Wednesday, March 30, 2011
"I've seen different health systems from many perspectives," he said. "I think Nicaragua is going to be a different experience."
Oscar has worked at the Tri-City Medical Center practicing anesthesia since 1999.
Oscar found out about the trip from Dr. Christine Brody. He participated in other medical missions in Peru in the 90s.
He said one of his goals is to be able to set the basis for future medical missions.
"This kind of mission will bring me back to the basics of medical practice and remind me of why I became a physician," he said.
Oscar explained that he knew our team would make an impact on the Nicaraguan community.
"I am aware of the medical needs of a poor country like Nicaragua," he said. "I know that our small contribution will be life changing for the people involved."
Malia currently works as a case manager at Scripps Encinitas hospital. She has also worked for insurance companies, various hospitals, the Los Angeles Board of Education as a school nurse and the Visiting Nurses Association as a home health nurse.
"I am going because I enjoy working with people who do not have the resources to get proper health care," she said. "I like to educate people about health issues to help them stay healthy, get healthy or prevent them from getting ill in the first place."
The Nicaragua trip will be her first medical mission. She heard about the trip from a coworker.
Malia said she is most looking forward to working with people in another country and culture different from her own.
"Hopefully I will gain a perspective from another culture and be more sensitive of their needs," she said.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Lynne is both a nurse and educator, which she said makes her unique in her profession.
"Before I was a nurse and NP (nurse practitioner), I was a kindergarten teacher," she said. "While I was a L & D (labor and delivery) nurse, I was certified as a childbirth educator. During my career as a NP, I taught many Women's Wellness classes. The aspect I enjoy the most about being a NP is teaching my patients about their bodies and their health, getting well and staying well."
Lynne's last position was at North Coast Women's Care with Dr. Christine Brody.
"I heard about Christine's first small Nicaragua mission last year, and let her know I would like to go on any future missions," Lynne said. "And here we are!"
The Nicaragua trip won't be her first medical mission. Lynne went to Fiji last January.
"I really enjoyed getting to know and care for the local Fijians who were extremely grateful for our presence and our gifts of health and dental care," she said. "I expect a similar kind of cultural experience, with the added bonus of being able to speak Spanish with the Nicaraguans."
Monday, March 28, 2011
She said Dr. Brody asked her if she would like to go on a mission trip, and a few weeks later, the team was already departing to Nicaragua. Karla said it was the first time she had left the country.
"It definitely changes your perspective on life as a whole," Karla said. "I'm grateful for having a loving mother, grateful for good health, grateful for having food and a roof over our heads. And I'm thankful to be given the opportunity to help others who haven't had the same opportunities."
"I never thought this opportunity would be given to me," she said, and explained that she was thankful that Dr. Brody has believed in her.
Karla currently works at Scripps Encinitas. She has been there for nine years.
She described herself as a well-rounded team member who likes to work hard.
"I feel very grateful to God for the opportunity to help people," she said. "I have a daughter who I would like to give a good example to. I hope when she grows up, she is able to use this example and (...) also be willing to help people who are in need."
Sunday, March 27, 2011
"I bring a very outgoing personality with a strong background in volunteer work," he said. "I love (...) getting to know other cultures."
"I'm looking forward to interacting with the people," he added, explaining that he wants to teach and play with the kids at the orphanage.
Steve has been in the industry for 13 years and currently works at the Huntington Beach Fire Department. In the past, he has worked in the emergency medicine field with ambulance companies and fire departments.
He has done several mission trips to Mexico where he built houses for the community, interacted with the children and taught classes.
Steve was very straight forward about why he wanted to go to Nicaragua.
"It's an opportunity for me to make a difference in this world," he said.
"I think outside the tradition box of nursing way before thinking inside of it," she said. "I love to deliver care that I would want to receive and would want my family and friends to receive."
