Colegio Bautista: Successfully operating since 2000, this is our largest and oldest dental clinic. We are now seeing the ‘children of children’ that we treated in the past. Under the direction of Dr. Hank Mercado, Dr. Tom Chen and Dr. Ed Ko, this year we saw several hundred patients. Our staff operated eight (8) dental chairs, two (2) by hygiene students and six (6) by Loma Linda University and UNICA dental students.
Mission of Hope: The clinic’s reputation among this under-served Nicaraguan community has increased under the direction of Dr. Paul Theilen and Dr. Tom Rogers. Seven (7) chairs were filled with patients eight hours-a-day. The heat is intense and much of the work is usually conducted in the direct sun. This year, the permanent mission staff had improvised a sun screen that worked spectacularly. Paul can attest to the wonderful relationship that he has with the staff that made this improvement a reality.
Esquipulas: The collaborative research efforts between Dr. Brian Novy and UNICA demonstrate the value of caries (tooth decay) prevention and are showing very positive results. Brian estimates that publication of this study is fast approaching.
Nathan Project: This clinic at the Metropalitano Hospital continues to show dramatic results treating “special needs” children requiring general anesthesia for their desperately needed dental care. Under the watchful eyes of Dr. Lenny Naftalin and Dr. Mike Mashni providing general anesthesia and pediatrics dentists, Dr. Mamiko Kuriya and Dr. Isabella Piedra, these special children received excellent treatment … a labor of love given by caring doctors.
Diabetic Initiative: Brandon Woodruff, RN, and Marcella Hardy-Peterson, DNP, led this initiative. They had a full schedule of planning meetings which kept expanding as the week went on. The enthusiasm of these two professionals was infectious. Everyone is looking forward to next month's (July) in-country diabetic training to over 100 Nicaraguan physicians and registered nurses.
Having treated over 2,300 patients, this was another great trip even though we had many challenges.
Dr. Mark Carpenter