Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday was the the first day of dental work in the D.R. which took place at the school “Hay poder en aprender” or “There is Power in Learning” funded by Philadelphia Phili’s player Pedro Martinez. Pedro grew up in a suburb of Santo Domingo. After going to the major leagues, he and his wife, Carolina have returned to give back in many ways to the community in which he grow up including the funding of this local school to improve education in the community. Carolina joined us for the day while Pedro is busy playing ball in the U.S.

We saw approximately 200 patients, mostly children.

Doctors Hammond, Wells, Pekar, Dykes, and Hovden and their teams were joined today by Doctor Patricia Diaz who is the local dental organizer for our expeditions and works under the direction of Esperanza International with whom we partner. Esperanza does a great job in providing all of the on-the-ground support including transportation, lodging, and organization in each village where we go.
Dental student Dr. Martina joined us as well who will graduate from dental school here in October. We also had 5 local dental technicians who helped with hygiene all day.

Doctor Consuelo and two other local dentists also joined our team for the day and rolled up their sleeves right along with the rest of the team.

Abby Anderson and Tara Hovden, both age 12, helped the team by holding flashlights, helping with sterilization, and handing out hygiene kits to each of the patients.

To the right: Dominican dental student, Mateo, instructs the students on proper brushing techniques while they wait to see the hygienist and dentist.

Left: Dr. Roy Hammond and his assistants, daughters Amy and Angel wrap up a "big" case.

The group captures a moment with Consuela Martinez, benefactor of the "Hay poder en aprender" school before beginning the afternoon's work .

We look forward to sharing more with you as we move onto San Pedro where we will headquarter for the rest of the week and travel out to remote villages around the country.

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