Dear SCSA Member,
I’m passing this along to share with any friends or colleagues whom you think might be interested. We’re putting together a team, primarily through our church in Greenville (Westminster Presbyterian), for a surgical mission trip November 4th-11th in the Dominican Republic.
Basic logistics…we’ll fly into Santo Domingo on the 4th and travel by bus to Barahona, which is about 3 hours away and 60 miles or so from the Haitian border. On Sunday we’ll set up in the local hospital and we’ll do cases Monday-Friday. We have 2 OB/Gyns, 1 urologist, 1 vascular/general surgeon, and 1 orthopedic surgeon. Prior to arrival we’ll be working with a local MD to create a surgical schedule for the week.
The hospital itself is primitive but there are a couple of older anesthesia machines and scattered supplies and medications. We generally take everything we need with us or ship it in advance. As much as possible, we use regional techniques (spinal/epidural/CSE/Bier blocks) but occasionally do some general anesthetics. Our team will have a variety of RNs, surgical techs, and other perioperative staff – probably 15-17 people total for 2-3 operating rooms depending on the local surgical schedule (a local/regional surgeon will come in a couple of days during any week for cases; we’re not typically involved in that scenario).
Most of our patients are Haitians who work in the nearby sugar cane fields and live in the “bateys” that have been there for decades. They are, unfortunately, second class citizens in a third world country. Some patients are Dominicans, and in either case we generally have interpreters on site to facilitate communication. We’ll stay in a local “resort” called Playa Azul – just a few miles from the hospital, safe, and actually beautifully located on the ocean. Almost all of our meals will be there aside from lunch, which we’ll make each night via a grocery stop that we’ll make en route to Barahona from Santo Domingo.
On Friday we operate until about noon, then head back to Santo Domingo for a final night and dinner. There is usually a little time Saturday morning for “personal time” (shopping, exploring) before the early afternoon flight back to S.C. Cost is about $1,750/person, which covers airfare from Greenville (we can sort out other options and pricing), all transportation, almost all meals, interpreters, etc.
I’m happy to share more details if anyone is interested. Right now one other anesthesiologist in our group is going (Mark Pruitt) along with me, so we would love to have a third volunteer if he/she is interested in joining us. Thanks in advance for sharing!
All the best,
Robert R. Morgan, Jr., MD, MBA 211 East Park Avenue Greenville, SC 29601 (h) 864-250-1938 (m) 864-238-5893 (o) 864-242-4602 firstname.lastname@example.org