"I do things for my patients that are so very nontraditional in the eyes of the nursing profession," she continued. "I bring my experience as an RN (registered nurse), but more importantly, I bring myself and who I am as a person to serve others."
Dawn said her specialty is in the emergency room and PACU (recovery room), and currently works for an administrative team for Scripps Healthcare. She moves between the health care system and does assignments on a needs basis, and covers anything from bedside to middle management or administrative positions.
She has been in the industry for for 11 years: the past nine have been spent as a nurse and the prior two were spent as a nurse's assistant in school. She has an associate's degree in nursing and is currently working on obtaining her Bachelors of Science in nursing. In the summer, she will start her Masters in nursing.
She said she views her career as a sort of service project because she wants to give back to those around her.
"It is important to me in order to give back to those in need with something I have been practicing and learning for years," she said. "I want to serve others in order to grow my own personal self and emotions. I love serving those in my life and would like to branch out to those in need, especially those that I have no interpersonal connection and I'm just there to help."
Why she wants to go to Nicaragua:
"I hope to gain a better testimony in service, make large leaps of interpersonal growth, and to learn more about non-traditional health care settings," Dawn said. "I am looking forward to leaving my comfy lifestyle and coming home and being more grateful for the things I have instead of focusing on what I don't have and what I may want."
"I am absolutely certain I will come home from this with a different perspective and a heart full of joy, love and happiness," she said.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
"I'm looking forward to feeling good about what I do again," he said. "That gets too lost in the daily grind of medical practice. My goal as a physician and surgeon has always been to help make people feel better in some way or another, and I want to share that with people who don't have that as part of their lives. I hope to (...) return home with a rejuvenated sense of purpose."
Adam currently works at the Oceanside Tri-City Hospital and the Encinitas Scripps Memorial Hospital. He went to the University of California, San Diego and spent an extra year in New York City for Laparoscopic Surgery training.
"I think what sets me apart from many in my field is to always find a better, and hopefully easier way to take care of people who need surgery," he said. "I think about the disease but also about how to minimize people's recoveries and minimize their scarring, both inside and out. I don't like to do it only one way because that's the tradition or that's how you were taught. I like to keep up with advances and think of creative ways to always improve."
"I also try to instill as much humor into my day as possible, both with my colleagues and my patients, though some days that can be quite challenging to keep in mind," he added.
He explained that he and Dr. Brody have discussed going on a mission trip for a few years, and said it was interesting that the chosen destination was Nicaragua.
"I can't say that it had to be Nicaragua, but it is in many ways poetic that this is the country where I would first go to help," he said. "My childhood hero, Roberto Clemente, a Puerto Rican baseball player who became a Hall of Fame player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died tragically in a plane crash on New Years' Eve, 1973, while bringing aid to Nicaragua after a massive earthquake hit the country. There is now a Roberto Clemente Health Clinic in southern Nicaragua. So I guess it is something that has been in me for nearly 40 years."
Dane said he hopes to gain insight from the Nicaraguan culture.
"I can't wait to actually use my gift of (speaking) Spanish to communicate and learn more about the people of Latin America," he said. "It's their culture that helps them to remain happy in spite of the things going on around them. I want to share in that."
Dane is enrolled in three advanced placement (college level) courses at his school. He is considering taking college courses at a community college while still enrolled in high school.
"Where as most people would scratch the surface and stop, I delve into all subjects on a much deeper, analytical level," he said.
Why he wants to go to Nicaragua:
"Going and doing mission work in third world countries never really interested me," he admitted.
"I was always content with empathy toward people in that situation, but keeping a safe distance. This is definitely outside of my comfort zone and will force me to experience the kind of hell on earth these people must live through every day. There is no doubt in my mind that this trip will open my eyes to that and make me really, really appreciate what I have as well as showing me that even though these people can't be taken away from their conditions, they can still be helped within these boundaries. I feel like I need to experience it to remember it... to not feel bad about it and then forget about it five minutes later (as I feel most people do in our situation)."
