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March 2012, Issue 4
In This Issue
Welcome new board members!
PRHDR Volunteer "Estrellas"
Our Trip Sponsors
Volunteer for our Summer Trip!
Interview with PRHDR Volunteer, Pat Patterson, MD
Carol Doane Memorial Award

Welcome New Board Members!

Partners welcomes four new members to the board: Patty Ingwersen, Moises Nuñez, Katherine Peña and Michelle Stirling

PRHDR Volunteer "Estrellas"

The following people belong to a special category of volunteers. Partners congratulates you for joining for ten or more trips!

Anne Keith(27!!!)        
Bob Keith
John Consoli
Jessica Consoli        
Carol Doane
Cindy Robertson    
Nuala Kavanaugh
Whitney Lutz        
Dan Wendell        
Lois Tiedeken        
Dave Hotstream
Sue Cote        
Jean Burton
Jeff Martin
Priscilla Doel        
Jean Waring

PRHDR realizes that the research to compile this list is incomplete. If you have volunteered with PRHDR for 10 or more years, please send us an e-mail so this list will contain all of Partners' volunteer superstars.
Our Trip Sponsors

January 2012 Trip Sponsors
North Atlantic Capital
Martin's Point Health Care

January 2012 Clinic Sponsors
Baldacci Group
Rob & Marcia Chaffee
East Brown Cow Management
Gordon & Anne Grimes
Whitney & Bob Lutz
North Atlantic Insurance Associates
Retina Center of Maine
Sandy & Jill Spaulding
Stanford Management
Steuer Management
The Yodas
Tolley Group, Inc.
University of Southern Maine
Waterville Pediatrics
Steve & Jane Wendel

Summer 2012 Trip Sponsor
X Pertech

Summer 2012 Clinic Sponsor
Bernstein Shur Counselors at Law
Micucci Wholesale Foods / Micucci Grocery Company
University of Southern Maine

We are looking for Summer 2012 Trip Sponsors and additional Clinic Sponsors. Please contact Patty Ingwersen for more details about sponsoring a trip or clinic.
 Summer 2012 trip

Are you looking for a a unique opportunity to help provide much needed medical care to thousands of patients in rural villages in the Dominican Republic while also gaining valuable professional experience and education through engaging with patients directly in a real clinical setting? Visit our website where you will learn more about us. The next opportunity to volunteer is July 12-July 25, 2012.


 Join us for a fundraising cocktail party to thank our generous sponsors!

The party will be held Monday, May 21 at 5:30-8:30 at Hugo's on 88 Middle Street in Portland,  Maine. We will be serving local Winterpoint oysters and light appetizers prepared by the talented chef's at Hugo's. Please mark the date on your calendars!
P.O. Box 1742
Portland, Maine 04104
[email protected]
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Dear Anne 

Greetings from all of us at Partners.  President of the board, Whitney Lutz, reports that the January 2012 trip was a great success, very efficient, and a very good experience for the students. On some nights, Fusimana had a full house with 83 people. 34 of this year's participants were volunteers. Of those, 60% were returning volunteers who always contribute to the smooth running of the mission.

Partners is proud to feature returning volunteer, Pat Patterson, MD in this issue of the newsletter.
Interview with PRHDR volunteer, Pat Patterson, MD

Pat PattersonDr. Pat Patterson returned to the DR with Partners for the eighth time in January.
A pediatrician with years of experience in caring for children and in teaching pediatric care to medical students and residents, Pat exclaims, "I love the experience. The warmth of the Dominican people and the growth in the clinical skills and confidence of the students is outstanding." She was drawn to the program for a number of reasons. Pat says, "It was important to me that it not be a drop in and then leave type of a program.  The emphasis on continuity and empowering the local villagers through education to better care for themselves was appealing. The combination of providing care in the international setting while educating nursing students and nurse practitioner students was also a big draw for me."

Pat has witnessed the confidence of students grow as they transform from tentative learners to talented care providers. She remarks, "They speak expertly on the subject of dental hygiene, diabetes management and wound care by the third or fourth day. It is truly a remarkable experience." With a mentor like Pat, students cannot help but flourish. She moves about the clinic floor with confidence and a smile on her face. She balances the seriousness of her work with kindness. When a student begins a first assessment of a child, Pat knows how to eliminate the intimidation factor. She is friendly, and knows how to bring warmth to the clinics. Her smile is capable of dissolving anxiety in a child and at the same time gives confidence to the mother. She is an exemplary role model. Her fellow volunteers describe her as compassionate, lovely, sincere, gracious and fun to be around.

