Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and thanks to all,
Who toiled and toiled to avoid rainfall,
Then in midst of the fright after rain falling
into the night, And at last in fin came
a welcomed wind, As it basted away the rain
the Sam's lifted their planes, And Southward
bound for another round. 

And such was the beginning of our December clinic
of the Flying Samaritan efforts to bring quality and
heartfelt healthcare to the needy of Baja Sur Mexico.
Friday departure had to be canceled due to the rain but
Saturday morning they were all on their way to out clinic.
With the first plane arriving near 11:00 am our Amigos
from Arizona stepped into an already running clinic with
dentists from Constitucion filling the need as we only had
hygienists available from North of the border. As such our
local dentists treated 15 dental patients while our hygientists
were able to help another 11 patients walk away with brighter
smiles. Our OBgyn staff ended up putting down in Mulege due
to a late start so our medical staff took up the slack seeing
20 patients while 10 pediatric patients were helped. Our 
chiropractors relieved pains of another 65 folks and our 
specialist in neurological manipulation was able to give
relief to another 6 folks with serious migraine and other
issues. It was interesting that a patient arrived in one of the
very wheel chairs recently donated so please Sams, keep 
finding things to bring down. Those items change the lives
for so may and we cannot thank you enough. If my math
still works that is 127 patients helped along with 72 
prescriptions filled during the shortest day of the year.
Our December 21st winter solstice combined with the 
weather causing those dedicated angels from Los Amigos
Chapter of the Flying Samaritans late arrival and needing
to leave earlier to arrive to Mulege before dark left us with 
only 4 1/2 hours on the ground for clinic. So 127 folks seen
is absolutely phenomenal. Way to go Sams! See all of you
next year. May 2014 be a great year.   

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November Clinic

November is our month for a grand Fiesta in
Constitucion put on by local business leaders,
schools and the local government as a way of
saying thank you to the Flying Samaritans for
all of the much needed and highly appreciated
help brought by so many people with hearts as
big as the planet. As a result of this planning
we had 11 aircraft bringing over 50 members of
Arizona's Flying Samaritans to Baja this month.
A wonderful dinner was served by our dear friends
Neli and Guillermo at their home in Constitucion.
They also provided a quick breakfast for the group
on their way to the airport before coming to
Lopez Mateos Saturday.

With 11 aircraft arriving about the same time it
was much like watching a flock of the magnificent
and majestic pelicans as they lined up for landing.
While these fabulous winged angels of the sky
unloaded their precious cargo of doctors, dentists,
translators and helpers our local folks looking for
some medical or dental help applauded the break in
four months of not having a clinic. As a result the
buzzing and humming of a well organized medical crew
began. The day was busy throughout with little time
to enjoy the great weather and only a half hour to
enjoy fabulous tacos made locally. Our clinic numbers
reflect the slow return of normal clinics since
changing to the third weekend of the month.

Those numbers are general medical 45 and 10 pediatric
on the medical side with 31 dental patients having much
needed repairs and 17 folks walking away with brighter
smiles from cleanings. We were graced this month with
our eye doc who helped 24 folks see better and the folks
out in the chiropractic building helped 90 patients walk
straighter with a lot less discomfort as they left. If I
am able to add correctly that seams to total 217 patients
who came and left better off because of the efforts of so
many caring providers, pilots and support staff. We would
be quite remiss if we did not include the 104 prescriptions
filled by our pharmacy which would bring our total for the
month of November services to 321. WAY TO GO SAMS! That's our
story and we're sticking to it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October is a wash

