Sunday, December 18, 2016

Merry Christmas

The year end holidays are always
a bit of a challenge with so many
folks traveling to spend quality
time with family. And it seems if
something can go wrong this is
the time of year when it will. This
month both became evident with
one plane developing mechanical
failures when departing Arizona.
So clinic ended up with 4 less folks
who desired so much to bring some
Christmas heartfelt care to Mexico.
Fortunately with many local families
traveling to be with family over the
holidays this didn't become an issue.
We also had a plane develop engine
issues in Lopez Mateos. Our group of
dedicated folks were able to move
passengers to other planes so that 
pilot could lighten the load in order
to return to Mulege. Just another 
example of how adaptive the Flying
Samaritans are in all the efforts to
bring quality health care to such
under served communities like the
little fishing village of Lopez Mateos.

December also has shorter days in
turn allowing less time on the ground.
A triage nurse was able to begin 
before the first plane arrived which
allowed our general medicine folks
to help 18 adults as well as 16 children
with their needs. OBgyn saw 5 ladies.
Our chiropractor helped alleviate
the discomforts of 68 folks and 32 were
able to be given reading glasses. Our
dentist took care of 14 people and 
another 17 folks left with cleaner and
happier smiles. That 170 folks helped
gets another 45 added for pharmacy
fills leaving our grand total of consults
for one week before Christmas of 215 
What a great way to end 2016 and look
to 2017. You guys demonstrate the 
reason for the season. Care and love
to bring better lives to a people who
find so much joy from all of your efforts.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts
hear in Baja California Mexico.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November 2016

Some years ago our clinic changed
from the 2nd Saturday of the month
to the 3rd Saturday of the month.
Which resulted in a few years of
greatly diminished patient turn out.
It has taken a long time for this to
rectify itself but the past several 
clinics have surely demonstrated that
patient turn out has returned to what
we had seen many years in the past.

Many providers have no idea of how
things happen before their arrival. We
begin handing out numbers (fichas) at
8:00 on a first come first serve basis
beginning each clinic fresh with no
carry-overs from a previous clinic. We
began this practice when I became 
involved with the clinic back in the
late 90's. This practice was instituted
in part to eliminate a previous problem
of patients having to pay the locals who
had been in charge of the clinic to see
one of the providers. 
None of those previous people are around 
any longer. I have been extremely stubborn
in maintaining this practice to this day. 
When I arrived to the November clinic at
7:30 Saturday morning this is what I found.

We begin handing out numbers to see
providers at 8:00 sharp. You can only
begin to imagine the arguments and
fights that would happen if somebody
ran up to the front of the line and said
some provider had previously told them
they would have preference to be seen
ahead of the many who had been standing
in the dark and cold waiting in hopes of
getting an early number. Not to mention
that it would be impossible for our local
volunteers (who are their neighbors) of
determining the truth of whether or not
a provider had actually made such a
commitment a month previous. So we 
always begin each clinic as if there was 
not a previous clinic giving all who have
arrived early the same chance of getting
a number to be seen by the desired 

Then folks either wait or go have breakfast
until they hear planes begin to arrive. This
month we had 11 flying angels come to
give of their heart and soul not to mention
their pocketbook in order to bring such
needed health care. Novembers planes can
be seen here:

Once planes were on the ground our clinic providers jumped
right into the fray of evaluation and treating the needs of very
thankful folks in great need of medical care. Toiling through
the entire day our wonderful providers were able to see to
the needs of 28 general medicine patients together with 16 
pediatric and 15 OBgyn on the medical front.
Our chiropractors helped 92 folks walk a little easier with 
less pain and our ophthalmologist attended to 20 patients.
Our staff was also able to help 68 folks with reading glasses.
On the dental front thanks to the Aeromdicos 21 adults were
attended to while our pediatric dentist saw to the needs of
8 children. As well 13 additional children had sealant applied
to help protect from all the sugar that our youth put into
their little bodies. Then our hygienist helped another eight
folks walk away with the prettiest whitest smiles they could
have. If I not totally shocked by the numbers it adds to
281 folks seen Saturday. Once we add 81 pharmacy fill our
November total comes to a whopping 362 actions completed
in the November clinic of the Flying Samaritans and
Aeromedicos. WAY TO GO EVERYBODY!!!!!!!! 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 2016