Pat, like many of PRHDR's volunteer providers and mentors, is highly qualified and brings a wealth of knowledge to the program. She currently works for Maine Medical Center as an Attending Pediatrician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics for Tufts University School of Medicine. She supervises students and pediatric residents in the clinic and develops the 3rd year medical student curriculum in pediatrics. She states that her experience with PRHDR has helped her in her work. She explains, "I work a lot with international patients at MMC.  Working in the DR and seeing their living conditions, helps me understand where many of the patients I see at MMC came from.  Basic first aid care, cleaning a cut when you have one, is often new knowledge to them but so very important." She adds, "I always return from the DR recharged about practicing medicine.  Sometimes I lose sight of the joy practicing medicine brings to me in the day in day out struggles of dealing with insurance companies and pressures of paper work. In the DR, I experience, again, why I went into medicine to begin with; the sheer joy of the patient contact and the depth of gratitude the villagers extend to us for our work."

Since her initial trip in '06, Pat has shared the experience on subsequent trips with her sons Ryan and Brady, as well as her husband, Rodger.  Although she has not yet convinced her son, Colin, to join the mission, his companion, Hanah Smith, joined us in January as an excellent in-take volunteer.  Pat's sister, Kate Stephens, added a very professional touch and lots of warmth as a clinic in-take volunteer in January 2010.

When asked what she would say to someone who is thinking about going on the trip, Pat's bright blue eyes twinkle as she smiles and exclaims, "Don't wait; do it!"

Below, Pat shares a special moment that she will always remember about her time in the DR.

"I have many memorable moments from my trips to the DR. One in particular, however, made me acutely aware of the interwoven relationship of modern medicine, traditional medicine and religion in the DR. One night, as we were eating our evening meal, a car pulled up and young boy, of about 4, was carried from the car into the chapel. Word came that there was an acutely ill pediatric patient in the chapel and I went to attend to the boy with a pediatric resident. As we entered the chapel it became clear that the little child was seizing. Knowing we had nothing at Fusimana we asked the family to immediately transport to the hospital. The family shared that they had recently come from there. Their child had been hospitalized for some time with what sounded like meningitis or encephalitis, both serious infections of the brain. But, because he was not getting better after weeks of care, they took him out of the hospital and brought him to the village where he had received some traditional herbal treatment that failed to help him. They then brought him to us, to be seen by US doctors and, likely more importantly, to be seen and treated within the walls of the chapel. They declined to return to the hospital despite strong encouragement from the team to do just that. Several team members were shocked and distressed by the unwillingness of the family to return to the hospital. It took me a few days to understand why the family had insisted that we attend to their child in the chapel, instead of another private area. But I think the family had hoped that by enlisting the help of medical providers from the US within the home of their God, their son had the best chance of a cure: through medicine or a miracle. The family was trying everything they could to seek help for their child. In reflecting later on the event, I recall being struck by the family's calm appearance as they left the chapel with their son, unchanged.  It was as if at that moment, they were at peace that they had tried all they knew to try to help their child. Wrapping their small child up in their homemade blanket and carrying him from the chapel, it occurred to me that maybe home, not the hospital, was exactly where he needed to be, cuddled between his parents."

To protect the privacy of the client and family, the name of the client, the village, and the hospital have been withheld.
Carol Doane Memorial Award

Carol DoaneIn memory of Carol and in recognition of the enormous difference she made during her life, the School of Nursing at the University of Southern Maine is trying to raise $25,000 to endow a lasting award program in Carol's memory. Once established, the award will be given each year to a USM nursing student who is participating in PRHDR. This award will assist with travel and other expenses related to the  project. One of the most meaningful aspects of Carol's nursing career was her commitment to children and the under-served. This devotion shined during her service through PRHDR. Carol loved this program and was dedicated to the healthcare needs of the citizens of the Dominican Republican.

Donations can be made by checks payable to the USM Foundation, and return to:

USM Advancement Services
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME  04104-9300. 

Please mark the label on the check, Carol Pike Doane Memorial Award.

By June 2015 if the total gifts reach $25,000, all gifts will become endowed in the name of the Carol Pike Doane Memorial Award. For review of the USM Foundation's endowment management practices, please call Karen Pelletier at 207-780-4741.
Are you coming back this summer?

Do you miss the sound of soft rain falling on a tin roof or the cry of the peacocks at dawn? Did you make a special friendship over a dreamy peanut butter and jelly sandwich during a clinic lunch break? Do you get a little nostalgic at the thought of squishy mud on your shoes or the dream of a hot shower?  If you are looking for another rewarding experience with Partners, your bunk at Fusimaña has your name on it. Spaces for the summer trip are filling up fast. Click here for more information.

Thank you:
To Pat Patterson, MD for sharing her story;  Rebecca Marvil for the use of many of her photos in our brochure, newsletter and website; all of the Peace Corps volunteers who serve every trip as interpreters and cultural brokers; Katherine Peña, newsletter editor
© 2008-2012 Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic | Tax ID: 26-1528035