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April 2013, Issue 5
In This Issue
Are You Coming This Summer?
Check It Out!
Our Trip Sponsors
Medical Students Gina and Jinet
You're Invited!

Are You Coming This Summer?

Do you miss the sound of soft rain falling on a tin roof or the cry of the peacocks at dawn? Do you get sentimental when you think about reconnecting with patients and community health workers in a village you especially loved? Perhaps you made 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. The next opportunity to volunteer is July 5th - 18th.


Check It Out!

Hot off the press is an article you won't want to miss: 


Merging Athletic Training and Nursing Clinical Education: An Interdisciplinary, International Service-Learning Model  


The article appears in the November 2012 edition of Groupwork, an international peer reviewed journal. Co-authors, Anne Keith and Ben Towne present a model based on how the USM Athletic Training Education Program partnered with the USM School of Nursing Program, PRHDR, and Dominican partners to offer a comprehensive International Service Learning experience in the Dominican Republic. Click here to read this compelling article.


Our Trip Sponsors

2013 Trip Sponsor
Mary Ann and Bob Rodrigue

2013 Clinic Sponsors

Bernstein, Shur

Winter Point Oysters 

Gordon and Anne Grimes

Gregory Boulos 

Rob and Elizabeth Baldacci

Katherine and Jerico Pena

Marcia and Rob Chaffee

Janice Jaffe

Southern Maine Oral Surgery

Wayne and Vickie Hilty

Whitney and Bob Lutz


We are looking for Summer 2013 Trip Sponsors and additional Clinic Sponsors. Please contact Patty Ingwersen for more details about sponsoring a trip or clinic.
P.O. Box 1742
Portland, Maine 04104
[email protected]
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Dear Katherine 

Greetings from all of us at PRHDR.  The winter trip was a great success. 75 people came together to create one of the best missions ever! On a cold wintry night in December, 33 USM nursing students, 5 faculty members, and 22 volunteers from PRHDR boarded a plane and headed for our mission to the Dominican Republic. Temperature on arrival: 75 degrees. Skies blue. Roads bumpy. Warm welcome. At Fusimaña we were joined by our Dominican partners: 3 medical students, 1 dentist from Yaroa, and 12 members of the Peace Corps. A powerful thing happens when we partner with others!  

Medical Students Gina and Jinet
Jinet and Gina
Gina and Jinet

When medical students, Gina and Jinet, joined the January trip, they came with enthusiasm and a lot of experience. They have been working at A Mother's Wish since its founding on numerous projects including anti-parasite campaigns, fighting dengue fever, trash cleanup, water purification and sex education for adolescents.

The twins are from Arenoso, a town in the province of Duarte where, at the time of writing this article, the weather is warm, with scattered clouds and a balmy 84 degrees with a light south easterly wind blowing at 8 mph, a sharp contrast to the steely cold winds in Portland, ME.

When asked why they decided to study medicine, they share,"We have always been interested in medicine because we see it as a selfless way to help people. It really is our passion." When medical students, doctors and nurses from the Dominican Republic are on the clinic floor, they enrich the experience for the patients and the PRHDR students, staff and volunteers. It was a bonus to have Gina and Jinet during the winter mission. They volunteered in several communities where they had a chance to learn first-hand from the PRHDR staff and volunteers. "We learned to take a pulse, check heart rates, how to test blood sugar levels and how to analyze a urine sample. Working closely with the patients and with health professionals, we realized how important this work really is. This experience has taught us a lot and will prove useful in our future careers."  Jinet plans to be a pediatrician while her twin sister, Gina, wants to become a surgeon.

A special  memory from their time with PRHDR occurred at the clinic in the village of Yaroa. They recall, "Something that especially stood out was when Destry was seeing a 97 year-old patient.
The patient spoke so softly that it was very hard to understand anything he said, but she remained incredibly patient with him. It was very impressive." They add, "Also, when Andrew was seeing a woman with mental disabilities, he treated her as if she were normal, with great respect. We have seen how people discriminate against people with mental illness, so this was inspirational."Although Jinet and Gina have more schooling and their residencies ahead of them, they hope to be able to join PRHDR in the future.

When asked what they found most interesting, they agree, "What we liked most was being able to have direct contact with the patients. You learn a lot from them and feel like you're part of their lives." PRHDR takes great pride in the quality of doctors, nurses, interpreters, physical therapist,and repeat volunteers who support the biannual trips. Jinet and Gina confirm what we know to be true of all of our staff and volunteers, " We liked working with everyone, but especially with Cindy, Laurita, Destry and Janice because of the patience and the love that they had for their patients."

PRHDR thanks translator and January trip interpreter, Susannah Higginbotham, for making this article possible through her translation of the interview with Jinet and Gina.  
You're Invited!
Arlin Smith and John Hennessey
Arlin Smith of Hugo's and Eventide with John Hennessey of Winter Point Oysters at the 2012 PRHDR Cocktail Reception

PRHDR sends out a huge thank you to Andrew Taylor, Arlin Smith, and Mike Wiley, owners of Eventide Oyster Company for hosting the upcoming PRHDR cocktail reception honoring the Summer 2013 Medical Team and Sponsors. The event will take place on:


Monday, May 20th, 5:00 PM


Eventide Oyster Company

86 Middle Street

Portland, Maine


$50 at the door/$25 students  


100% of proceeds to support PRHDR.


Don't miss the return of the unforgettable raw bar featuring Winter Point oysters on the half shell, quahogs and steamers. Donated by John Hennessey, owner of Winter Point Oysters, the raw bar made a huge splash at last year's event. There will also be other tasty appetizers prepared by the talented chefs of Eventide served with an assortment of local beer and wine. Please join us to meet and thank this year's sponsors for the summer mission!


 Click here to learn more about Eventide Oyster Company and to review their amazing menu.


Thank you, Eventide, for your incredible generosity!



Questions: 207.251.6047  

[email protected]

 View Invite Here

Thank you:
Thank you Jinet and Gina Jaquez for sharing their story; Susannah Higginbotham for the translation of the interview of Gina and Jinet and James Pickard "Diego" for their photo; Anne Keith and Ben Towne for sharing their journal article; the Peace Corps volunteers who serve every trip as interpreters and cultural brokers; Katherine Peña, newsletter editor and Rebecca Marvil for the use of many of her photos in our brochure, newsletter and website.

© 2008-2013 Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic | Tax ID: 26-1528035