While we toil and plan and save in order to do the things in life we enjoy, mother nature has a way of telling us that we are but a small part of the 
overall scheme of things and her will is supreme. While we were all on
schedule and had providers, pilots, translators, permits and patients all
lined up for our October beginning of the 2013/2014 season of the Flying
Samaritan clinic in Lopez Mateos. Tropical Storm Octave developed and
decided that the Baja of Mexico did not yet have enough water to make it 
through the next year's agricultural needs. As such, Octave arrived to our
pleasant little village on it's way to the mountains yesterday and gave us
our next years water supply. Just a reminder to the many who have never
been to our airstrip, it is made of hard packed sea shells dug up from the
deposits of many thousands of years past. While it makes for a pretty good
runway when things are dry, it quickly turns to a muddy, slippery slope
after it has been made wet by rain. If any of our wonderful pilots have
recently acquired a sea plane  this might be the time to try her
out. Although patients might find a swimming suit to arrive at the clinic gate a good option. It is safe to say that we will not be able to have clinic in October. But we will see everybody in November when the regional community leaders
are planning a fiesta to thank all of the Flying Samaritans for their huge
generosity. It'll be fun for all. These photos begin at the entrance to the 
runway access as of this morning and then look at the aircraft parking area
as well as the runway looking to the East and looking to the West.
    That's our story for October 2013 and we're sticking to it. See you all next Month.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's a wrap

As the day closed for our July 20th Flying Samaritan clinic in Lopez Mateos we have the privilege of saying it was a good clinic season for 2012/2013. And looking forward to the 2013/2014 clinic season we need to remember from where we have come. I fondly recall 1999 when we were still in the old house which was used for clinic. In that old condemned building it would have been a stretch to treat 70 patients even with chiropractors and dentists on hand. Then in 2003 when we began using the new facility it became common to see between 250 and 300 patients treated during a clinic trip. A couple years ago we changed the date of clinic to the third Saturday of the month which caused some decline in clinic numbers because so many folks in Baja simply could not understand a new clinic time for awhile. Now that enough time has passed with the new clinic schedule we are seeing those numbers rise. July 2013 clinic saw four aircraft arrive with many angels from Arizona. But they had no chiropractors nor dentists on board. The local medical community rallied to the cause and provided three dentists to fill the need. As a result, our clinic numbers were 24 dental patients treated and 17 folks walked away with cleaner smiles from our hygienist. The medical doctors helped 30 folks and our paediatrician was able to see 11 children. When we add in the 9 ladies seen by OBgyn our clinic treatment number adds up to 91 folks helped throughout the day. It would be remiss if we didn't include an electric wheelchair repair so the patient could continue being mobile. And of course all of those dental numbers seen would not have been accomplished without installing the freshly rewound vacuum pump motor. This group truly knows how to fill the need. The pharmacy filled 115 orders before packing all the meds up to be stored until our next clinic in October. October is often a bit iffy as a result of the hurricane season in Baja so we are scheduling a Fiesta in Constitucion during the November clinic weekend. It should be loads of fun for all who come in November as well as those involved with the festivities locally. So it is safe to say as we wrap up the season that it was a great success. That's our story and we're sticking to it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 19th remote clinic for Central Salude

Well, in support of the county group of doctors who provide medical care as an outreach program El Movel provided exam room platform today so the doctors could see patients after a mass blood pressure and glucose screening in the Lopez Mateos Community Centre. Getting in was a bit of a challenge as the opening required folding in the mirrors to clear the narrow opening. But we made it. You can see the entrance upon our arrival here.
  Notice the small opening on the right side of the structure. Once in with a bit of help watching the clearances the day began. But I would be remiss if we didn't give credit to the doctors and nurses who volunteered to come help as a result of Dr. Walter's prodding. Hee Heee!
 You cannot see El Movil in this photo but she is parked just to the right of the picture actually inside of the court yard. As this community centre doesn't have closed rooms the dance hall seen was used to take blood pressure and glucose readings, weight and height before seeing who actually needed to have an exam inside El Movil. With two exam rooms the doctors present were able to have patient examinations throughout the event. But just to give an idea of the amount of folks who came looking for simple basic things check out this photo.
 Folks waiting patiently for introductions and the process to begin. Once it began the doctors who came were kept hopping non-stop.
Talk about getting into the throng of things quickly and efficiently.
And it turned into a regular assembly line of doctors, nurses and patient
 Including vaccinations for seniors and children. Naturally some things could not be done in the open court yard so we had doctors working in the mobile platform as well.
Naturally we wouldn't take pictures of the doctors working in the exam rooms which got plenty of use today. Of course after all was said and done with about three hundred folks seen the crew had to take a break and recharge the energy with some GREAT ceviche prepared and sodas.

