Elections: The current board and officers were unanimously re-elected. Brandon Woodruff, developer of the Foundation’s “Quick-Reference Guide” for our diabetes training initiative, was unanimously elected as a new board member.
Treasurer's Report: Jose Luís Mendoz presented the financial report and it was unanimously accepted.
Nicaragua 2016: During this year's 4-clinic days, approximately 800+ patients were treated. At Colegio Bautista, our oldest and largest clinic in Nicaragua, Drs. Hank Mercado, Tom Chen, and Ed Ko, had 8 treatment chairs staffed by hygiene and dental students from LLU and UNICA dental schools.
At the Mission of Hope Clinic, under direction of Drs. Paul Theilen and Tom Rogers, 7 chairs were filled 8-hours each day. This year, a sun screen was improvised over the treatment area to reduce the effects of intense sun experienced during past trips.
The Nathan Project continues to give dramatic results for special needs children whose dental care requires general anesthesia. Under a collaborative arrangement, Drs. Lenny Naftalin and Mike Mashni (anesthesiologists) and Drs. Mamiko Kuriya and Isabella Piedra (pediatric dentists) once again provided much needed treatment to these children at the Metropolitano Hospital in Managua.
The Sealant Study called "Nicaragua Smiles,"administered by UNCA’s dental students at Esquipulas, is a collaborative effort between UNICA and Dr. Brian Novy of DentaQuest Institute. Eight patients can be treated in the same time it would take to do one amalgam filling. A complete photographic record is kept for each of the 463 patients. So far, more than 3000 teeth have been sealed. The study has been very positive, demonstrating the value of caries prevention. The results of this ground-breaking study may be published by 2017.
Cura Coffee Company (cura.com): Cura continues to market for the Tierra Nueva Cooperative through its online sales and the Cura Coffee Club. Proceeds from the Coop's sale of coffee beans to Cura Coffee help sustain dental care for the Tierra Nueva community in Boaco. Cura recently entered a contract to become Point Loma Nazarene University's coffee supplier starting January, 2017, and hopes to develop additional contracts with other universities in the area. Cura is also opening “Cura Cafe,” a 1000-square-foot coffee shop in the Point Loma area, featuring Cura coffee.
Diabetes Initiative: We are proposing a 2-year collaborative project called “Two Drops for Hope” to determine if Type I diabetic children can be successfully treated with a 2 strip-a-day monitoring protocol in the poorer areas of Nicaragua where affordability of personal medical supplies is a critical issue. Essentially in these areas, diabetic children go untreated and suffer an early death. Our test would involve 100 diabetic children in 5 different, outlying areas. Components to the study would include: Education, Nutrition & Exercise, Psychological Support, and Study Documentation. We are also proposing that this study would be coordinated and led with the Ministry of Health, Dr. Narvaez (an endocrinologist at the national children’s hospital), a Nicaraguan parent association representative, a representative from UNICA and the Foundation.
The Foundation will help raise funds to build a clinic facility in Managua at the country’s children hospital campus. The Foundation has already begun providing much needed education to healthcare specialists throughout the country. The Foundation’s second educational trip is scheduled for November 7th, 2016.
Fund Raising Efforts: Last January, our appeal letter for the Diabetes Initiative donations was very successful. This made it possible to hire a grant writer to develop a proposal to build a 3500-square-foot Outpatient Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic on the children’s hospital campus in Managua. This clinic will be the focal point of the diabetes education and training initiative for juvenile diabetes treatment in Nicaragua.
Domestic Activities: Our Compassion Clinic at the Blessing Center in Redlands, California, is unique in that it is student-run, supervised by faculty from Loma Linda University’s School of Dentistry. Dental students from Loma Linda University’s Dental School do an extraordinary job, serving annually over 1000+ patients. This year, with the help of a prosthodontist, the clinic was expanded to include dentures.
On April 2nd, board members Drs. Jordan Buzzell and Thomas Fitzpatrick provided a free dental clinic as part of the Point Loma Nazarene University’s (PLNU) Festival of Health. This year's 17+ volunteers included general dentists, dental hygienists, and an oral surgeon who provided free dental care the underserved community. For the second-year, all portable dental equipment, chairs, and instruments were provided by the Foundation. Five PLNU undergraduate students provided a total of 50 hours of community service in the planning and operating of this clinic.
Drs. Fitzpatrick and Buzzell, through Cura Coffee's non-profit initiative, “Cura Smiles,” are seeking funds to develop a City Heights’ Dental Clinic in two empty rooms adjoining the space already occupied by Point Loma Nazarene University. They've raised $15,000 to date, and still need an additional $10,000. Dr. Fitzpatrick's private practice has donated two dental chairs.
Website Development: This year, we developed a “branded look” to our website, stationery, and brochure. The new website is easy to navigate, has links to the student website, a blog section, and professional photography.
2017 Goals: The board agreed that the Foundation’s Diabetes Initiative in Nicaragua will be an important focus while continuing our other ongoing projects locally and abroad.
Janet Johnson, Administrative Secretary