Each new season presents its own challenges.
We had plenty of those during the summer of
2016 and now we get the wonderful opportunity
of watching all of the efforts of those who 
dedicate  so much of their time and resources
to come to a place far far away from the hustle 
and bustle of city living in order to help their
fellow mankind. This is such a noble effort and
I am so happy to be just a small part of it all.
October clinic actually began Friday before as
I drove to pick up one of the Aeromedicos from
the airport in Loreto. That allowed triage to 
begin long before the first plane arrived. What
a great way to begin the new season. Actually
having patients ready when the providers climb
out of all those aircraft. This allowed our dentists
to help 18 folks and our hygienists to clean 20
patients teeth. 
The doctors were kept very busy helping 38 in
general medicine as well as 16 children with 
every need you can imagine. We didn't have OB
this month but stay tuned in the future. Those
chiropractors with such magic hands saw to
the needs of 85 folks. On the vision side of the
house our provider was able to help some 18
folks see better while our pilots made all of 
small text messages clear to 32 folks needing
reading glasses. That seems to add up to 227
patients seen by a provider plus 120 meds
given out in the pharmacy. Once we add that
to the number we had an astonishing 347 folks
helped on the first clinic of the season.

And this was only in Lopez Mateos. We also
sent a plane full of dental providers to Laguna
San Ignacio. I however have no idea yet of
how many folks they were able to help.

For one of the Aeromedicos and myself our
joint efforts did not end there. On Sunday we
presented CPR classes to certify nurses at the
General Hospital in Constitucion in that
life saving skill. We didn't stop there
however. Those classes were repeated for 
other groups of first responders including
firefighters, police, ambulance drivers and 
some soldiers Monday thru Wednesday. Then
we changed gear and taught classes of
treating life threatening situations to several 
groups of first responders. All of this under
the thankful umbrella of the State Healthcare
academic coordinator. Something like 130
folks were certified in CPR and another 105
folks became certified as first responders 
including the use of AED units which we
were able to provide in Spanish to 5 groups
of first responders. 

Hence, the reason why posting this blog is
a week later than normal. Can't be in two 
places at once. I am personally beyond
touched by all the efforts of the Flying
Samaritans and the Aeromedicos. These
two groups are indeed a force not to be
underestimated when they team up. WAY
TO GO on a great beginning of the 2016 
2017 season of the Lopez Mateos clinic.

Monday, July 18, 2016

July season's Final Clinic

Our Flying Samaritan Clinic in
Lopez Mateos has an annual 
season from October to July.
During those 10 months all of the
fantastic members of both of the
Arizona Flying Samaritans as well
as those special AeroMedicos from
Santa Barbara, California toil to
bring quality health care to this very
remote fishing village on the Pacific
coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Since this clinic is sanctioned and
permitted to function by the State
Health Department as a humanitarian
effort we are obligated to report the
results of each monthly clinic which is
why this blog exists. Hence our 
2015/2016 seasonal end for July.

With 4 planes arriving Clinic morning
from Phoenix the day began with a
smaller crowd of patients than normal
mainly because school is out for the
Summer vacation and many locals take
advantage and leave town. Of course
that still left 20 general medical 
patients helped along with 6 pediactric
and 6 OBgyn on the medical front.
We didn't have an eye doc this month
but were still able to help 24 folks with
reading glasses. Our dental providers
were able to help 17 patients leave with
brighter/cleaner smiles and the one
dentist resolved the needs of 13 dental
patients. Those always welcome
Chiropractors tended to the needs of
58 adjustments alleviating many day
to day discomforts.