 And last but not least the crew of volunteer providers loading up and heading back to Ciudad Constitucion and their perspective jobs.
 So to finalize it all in the words of our fearless leader/president of the Phoenix Chapter of the Arizona Flying Samaritans. "We're Back!" That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Next remote clinic will be Villa Morellos.
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

June Clinic

The phenomena we call June Gloom had little affect on our Flying Samaritans clinic in Lopez Mateos for the month of June. We saw 6 planes arrive as well as one go to Laguna San Ignacio. So the Phoenix chapter of the Arizona Flying Samaritans was kept busy. We may not have had as big of a patient turn out as some would like to see but for me it is the quality rather than the quantity. But as a requirement of our government issued permit to practice medicine we are indeed required to report the quantity. And that comes to 112 chiropractic patients seen who walked away a little easier thanks to our gentle care providers which included some neurology consults this month.Added to those our general medicine group helped 18 along with 13 paediatric and another 13 ladies seen by OBgyn. There were 11 minor procedures and 64 pharmacy actions. Our dental group saw 15 general dentistry patients and 4 dental hygiene folks. All in all 186 patients here seen by care providers and if we add pharmacy refills into the number it comes to 250 for the final count. Although our reporting requirements keep the number at 186 patients who came and were treated by some of the most generous of the heart and pocketbook angles in the world. Way to go Sams and we'll see you in July.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May Flowers

While April luckily didn't bring showers we sure had a flowery May clinic. That is of course, if one considers everything going extremely well rosy. Because our May clinic did just that, went extremely well. Even though our dental department had to step back into old school tactics after the vacuum pump quit working. This is just another of those many examples of how our group of providers simply don't let adversity get in the way of sharing their lives with others by bringing so much medical care to the far reaches of Baja Mexico. Even the pilots had to go the extra mile by dropping off providers from Mulege and then flying to Loreto to pick up more providers. all of that and there was still an excellent number of patients helped throughout the day. Those numbers ended with 26 dental patients helped and 13 hygiene patients walking away with brighter smiles. 38 general medical patients got to see doctors along with 16 paediatric and 5 OBgyn folks helped. The eye docs saw to the needs of 24 and our chiropractors popped in with 74. It seems like that totals to 196 patients who stood in line since well before dawn to get a number were helped out through the day. Our pharmacy was kept busy filling 96 prescriptions rounding out a total count of 288. That's our story and we're sticking to it.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April Clinic

April was another of those great examples of folks reaching
down into their hearts and pocketbooks in order to help those
of less fortune. The Phoenix, Arizona Flying Samaritans were
up to their normal of travelling great distance and at great
expense to bring health care to so many in great need. Notice
the continued use of the descriptive word GREAT? That's because
there are few other words to describe the efforts of so many.
Their great efforts resulted in some 202 local folks seeking 
help with their medical needs as well as another 127 prescriptions
filled. Many might not understand how important prescriptions
being filled are to the locals. In Mexico an aspirin at the store cost
about a dollar. An ibuprofen costs 2.15 cents at the few stores that
sell them. A small bottle of cough syrup at the local pharmacy when
available, sets the local patient back about 12.50 dollars or 150 pesos.
When most Mexicans work for around 125 pesos per day that small
bottle of cough syrup is more than they earn in a day. Such help 
brought down by the Flying Samaritans is invaluable to the local folks
in need of basic health care. The 202 consultations breaks down to
36 General medicine patients along with 14 OBgyn and 13 paediatric 
on the medical side. Our dental department helped 31 folks in need 
of general dentistry and 13 hygiene consults allowing many to leave
with a brighter smile. 95 folks were helped by our chiropractor with
a wide variety of needs in that area. WAY TO GO SAMS! 
We had quite a number of first time providers in April including
folks travelling all the way from the Pacific Northwest part of the 
United States. It is always such a blessing to me to see so many 
providers come from such great distance to make life a little easier
for somebody they have never met and may never see again. Thank 
you so much for all that you do.
         Just a look at the line waiting for a number before arrival.

