Floating Doctors Inc

The Floating Doctors Mission is to reduce the present and future burden of disease in the developing world, and to promote improvements in health care delivery worldwide. Our Goals Include: Providing free acute and preventative health care services and delivering donated medical supplies to isolated areas. Reducing child and maternal mortality through food safety/prenatal education, nutritional counseling and clean water solutions. Studying and documenting local systems of health care delivery and identifying what progress have been made, what challenges remain, and what solutions exist to improve health care delivery worldwide. Using the latest communications technologies to bring speciali...

Floating Doctors Inc
20964 Waveview Dr
Topanga, CA 90290
United States
3104552167
http://floatingdoctors.com/

President

Dr. Benjamin La Brot

Management Team

Jolie Labrot, Amelia Weiss, Anna Schmidt, Karine Tchakerian

Board of Directors

Dr. Benjamin LaBrot, Sky LaBrot, Ishan Shapiro, Karine Tchakerian

Project Leaders

Sky LaBrot

Mission

The Floating Doctors Mission is to reduce the present and future burden of disease in the developing world, and to promote improvements in health care delivery worldwide. Our Goals Include: Providing free acute and preventative health care services and delivering donated medical supplies to isolated areas. Reducing child and maternal mortality through food safety/prenatal education, nutritional counseling and clean water solutions. Studying and documenting local systems of health care delivery and identifying what progress have been made, what challenges remain, and what solutions exist to improve health care delivery worldwide. Using the latest communications technologies to bring specialist medical knowledge to the developing world, and to share our experiences with the global community and promote cooperation in resolving world health care issues.

Programs

1. Mobile Clinics The mobile clinic is the backbone of our project and not only acts as acute treatment and long-term patient management, but also as our introduction to the community. The mobile clinic forms the basis of the community acceptance that make our activities possible, and most of our other projects evolve from situations we encounter during mobile clinics. 2. Public Health Research In 2011, we instituted a new program of data collection during our regular clinical activities. In Panama, where we visited more than 25 communities multiple times in rotation, we re-designed our patient treatment records to include detailed health and demographic data, and began ongoing subjective community assessments. 3. Volunteer Program Volunteering with Floating Doctors provides experienced clinicians and students alike with the unique opportunity to see advanced and unusual disease cases, hone their clinical diagnostic skills, and challenge their ability to best outcome possible for a patient, even with limited resources. In 2011 Floating Doctors was approved as a training elective by the Ventura County Medical Center's Family Practice Residency Program, and in December UCLA's Global Action In Nursing (GAIN) program joined us in Panama for their first mission. 4. Health Education The biggest problem we see causing health problems everywhere we have worked is lack of health knowledge. Every individual patient is an opportunity for the caring clinician to impart health knowledge, but we also recognize the need to extend health education into communities. Knowledge is power, and health education puts the power and responsibility for health back into patients' hands. Education can be held and passed on in communities, saving lives many miles and many years from where it was first given. 5. Professional Training Our mission includes providing training and assistance to existing local services, especially first-response emergency services. We also held first-aid seminars for local cruisers and expatriates and maternal health education for local Parteras (local midwives), identified and began training a group of high school students to provide education to others in their communities, and began publishing regular articles on first response and health issues for the community in Bocas del Toro. 6. Mobile Imaging Since our very first mission to Haiti in the wake of the 2010 Earthquake, our portable ultrasound has consistently been one of our most invaluable tools. Small enough to fit in a backpack and with enough power to run all day, over 400 ultrasounds were done in 2011. The ultrasound is also regularly used to examine gallstones or cholecystitis, kidney stones, bladder stones or tumors, ovarian cysts, tumors of the uterus, liver and abdominal problems, aneurysms and testicular lumps. It was the first piece of mobile diagnostic equipment carried by Floating Doctors and has become a symbol for our commitment to making the paradigm of 21st century medical technology available to the developing world. 7. Patient Chaperoning We believe that an important job of primary care clinicians is to help patients understand what care is available and how it can be accessed. In more developed nations, this may require only a few minutes of explanation, but our patients operate at significant disadvantages-distance, bigotry, poor quality of care, and expense all separate our patients from successfully receiving care. In 2011, hundreds of hours in Honduras, Haiti, and Panama were spent coordinating patient transport, making appointments and accompanying patients to existing health services, microfinancing costs of surgeries, procedures or examinations, and providing aftercare and follow-up for patients after treatment. 8. Ethnomedicine In Panama in 2011, we developed relationships with indigenous natural healers, or 'Curanderos' in the Bocas del Toro province. They make hundreds of different preparations for every ailment, but these indigenous medical preparations have not been systematically studied, primarily due to mistrust of foreigners. As widespread resistance to antibiotics becomes more common, and as new diseases emerge to plague to swelling human population, it is more important than ever to leave no stone unturned in the search for tools to fight these infections. There are many medicines waiting, out in the jungle, and this is an opportunity to help find them before they are gone forever. 9. Asilo The Asilo, a government nursing home in Bocas del Toro, was one of the facilities that we had first been invited to Panama to assist We found a unit without regular medical care, but with a wonderful staff of no more than a cook, cleaner and nurse on each of the two day shifts and two on the night shift. There are 27 patients there, all elderly, ranging from totally mobile to totally bedridden, some without sight, some without limbs, many with varying degrees of dementia-and they all have to be fed, bathed and changed, the floors cleaned, meals prepared and cleaned up after. We will remain committed to maintaining a regular presence in the Asilo, and continue to involve more volunteers and people from the community in helping the patients, improving the facility and extending that commitment to other facilities and other communities.

Statistics on Floating Doctors Inc

Financial Statistics

  • Annual Budget for 2011: $81,216
  • Maximum Annual Budget: $145,167
  • Other funding sources: Individual Contribution: 34% Organizational Gifts: 14% Volunteer Contributions: 52% Medications, equipment and supplies are provided by individuals, business, health services and foundations/NGOs
  • Religious Affiliation: none
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