My arithmetic sees 144 patients helped
during the day plus 64 prescriptions
filled for 208 completed consultations
on this last day of the season.
2016/2017 looks to be a great year! 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

No June Gloom Here

So often during this time of the year we
see the phenomenon referred to as June
Gloom. That was NOT the case at clinic
in Lopez Mateos. Quite the opposite in fact.
With one plane arriving Friday our eye doc
was able to see 6 of the post-op cataract 
patients as well as 6 other eye needs before
heading off to sleep at 9:00pm. Which simply
reinforces the concept that when providers
show up patients will come.

An early morning start with those providers who
arrived Friday got clinic humming along well
before the planes arrived from Mulege. Our
cherished Aeromedico team suffered a broken
leg so were not able to make the trip this month.
Our best wishes for a quick recovery go out for
that. We truly missed their presence at clinic and
look forward to seeing them soon.

All of that left the group seeing to the needs of
24 general medicine consultations and 7 children
helped together with 3 OBgyn patients on the
medical front. Our hygiene group helped 17 people
leave with brighter smiles while 38 folks were able
to leave with new reading glasses. 
The ophthalmologist ended up helping 31 folks
over the weekend and 62 patients were seen with
chiropractic/acupuncture care. It was a busy day
ending up with 182 folks seen by our various care
providers. When we add in 56 pharmacy fills the 
clinic total for June was 238 the day before
Father's Day 2016. Way to go Sams! 
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Great May clinic!

While we may not have had April showers we
came up roses in May. A couple planes got to Lopez
Friday to get things better set up for a quicker start
Saturday morning. What fun to begin treating dental
patients as soon as they received their numbers at
8:00. We had an American reporter with the Friday
group so be sure and check the Flying Samaritan's
Facebook page for some great pictures. They won't
disappoint! It was exciting to see providers working
at every dental chair this month. A rare treat to have
that many dental providers at one time. As part of
this months dental work we had the treat of a special
sealant program for children's teeth in the hope of
staving off cavities as they grow into adulthood. As
a result 17 children had their teeth sealed. We were
also blessed with a pediatric dentist who saw 18 kids.
Treating very young dental patients can be especially
challenging and it needs a very dedicated person to 
take that on. In addition our Aeromedico family took 
on and helped 23 adult dental patients. While at the 
same time our dentist up at Laguna San Ignacio was 
able to help 30 folks and clean 3 folks teeth. Not to be
outdone our dedicated hygienists in Lopez Mateos
helped 10 folks have brighter and cleaner smiles.

Clinic is not all about dentistry so of course we are
pleased to report our medical staff saw 33 general
medicine patients and the pediatric department saw 
10 children. OBgyn helped with the needs of 11 ladies 
and the chiropractors helped 96 folks feel better. 

While our reading glasses team helped 36 people get 
new reading glasses we had a very special treat this 
month as the Rutgard group came and performed 10 
cataract surgeries over two days. They not only toiled 
long hours Saturday and Sunday but after all of that 
work drove to San Juanico after packing up Sunday 
hoping to arrive before dark thirty. 
They'll be giving the same life changing
help all week to folks in San Juanico. We cannot stress
enough how fond we are of their dedication and hope
to host them again often. 

Check out this video of these herculean efforts.

If I'm not too tired to add that means the clinic helped
297 folks with various needs plus our pharmacy was 
able to fill 80 prescriptions throughout the day. 
That brings the total actions for the May clinic to 377.

WAY TO GO EVERYBODY! I can hardly wait to see how
you improve on this in the months and years to follow.

But hold the presses. That's not the end of the story.
If we dig back a couple pages of the paper we can find
the rest of the story. A few years ago one of the nurses
and EMT instructors came down to clinic with our 
beloved Aeromedico group from California. Discovered
that we plenty of nurses on that particular month and
began discussing the concept of giving first responder's
classes to acquire the education and skills they lacked.
In March was the first of those as CPR classes.
This month the lessons were first response trauma and
victim extraction from vehicles. We had asked only
those who already attended the previous CPR classes 
to attend since time was limited to clinic day resulting
in 34 ambulance drivers and firefighters completing
the training. I cannot begin to describe how well 
received these classes have been and how much has 
been learned by folks who respond to so many accidents 
and emergencies. Thank you for going the next step
from bringing quality rural health care to teaching 
first responders how to get people from accident to 
hospital alive. WAY TO GO!  

