In August, Dr. Strohecker and Jess Meyers, NP took a trip with Dr. Jovita Toledo and a team to Camotan. It was one of our usual trips that we take every 6-8 weeks. It was an exciting week as we welcomed Dr. Kelin Monterrozo our new resident physician!! Jessica Meyers our director of US missions blogged her trip. Read on below…..
Dr. Strohecker and Jessica Meyers, NP departed early on 8/14 and arrived in Guatemala without a hitch to meet up with Dr. Jovita and her friend and our driver Rodrigo. Our small team had a smooth journey to Camotan where we prepared for the busy week ahead.
Monday was spent at the Clinic where we met the Resident MD Dra. Monterrozo from Guatemala who will be staffing the clinic for the next 6 months!!
This is an exciting step forward for us as we have had a full time dentist (dental resident) in the clinic for 2 years but until now, we have sporadic doctor presence- usually just when groups from the US are there. But now, finally we have a full time doctor! So welcome Dr. Monterrozo. She is excellent and will spend the next 6 months in the clinic during her residency. Of course we have trips every 6-8 weeks from the US. But she will be there daily seeing our established patients and any urgent conditions that come in to the clinic.
Dr. Monterrozo above examining a patient
This is a huge breakthrough as we head in the direction of of a daily full functioning staffed clinic. Dr. Strohecker worked with her and was very impressed by her clinical knowledge, exam skills and the time she spent with each patient. She is a great addition to Camotan Clinic.
The resident dentist (below)-Dr. Wong continues to work independently seeing dental patients everyday.
The nurses at the clinic are working together to create better systems for electronic inventory, cleanliness, and follow up. Above our nurse Daisy is helping Dr. Wong with a dental patient.
Jessica saw 20 patients with the help of her translator Melissa. She was able to see some follow up patients from her last trip and was encouraged by their progress as they utilize the treatment plans recommended for them. She was also able to continue tracking growth and development in some of the established children. She is working on ways to develop well-child visits on a schedule that mimics that in the US. The partnership developed with https://fundacioncastillocordova.org/ is something we have written about before and is an exciting thing for us. This foundation accepts patients who are below 5% on the growth charts and we work intimately with them identifying children who are malnourished to place in their program. See our blog “A Partnership Begins” here.
Tuesday we traveled to a new village where Dr. Strohecker and Jessica saw 133 patients and Dr. Jovita pulled 29 teeth. We identified 7 Families that will need follow up for diagnosis of high blood pressure, diabetes, wound infections, and gallbladder stones. We identified 5 Children who qualify for the malnutrition program and will refer them to the Castillo foundation.
Wednesday we traveled an hour up the mountain to a village that has not received medical care in 9 years (pics below). Dr. Strohecker and Jessica saw 166 patients. They were so busy Dr. Kelin came up and joined them in the afternoon. We burned through almost all the medications we brought and again identified patients that will need follow up. The team coming in October will be returning to this area as there are many more families to see. The day ended with a typical afternoon downpour and Dr. Strohecker, Dr. Jovita and Jessica “enjoyed” a laughter-filled wet and muddy ride down the mountain in the back of the pickup truck.
Thursday we returned to clinic where we saw some of Dr. Strohecker’s very established patients, arranged for a woman from the mountain village we visited Wednesday with potential TB for transfer to the hospital. We organized and cleaned the pharmacy as well. We got on the road midday and headed back to Antigua for a lovely outdoor dinner where we debriefed and brainstormed dreams for the future.
The growth is palpable and it’s apparent that we are outgrowing the current space and need to find land to build on. The search is ongoing and the next steps are exciting. The vision of providing care to a part of the country that is in such dire need is becoming a reality.
Thanks so much for reading!
And stay tuned for more information on our 2nd annual Fundraiser 10/27/22 at the SpaceGallery Art Museum in Denver. See you there!