Gabby said she believes the trip will teach her a valuable lesson about humility.
"I hope to gain a greater appreciation for what I have in the U.S.," Gabby explained. "I know I complain about how much homework I have or about how hard school is, but there are so many people in these third world countries that don't get that opportunity."
"I am so blessed to have this opportunity," she said. "I have gone to Mexico with my church to build houses, but that was just over the weekend. I've never done anything like a week long medical trip."
She had numerous reasons for why she wanted to go on the trip.
"I'm really excited to practice Spanish in the 'real world,'" she said. "I'm especially excited to watch my mom perform surgery because it will be my first time seeing her in action. Plus, I'm excited to see the orphans."
Kai said he's excited to go on the trip so that he can meet the orphans his mom sponsors.
"I have talked to them on Skype and Facebook, but to finally meet them in person and speak to them in Spanish will be amazing," he said.
"I want to be thrust into a world that has absolutely nothing," he said. "Although I appreciate everything I have in my life, I know that this experience will never let me forget the amazing life I do live."
Monday, March 21, 2011
"I believe the passion she (my wife) has in her heart for this opportunity comes from the spirit of God," he said. "If it is important to God, it is important to me."
John received his degree in construction management from San Luis Obispo. He has also been involved in Baja Christian Missions and building houses in Tijuana, Mexico.
"There is need all over the planet... Almost paralyzing if you think about it too long," John said.
"I am completely here to serve," he added. "To do what ever is necessary to glorify God."
"My wife has a passion for medicine and I have supported her from the beginning of her career," John said.
He said wants the trip to be a learning experience for his three kids.
"I hope that I can show my three children how amazing their God is, and how richly He has blessed them," he said.
In his own words, why he wants to go to Nicaragua:
"(To see) how huge my God is. He will heal the sick through the gifts he has given each team member... that will be obvious. But He will show Himself in other ways to each of us in a very profound way. I will have my eyes wide open to see these revealings in myself and the team members around me as it is a beautiful thing to see more of God's character. I want to be used by Jesus to reveal His amazing grace to others... it is humbling that He would even consider using me for His purpose."
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Managua is Nicaragua's capital. Costa Rica and Honduras border the country.
In the early 16th century, Nicaragua was settled as a Spanish colony from Panama, and in 1821, the country declared independence from Spain. In 1838, the country became an independent republic.
The Marxist Sandinista guerrillas were brought to power in 1979 after a short civil war, which had begun in 1978. The United States sponsored anti-Sandinista contra guerrillas through most of the 1980s because of Nicaraguan aid to rebels in El Salvador.
The Sandinistas were voted out of power in free elections in 1990, 1996 and 2001, but in 2006, the former Sandinista President Daniel Ortega Saavedra was voted into office. The 2008 elections were marked by widespread irregularities. The infrastructure and economy is slowly being rebuilt, but democratic institutions struggle because of challenges under the Ortega administration.
The next election is in November 2011.
Nearly half of the population is below the poverty line. Forty percent of the population is in control of the highest 10 percent of household income. About 8 percent of the population is unemployed.
*All of this info is from the CIA World Factbook.
"The fact that God has given me the gift to heal compels me to try to heal those less fortunate than myself," she said.
One of her sons, Kai, said he had bragging rights about his mom.
"My mom is an amazing individual who puts more hours into these medical mission trips than most know," Kai said. "She is an incredibly talented woman with a heart unlike any other and I am truly blessed to have a mother like her."
Christine currently works at Scripps Encinitas Memorial Hospital and Tri City Medical Center.
She knew she wanted to become an Ob/Gyn at 16 years old. She received her undergraduate in Animal Physiology from the University of California, San Diego. In 1991, she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with her MD. She spent five years doing residency in Hawaii, and had triplets in her last year. Her family moved back to the mainland and spent two years in Oregon before returning to San Diego in 1998.
(Christine with her family.