And in our many MANY ramblings we need to include
more of what the group  continues to do. Just couple 
days after clinic an elderly lady and here husband were
brought to our attention. No longer ambulatory this 
dear grandma had been unable to get out of bed of an
old camper she and her husband live in. In the past 
she had a wheel chair but the elements had finally
taken her wheel chair back to their origins. This close
to the ocean things of metal simply have short lives.
Due to the generous hearts of so many of you and
the donations of wheel chairs, walkers and all the
supplies and equipment that we bring down we were
able to enable this dear lady to once again go to 
church and enjoy the sunshine as well as breath fresh
air. The simple pleasure of bringing so much joy
to the must humble people bring such a warm feeling
while saddening my heart at the same time. Her life
is better thanks to your help.
above is her husband with one of the biggest 
smiles I've ever seen on a gentleman.

Thank you all for helping this grandma go to see her 
grand children and go to church once again.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A GREAT April!

April was a bit of a challenge
since I was in Arizona with the
group. Charlie and Kevin arrived
Friday after plane repairs in
Guaymas and took care of dental
chair issues. Maintenance is an
ongoing process. As El Movil got
a late start so did audiology. But
they still helped 14 folks including
myself with hearing problems.

Once again Aeromedicos came to
the rescue and provided 18 dental
patients with top quality dental care.
Our two hygienist were kept busy all
day cleaning 15 sets of teeth giving
those folks the pride to smile big as
is the only way in Mexico. 
Our ophthalmologist saw to the needs
of 13 folks while 30 patients were able
to get new reading glasses as well as
32 folks asking for sun glasses. That 
may not seem important to many but
reducing eye fatigue can be a HUGE
help along the way in life.
On the medical front we had 35 folks
seen by general medicine and 15 kids
taken care of by pediatrics. 3 cardiology 
patients were helped and OB/gyn was
able to serve the needs of 9 ladies and 
our tireless chiropractors alleviated the
pains and discomfort of 72 patients. 
Several smart phones and/or tablets
got left behind and one plane's starter
had to be replaced before they could
leave Lopez after working in clinic all
day long. Just a few of the challenges
along the way in order to bring quality
health care to such a remote village we
call home in Mexico. 

This seems to end up with 210 patient
needs taken care of plus 70 pharmacy
fills rounding out with 280 tasks for a
great April clinic.
That's our story and we're sticking
to it. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

March Madness

What makes the madness of March? Perhaps
one could argue the madness is the total
dedication by a huge group of people giving 
of their time and resources in order to help
folks whom they have never met have better
and more productive lives. This is the madness
of the heart and total self sacrifice demonstrated
by the Flying Samaritans and the Aeromedicos as
they venture to a land they have no investment in
and expect nothing in return for their efforts.

This month while so many around the world 
begin celebrating or remembering or giving
tribute to deeds considered by many the total
sacrifice of one so many MANY years ago
for what many consider bringing a better way to
the world we live in. A belief held by perhaps half
of the population of the planet. While I am not
promoting that concept I at the very least give
respect to it. And bringing respect and dignity, oh
and self worth to those of lesser ability is a large part
of what took place this month in helping to reduce
the suffering from illness of a people who simply
cannot afford the basics of health care. It is in that
endeavor that the clinic provided this month by a 
joint effort of two dedicated organizations was able 
to tend to the needs of 30 dental patients from the 
herculean effort of Aeromedicos as another 10 folks
walked away with cleaner brighter smiles due to
hygienic dental cleaning. Our Samaritans were able to
see to the needs of 24 general medical needs as well as
to the needs of 16 children with pediatric care. OBgyn
was able to see to the needs of one lady while our 
chiropractors helped 75 folks walk and move with less
discomfort through proper adjustment techniques. 
While we may not have had ophthalmology or optometry
our pilots were able to help 52 folks get reading glasses
to help with all that very small print we find it difficult to
see these days. If my simple brain still works that adds
to 168 patient needs met. Of course many of those needs
being met also required some form of medicine of which
62 scripts were filled in our on site pharmacy. Which then
brings the total count to 230 needs met this month.

