contributions to the vision of DOCARE. Dr. McHugh, a lifetime member, will lead his fourth trip to Guatemala in the summer of 2014. He has participated in over 20 outreach trips, was instrumental in developing the DOCARE chapter at Touro COM in Nevada and has served on the DOCARE Board of Trustees.
Also honored at the ceremony were Elizabeth Carney and Jane Rouyer, DOCARE founder Ernest A. Allaby’s daughters, to recognize their father’s accomplishments and legacy. Dr. Allaby’s daughters shared a heartwarming recount of their last trip to Mexico with their father before he passed away at age 49. They were presented with a framed photo of their father on a trip to northern Mexico.
AOA Employees Support DOCARE
American Osteopathic Association (AOA) employees showed their support for DOCARE by participating in a fundraiser held at Jersey Mike’s Subs. In total, the fundraiser brought in over $400 to support DOCARE’s programs. AOA staff members enthusiastically donated $2 to DOCARE and received a sub sandwich with many staff contributing more.
New DOCARE Student Chapters
DOCARE’s newest student chapters were established at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Lincoln Memorial University College of Osteopathic Medicine. A warm welcome to our new chapters!
Thanks to all for your continued support of DOCARE. You make it all possible!