We celebrated Labor Day in "laboring" style in the town of La Romana and in the neighborhood of Pica Piedra. A local Reformed Christian Church was nice enough to loan us their building for the day. They carried all of the benches out of the sanctuary and we transformed it into one large treatment room! We are getting better at the set up and tear down each day.
Esperanza has done a great job of preparing the neighborhood and its people for our arrival. They give out numbered tickets in advance of our arrival so that we can see the patients in some type of order. That being said, it is an adventure sorting and choosing patients and assigning them to the doctors and hygienists.
We were joined today by a great group of Dominican dentists including Dr. Patricia Diaz our local dentist coordinator, Dr. Stephany Hidalgo, Dr. Carmen Mota Caba, Dr. Ray Guilen, Dr. Adonys Rodriguez, and dental student Grisel Encarnacion. Since we are working with folding tables as our work surface, each Domnican doctor set up at one end of the table with a Crown Council dentist at the other so that they could share techniques and get help from each other during the day. It is a great mentor/MasterMind set up in the spirit of what the Crown Council is all about.
We were also joined by additional local hygienists Sury Frank, Mariela Debano who worked with our Crown Council hygienists Catlin Stroud and Jan Kitzrow. The hygiene department was busy with 6 hygienists non-stop for eight hours.
There were some remarkable moments throughout the day as patients saw their new smiles for the first time. Drs. Hammond, Hovden, Schneider, Dykes, Pekar, and Wells tackled some tough cases in less than optimal conditions. (No water and no suction.) They all did some amazing work.
We are being well supported at each location with the great team from Esperanza who helps us load and unload supplies, makes sure we are well fed for lunch and provides on-the-ground support with the local people. What they do really makes all of this work.
Our hats go off to Katie Ison who has single handedly taken charge of sterilization for all the doctors, kept things moving, and made sure that no one misses a beat. She's on it. Great job Katie for making work!
Dr. Hammond was seen throughout the day coaching the Dominican dentists on different clinical techniques. All of the local dentists got a thrill watching our Crown Council denbtist doing different procedures and learning every step along the way.
In the end, we saw well over 150 patients today. But the numbers are insignificant compared to the personal impact that is taking place with patients and between the teams of both countries. It is fun to watch the chemistry happen.
We're exhausted after a "Labor Day" working in the heat, but we are fulfilled all the same. This is great work. To bed!