Dominican Republic, November 2014

HRFU Dominican Republic Trip Summary

The most recent HRFU Dominican Republic was a huge success!  A team of 50 US volunteers plus 7 Institute of Latin American Concerns health care providers (cooperadores) and 2 Peace Corp volunteers provided care for over 250 patients and two potential HRFU team leaders, Dr. Mark Reiner and Dr. Antoine Lofti were trained – see below about team leader training.  One hundred three hernia operations were performed without complication and numerous other patients were examined and treated medically. As always the team members were grateful for the experience.  The patients and their families touch your heart in ways unanticipated.

Pictures below show Dr. Guy Giroux of Anesthesia and our Pediatric surgeon Dr. Robert Cusick on the right, a child patient in her mothers’ arms – another beautiful child patient, and Dr. Jim Manion our chief of Anesthesia sitting with one of his adult patients.

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HRFU Team Leader Training:  We use a team leading manual and Dr. Reiner and Dr. Lofti were given a copy by e-mail prior to their arrival with the understanding that they were coming to learn about but not necessarily volunteer to be a team leader.   The manual includes the HRFU mission statement and goals, our code of conduct, the way HRFU supports teams, our surgical policies, team leader qualifications, how to plan a trip, assemble a team, fund raise, the expected OR routine, surgical complication local physician backup, in kind donation procurement, a description of our surgeon training model, the responsibilities of specific team members, information about liability and sterility practices, a sample equipment and medication list for a  80 patient trip, information about the Peace Corp and attachments of a variety of HRFU policies and chart forms.

After reviewing the manual materials with the surgeons they performed hernia operations and Dr. Filipi assisted/observed and explained the Lichtenstein repair as we train it.  Dr. Lofti and Reiner will then decide about their further involvement.  Yearly team leader training will continue to build the reach of our program.