From left to right, her triplets, now 16 years old, Dane, Gabby and Kai.
Her husband John is on the far right.)
Her connection to Nicaragua stems from her friendship with a Tri City Medical Center anesthesiologist, Cairo Salvetierra, who passed away in 2004. Cairo had told Christine stories of his childhood in Nicaragua, and had expressed that his life in the United States was one he would never take for granted.
Shortly after his death, Christine began to sponsor three children at an orphanage in Nicaragua. Six years later, in January 2010, she traveled to Nicaragua for the first time and was able to spend time with the three children, now in their teens.
"It was an incredible experience," she said. "Although Nicaragua is one of the most impoverished countries in the western hemisphere, I found the people to be kind and grateful."
While there, she was introduced to the El Samaritano Clinic and asked to return to give gynecologic care and training to the community.
"Cairo had often participated in medical mission trips to Mexico, and my connection to Cairo and Nicaragua compelled me to lead a medical team back to Nicaragua," she said.
Christine explained that the surgical building was a state-of-the-art center, but was inadequately stocked. Her team needed to bring every medical supply, short of the existing tables, lights and one anesthesia machine.
"While this may seem like a big obstacle, in just three months, I was able to gather $100,000 worth of open but unused or expired medical supplies from Tri City Medical Center and Scripps Encinitas Memorial Hospital," she said.
In 2010, she led a four-person team back to the clinic where they were able to perform seven gynecological surgeries in two days.
"I realized by the end of that experience, I would one day return again with plans to do even more," she said.
She said each trip has been a life-changing experience.
"I know that each time brings a new experience, and with it a new lesson or perspective on life," she said. "My first trip, I left Nicaragua realizing how amazingly blessed we are in the United States, with freedom to do anything and with many luxuries.
I left Nicaragua the second time realizing that receiving a hug from a patient that I traveled 2,500 miles to help brought more joy to my life than most of the luxuries I've taken for granted. I'm sure I will leave a third time with a new perspective on life."
Christine said she is most looking forward to sharing these experiences with her family, all of whom are also on the team.
In her own words, why going to Nicaragua is important:
1) Because I want to heal all people, especially those who don't have healthcare or can't afford healthcare but deserve it all the same.
2) Because I want to give to others, like myself, who have dreamed of helping others in a third world country, the opportunity to fulfill that dream.
3) Because I want to visit my "kids" at the orphanage again, and introduce them to their American family and show them how much they're loved.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
A year ago, Valishia Savage and Dr. Christine Brody met at an orphanage in Nicaragua. While there, the pair was introduced to the El Samaritano Clinic, a non-profit medical clinic providing ambulatory medical care.
They were told that the state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center was built for medical mission teams, and were asked if they could return to provide care and training to the community.
Valishia and Dr. Brody act as the team leaders for the Med4Nicaragua group, and the April trip will be their second medical mission in Nicaragua.
- - -
Valishia, a vivacious team leader, said her enthusiasm for the team stems from her passion to make a difference in peoples' lives.
"I need this in my life," she said. "It puts everything into perspective. It gives my life purpose and meaning."
Valishia, who has a degree in Biblical studies, is the mother of two children and is an account executive at Sweis, Inc.
(Valishia with her two sons)
She has also done missionary work in Hungary, Slavania, Serbia and Mexico, and has supported missionaries in South Africa, India and Uganda.
For Valishia, the trips are a way to become a better person.
“When you go away on missions and come home to America, you realize just how much you have and how ‘easy’ life is compared to the rest of the world,” she said. “I get humbled because I realize I have no reason to complain and I find contentment because I feel like I am making my life count.”
(Valishia with one of the girls from the orphanage in Nicaragua)
She said she encourages anyone that has a dream or desire to help others.
“This was a desire 15 months ago, and because we took a step of faith, it’s happening now,” she said. “Sometimes the desire that is deep in your heart is the purpose of your life. Don't pass it up. Take a step of faith and see what happens!”
