Friday, April 19, 2013

Dominican Republic - Medical Mission Trip

Ashland University nursing students traveled to the Dominican Republic March 9-13, 2013 on a medical mission trip.  Lisa Young, organized the trip through the Ashland University Religious Life Department and Partner’s in Christ, an organization already serving in the Dominican Republic.  

Back Row: Michele Funk, Steven Chittenden, Lisa Young, Dr. Aaron Young, Joe Maggelet   
Front Row:  Alyssa Coley, Danielle Hart, Cole Hunter, Rachel Brown, Tiffiny Ellenberger
(Not pictured: Miriah Keller)
The first part of the week was spent in Juan Tomas where the team worked side-by-side with the people already serving in this area.   Students teamed up with interpreters and completed initial assessments.  Following an assessment, the Dominican people would then see one of the physicians, Dr. Aaron Young (Lisa’s brother), Johanna (a Dominican doctor), or Lisa Young (Advanced Practice Nurse).    Approximately 670 people were seen at the clinic in those 3 days.  The team also spent two days at a clinic in Mal Nambre where they saw over 350 people.    

There was a great need for medical assistance and supplies in this area.  The team took almost 8,000 Vitamins and 10,000 tablets of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen, all of which were gone by the end of the week.  The Dominican people were greatly appreciative of these little things that we often take for granted in the US.  The team also purchased anti-parasitics to give to the people.  Infection was a common problem and was frequently seen in tonsils, ears, and wounds.  
At the end of the week, the AU team shared gifts from the people in the states with the children in the mission school in Juan Tomas.  They distributed coloring books and crayons to the younger children, hygiene packs to the high school, and Children’s New Testaments (donated by Temple Christian School) to the fifth to seventh graders.   Nursing students also gave antiparasitic medication to approximately 100 of the school children.  

The mission trip concluded with a trip to Colonial City where students shopped and learned more about the Dominican Republic culture.  The AU team was sad to leave the Dominican Republic people.  They will always treasure the friendships that were made, the unforgettable experiences they had, and the knowledge gained while serving in the Dominican Republic.