Naturally that's not the whole story. We also staffed our
Flying Samaritan clinic in Laguna San Ignacio. 
Unfortunately I do not have the information to provide
how many folks were helped there.

And now we have even more to add to the story. Our
beloved Aeromedico group came down a couple days 
prior to clinic in order to teach CPR classes in order to
enable folks in these very remote locations respond
to the immediate needs of life threatening situations.
They provided two classes on Friday filled to the max
as well as two more classes filled to the max Saturday.
The folks who attended these classes were starving for 
the training and left with the void filled for the first time
in their lives. Here is what those sort of classes look like
for the many curious. We'll begin with the pilot who is a
Fire Chief in the Reno Nevada region and American Heart
Association instructors flying to this little remote village
on the Pacific. 

Now that is a happy crew. So the question then becomes
just what does one of the classes look like? Here is
the answer:

     They began with theory and instruction and followed
with hands on training

Naturally some basic use of fire fighting equipment 
lessons were needed to be included.

The attendees were factory workers, school teachers,
fishermen, firefighters, and ambulance drivers. Here
are the four graduating classes from basic CPR training.

Enabling folks to better their lives is one of the most
noble deeds an organization can do next to bringing
quality health care to those in need.
That's our March Madness story and I'm sticking to it!

Monday, February 22, 2016


Many say February is the month of Love.
Not quite sure how any other month is
less than February but that's what some
say. Which is anything but the case with
the Flying Samaritans and the Aeromedicos.
Who give more love and care on any single
day of any month than all the greeting cards
could ever equate. You guys and gals are just
fabulous in all that you do to bring quality
health care to such remote regions of North
America. And to be sure, contrary to many,
Mexico is part of North America. Well, that's 
my political rant for the year. Now I get the
privilege of ranting and raving over how great
our February clinic turned out to be. Warm hearts,
huge smiles and LOTS of work. The many care
providers who ventured South of the border
ended up helping 36 general medicine patients
added to the 11 pediatric and 7 OBgyn folks seen.
Our Chiropractor was able to attend to 75 folks
while our reading glasses staff helped 45 folks.
The dentists were kept hopping all day seeing
to 23 general dentistry patients and 17 dental 
cleanings. If the gray matter is still working that
is 214 patients seen by care providers. This includes
two curbside ambulance patients brought to clinic.
Once we add in the 94 pharmacy prescriptions filled
you guys saw to the needs of 308 cases in February.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 has arrived!

I've always been one to watch the
New Year come in silently. But as
it has been demonstrated often, the
Flying Samaritans boldly go where
there is a need. And Baja has the need
for quality health care. Which is what
the Sams are all about. Thank you so
very much for all the efforts. Your many
efforts are rewarded in so many ways.
One is the turnout of patients. January
clinic saw a good turnout with our group
helping 30 general medicine patients as
well as 10 paediatric patients. OBgyn was
able to help 5 ladies with difficult cases. 
Our hygiene folks helped 13 walk away
with brighter smiles while Aeromedicos
came to the rescue treating 24 dental folks.
While we didn't have an ophthalmologist or
optometry our group was able to help 50
folks with reading glasses so they could
either read all that small print or in many
cases do sewing that had escaped them for
lack of seeing those small thread and needles.
This has been a great support to the community.
Our chiropractor helped 72 folks walk a bit
straighter and with less discomfort. The 
pharmacy filled 75 prescriptions which brings
us to the days total of patients helped to 279
this month.

We had Kimberly help translate again and of
course she had her camera handy. Here are
just a few of those shots she grabbed.
Our waiting room is practically
a social event.
As is the first stop with our 
A facility such as in Lopez Mateos
has ongoing repair issues and even
our lustrous leader gets into the act.
Aeromedicos jump head first into
the fray every time they are able to
Children and adults all get to
take part.