In her own words, why she wants to go to Nicaragua:
"Seriously, the people of Nicaragua bless my life and give me so much joy. It’s important because these people live everyday with no one caring...I want to show them someone cares.
I look forward to meeting each individual person and getting to know them. I look forward to being there and knowing that our time is being used to better the lives of these people. I look forward to the hugs and smiles. It’s the best feeling in the world."
Loghan moved from upstate New York to San Diego when he was a sophomore in high school. Instead of attending public school, he decided to finish high school through independent study, a decision which allowed him to start taking classes at Palomar College.
He quickly discovered Palomar’s broadcast journalism program and his new career path.
After three years at Palomar, Loghan has been a reporter, producer, shooter and/or editor for more than 60 live television shows, two of which he won Emmy’s for his role as producer.
He is currently working with CBS, in their high school division, creating video content for the web and television.
In his own words, why this trip is important:
“Most of my time spent in broadcast journalism has been tied to sports, while it’s a passion of mine, I have always wanted to focus on stories that impacted viewers on a deeper level. Members of the media have a rare opportunity to go into almost any place or situation on Earth, and tell their viewers what is actually going on. I truly believe that true media is a dying breed. The un-bias, honest reporting is basically gone and as a human population, our priorities are in the wrong places, and the media plays a big part in that.
Going to Nicaragua, for me, is the start of being able to start telling people the real story. I look forward to sharing the accomplishments of our team, but also capture the daily life of the citizens of Nicaragua. This being my first trip to a third world country, I know it will open my eyes and give me perspective on life that can be easily lost here in California. Above all, I know it will inspire me to travel to many other places around the world and tell their stories too."
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
My name is Kelley Foyt, and I'm the journalist/photographer for the trip. I'll be writing all of the blogs and keeping everyone up-to-date on all of the daily news.
After graduating from high school in 2008, a friend convinced me to take a journalism class, and I instantly fell in love. I started writing for Palomar's school newspaper, The Telescope, and took the fast track from there to getting my journalism degree. I spent a huge amount of time soaking up everything in the industry: I went from being a writer to chief editor of the paper, plus I took any and all classes related to the media industry. In 2009, I interned for a semester at the Poway Chieftain, and in 2010, I interned at the North County Times. Last semester, I received my associate's degree in journalism.
Why I want to go to Nicaragua:
My whole childhood, my mom and I listened to stories from one of her best friends who had grown up in Zimbabwe. I moved from Michigan to California in 2004. My mom decided to organize an estate sale so we could raise money to donate to a group in Zimbabwe (we decided on a women's university based on our friend's recommendation). The project turned into a community event, and we managed to raise $10,000 to donate, which was enough to buy computers for the entire university.
My mom saved up money for three years, and eventually her and I were able to take a trip to Africa to visit the people we had helped. I was able to see firsthand just how much of an impact one person can make in a community's life. My mom spearheaded this project that had this massive domino effect on the entire community. The women's university had grown from a classroom full of students (which was in someone's house) to an entire campus. I met one of the founders of the university, Dr. Hope Sadza, and she had the same energy and passion that I saw in my mom.
This is the type of passion that makes a difference in the world, and this is the same passion that I see in Valishia Savage and Dr. Christine Brody, the two women who have organized this trip. I consider myself lucky to be able to be a part of this life-changing journey and to document it each day. I look forward to meeting each of the patients in Nicaragua because I think the surgeries will change my life just as much as it changes theirs.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
• Clothes and shoes -- small sizes, the youngest child is 5 years old.
• Medicine of all kinds -- vitamins, cold medicine, lice shampoo, etc.
• School supplies -- notebooks, backpacks, binders, 3-ring loose paper, small legal pads, etc.
• Baseball gloves
• Microscopes for school
• Overhead projector
• 10 power regulators
Please leave a comment if you would like to donate, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.