Monday, March 18, 2013

March Madness

Many say March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a lamb. In our case March roared in loud and busy with the Baja Bush Pilots annual whale fly in to Lopez Mateos. Clinic morning brought 21 planes besides the 4 Flying Samaritan aircraft. Needless to say it was noisy in the morning with the humm of propellers getting parked on the ramp. With one of the Samaritan planes arriving Friday to prepare the dental and triage for Saturday we were able to begin seeing dental patients before the first flight arrived clinic morning. Which allowed the dental crew to help 28 folks in general dentistry. We had no hygienist this month to great disappointment of all. Our chiropractor was able to help 93 folks walk with a bit less pain and our eye doctor enabled 23 people have better vision. Our wound care nurse dealt with 4 folks while Gynaecology was kept busy serving the needs of 15 ladies. Paediatricians took care of 25 children during which time our general medicine doctors (one from Constitucion) saw to the needs of 35 patients. For a number count that brought the clinic treatment number to a count of 223 folks helped who would not otherwise have had medical care. Added to that number our pharmacy was able to fill 156 orders for medication bringing the total number of clinic actions to 379. I guess after a couple years of low numbers it is safe to say that 
"We're Back!" as our lustrous leader so well put it. WAY TO GO SAMS!     

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February

February is often a fun month for our providers along with March because "thar beee Whales"  out thar! Unfortunately for the same reason most of the town is working for the 90 day tourist season to have some income since they are prohibited from fishing close by during this time of the year in order to protect the gentle giants. As such a few of the providers were indeed able to go out and visit them. Although there was plenty of ooos and aahhs on the beach as they jump out of the water showing off to the world. 

Because of the incline downward of our patient turn out in recent times we placed notices advising folks the doctors were coming, on the radio in both Constitucion and La Paz in hopes that more would turn out. It seems that it may have helped. We saw 180 patients came looking for help and leaving better off than before they arrived. This breaks down to general medicine taking care of 27 folks while our paediatric doc took care of 16 children and OBGyn helped 10 ladies. When we add chiropractic adjustments of 60 and 24 eye glass consultations the medical side had a full day. Then the dental crew chimed in with 29 general dentistry patients and another 14 folks walked away with cleaner, brighter smiles. Our pharmacy group was kept occupied all day filling 123 prescriptions. If we were to couple that with consultations the number climbs to 303. However, for our legal requirements to the government of Mexico who generously maintains our medical clinic permit and authorizes all of our providers to practice medicine in Mexico the number of consultations is indeed 180 completed in the seven hours of our 7 aircraft on the ground. Without whose pilots and aircraft owners donating their service and equipment there would be no clinic. Thank you all for such huge hearts and we'll see each of your smiling faces again soon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

JANUARY

Well after a fashion we finally were able to get some care providers on the ground in Lopez Mateos. December brought enough rain just before the group would normally leave Phoenix to make it extremely difficult for patients to get to the clinic without falling in the mud on the runway. Mother nature sure has her way of telling us when to slow down. Unfortunately with several weather cancellations our patient load has suffered but is picking up. We had a good supply of local translators as well as additional help from the group that lives in Mulege.Thank you Patty and Terry. This month the group was able to help 110 patients plus 102 pharmacy orders filled. All of this while 10 of our providers had a chance to take a break and get on a whale tour boat to get up close and personal with those gentle giants of the sea. In order to meet the requirements of our government issued medical clinic permit I am required to post the results by a breakdown of the totals so 19 folks were able to see a general doctor which left a little homework for us finding additional help from doctors here in Mexico for 4 or 5 of the patients. There were 10 children seen as well as 40 folks were able to walk a little easier after visiting our chiropractors. Our dedicated dentists treated 26 folks and another 15 walked away with brighter smiles after professional cleaning. We were presented with a wonderful lunch brought from Constitucion of tamales and tacos. All in all our January clinic was indeed a great success. Thank you to all involved which includes those many who labour in the background unseen to make it happen. Way to go Sams!