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April 2014, Issue 6
In This Issue
Are You Coming Back This Summer?
Winter Trip 2014
Give to PRHDR Just by Searching the Web
A Video For Partners!
Where in the World is Ben Towne?
Winter Safety Officer
Student Representative Andrew Hilty

Join us for La Fiesta at Vignola!

Thursday, April 24 


5:00-8:30 PM

10 Dana Street, Portland, ME


Hors d'oeuvres, live music, and silent auction!

RSVP Here! 

Are You Coming Next 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. Trip date: June 28th- July 11th Click here for more information. 

Winter Trip 2014 

The trip leaders reported that the winter mission was extremely successful with 23 students and 22 volunteers on board. The incredible weather put a smile on everyone's face. Faculty and staff applauded all participants for an exceptional job. This year the group was fortunate to have six Dominican university students from the nearby community of Arenoso join the interpreting team. According to Janice Jaffe, Director of Interpreting, "It was a privilege to work with these talented young people who have been youth leaders in their community, and who provided invaluable lessons in cultural understanding. We look forward to continuing this important partnership." Cindy Robertson, Medical Director of PRHDR added, "We're exploring the expansion of the Health Promoter Program with Dr. Ramón and Juana Lidia Meléndez of Lajas taking on leadership during times when PRHDR is not present." She commented, "It is inspiring to work alongside our Dominican partners and witness their increasing engagement and empowerment in serving their communities."

Give to PRHDR Just by Searching the Web!

Goodsearch is a search engine that donates 50% of advertisement revenue from every search to a cause selected by the user. According to Andrew Hilty, PRHDR Student Board Representative, "The site is powered by Yahoo, so search results are on par with other major search engines, and it's easy to sign up. The first time you use the site, just type in "Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic" as the organization you wish to support, and funds generated by your searches will go to PRHDR." He continues, "If you set Goodsearch as your homepage, every time you perform a search you'll be contributing to our cause."  To date we have raised $622 for PRHDR, and with more users on board, those funds will continue to grow more rapidly. Please spread the word. Tell all of your friends, and tell all of your friends to tell their friends. It makes "cents"!
P.O. Box 1742
Portland, Maine 04104
Editors: Anne Grimes and Katherine Peña
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2014 Marks a Major Milestone for PRHDR


It's our 20th Anniversary!!!


20 years of improving lives through 40 Medical Missions to 20 villages in the Dominican Republic

20 years of educating


20 years of empowering


20 years of engaging



We would love to hear from you about what you're doing now, any special memories or anecdotes of your time in the DR, and how your involvement with PRHDR has impacted you. Please contact us


Also, look for details on the website and celebrate by joining us for our Spring Fundraising Events!  

A Video For Partners!


 Front right: Carlos Cuellar


PRHDR is pleased to announce that CATAMA Productions, a Maine video production company, volunteered to produce a video to document our efforts of engaging, empowering, and educating in the villages we serve in the Dominican Republic. Carlos Cuellar, President of CATAMA, accompanied by videographer and editor, Joel Desmond, attended the summer 2013 medical mission. After capturing a couple of days in the clinics, Carlos remarked, "The spirit of the volunteers and students was infectious. " CATAMA has been shooting film and video throughout North America, Mexico and Europe since 1988.  They were on location at Fusimana and in various villages to film footage for a video which will tell our story. Carlos commented, "What impressed me most about PRHDR is the continuity of care provided by going twice a year, keeping records on the patients, and involving the Dominican Community Leaders from each village." He added, "The fact that the fee that patients pay is returned twice fold to the their communities was amazing." Carlos is producing a video that PRHDR can use on the website as well as with fund-raising campaigns. Whitney Lutz, President of PRHDR, states, "We hope this professionally produced video will help PRHDR get the word out as to who we are and what we do." After spending several days with us, Carlos exclaimed, "It was a life changing experience!"

Thank you, CATAMA Productions for this amazing gift and helping PRHDR reach a long awaited goal of producing a video to help advance our fundraising efforts.    

Click here to learn more about Carlos and CATAMA Productions.
Where in the World is Ben Towne?

Left: Matt Antoine, US Men's Skeleton Bronze Medalist, RIght: Ben Towne

When he's not teaching at the University of Southern Maine, or leading his athletic training students twice a year with PRHDR to the Dominican Republic for an International Service Learning Course, or serving as the Trip Safety Officer, you might find Ben traveling the world with America's elite athletes. He has traveled to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy as a volunteer certified athletic trainer for the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Teams' World Tour and World Championships. This year, Ben was chosen to provide care to athletes on the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Teams at the Sochi Olympics. He states, "It has been an amazing experience and I'm humbled and honored to be chosen to work at the highest level of sport." There are over 35,000 members of the National Athletic Trainers Association. Ben is one of only 17 certified athletic trainers chosen to provide medical services in the 2014 Olympic Games. PRHDR congratulates Ben Towne! Watch a video interview with Ben on the WCSH 6 website
Winter Safety Officer
Patricia Hennessey 

While Ben Towne was in Sochi, Patty Hennessey  stepped into the position of Winter Trip Safety Officer. She exclaims, "I found myself working nonstop from 7:00 in the morning to 10:00 most nights, but I absolutely loved it!" Patty has been on numerous trips with PRHDR serving as an interpreter and Assistant Safety Officer. She adds, "The trip was amazing with a great group of students and such a cohesive and effective administration team."

Student Representative Andrew Hilty, RN

Andrew Hilty is the Student Representative on the PRHDR Board of Directors and enjoys wearing several hats in the organization, including organizing student fundraisers and leading campfire songs at Fusimaña. He is currently in the Nursing Options Program, Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty at USM. Previously, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in Philosophy, from the University of California Santa Barbara. He is originally from San Francisco, CA.

Andrew has participated on two trips with PRHDR, and feels that working with the organization has had a huge impact on both his skills as a clinician and his dedication to his work. He states, "The service PRHDR provides has such a visible impact on the communities we serve, and our work is so appreciated by our clients, that I am constantly reminded of why I entered the health care field in the first place." Andrew is looking forward to his next trip with great enthusiasm, and hopes to continue working with PRHDR long after he graduates.
PRHDR offers SOLO Wilderness First Aid Workshop

Several PRHDR Board members and active volunteers spent a weekend (16 hours) learning emergency first aid through SOLO Wilderness First Aid.  Board President, Whitney Lutz, who attended the training workshop, commented, "As you know, accidents happen no matter how well prepared you are. PRHDR is committed to provide our leaders with the necessary instruction on how to manage these emergencies."  The group learned basic skills of:  Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal injuries, Environmental Emergencies, Survival Skills, Soft Tissue Injuries, and Medical Emergencies. 

The group was very fortunate to have two fabulous instructors, Jeanne Twehous, NP and William Aughton, who have traveled with us to the DR. In addition to Whitney, the other board members and volunteers who attended were: Dan Wendel, Andrew Hilty, Janice Jaffe, Patty Hennessey, Jean Burton, Lois Tiedeken, Gabe Garcia, Larisa Kruze, and Cindy Robertson.

Whitney added, "It was a wonderful time of learning valuable information from two instructors who appreciate the rigors of travel and work in the Dominican Republic. " 

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